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Poyet Perplexed By Cattermole England Snub

Cattermole is ace. Admit it.

Laurence Griffiths

Gus Poyet is as perplexed as the rest of the intelligent world by Lee Cattermole's continued England snubs, insisting that if he was Uruguayan he would be immeasurably more appreciated by his country.

Despite a stunning run of form and superb start to the season, Cattermole was once again overlooked by a generally confused looking Roy Hodgson. Like everyone else with an ounce of sense, Poyet is struggling to get his head around it.

He told reporters:

Me, I like players like Lee. I need one like him at least, but some managers don't like a player who one day is going to get a red card. I don't care, it's part of the game. I got a few red cards when I was a player.

In Uruguay, [there is] no doubt he would be picked. We like that sort of player. If I was a national team manager I would definitely pick him because I like his character and the way he plays the game.

We are a different team when he is on the pitch and that's important for him. Maybe that will help him get into the England team.

There is something like Dennis [Wise] in him. They are similar characters. They play in the same position, they hate losing, they bring the team up in a certain way but they show that with frustration now and again.

Wisey was important, he was a leader and he helped the others maintain concentration. You need players like that, I've always said Wisey was the main person at Chelsea, we all followed him and were led by him.

The best decision we made last January was keeping Lee. We had offers from Stoke, but the chairman asked me if I needed him and I said yes, so he didn't sell him.

Phew, what a decision. It doesn't matter about how much money you can get for a player, it's about how much they help you win games and the difference between staying up and going down.

Unfortunately, whilst Poyet is completely right on every point, the most surprising thing about England ignoring Lee Cattermole is probably that there was anyone out there who is actually surprised.

It's not even anything specific on Cattermole, I think. It just seems like a total ignorance of Sunderland by England. It's not about trying to play the victim card here. There is no need to be that dramatic or anything.

In fact, it would almost be nice if England were deliberately going out of their way to irritate us. That would be far better than the reality which is that - as far as they are concerned - Sunderland is just some pain in the backside remote footballing outpost with the sheer temerity to be a long way away from London.

If Roy Hodgson or Fabio Capello before him had been a regular visitor to the Stadium of Light and did not like what they had seen, you'd have shrugged your shoulders and accepted it. It would be annoying but it would be fair. That's not the case, though.

And it's not just Sunderland either, in fairness. There are clubs like Stoke City and Hull City too, both of whom have players with strong cases for getting a chance for England - the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Ryan Shawcross and Curtis Davies - who are apparently nowhere near. It's telling that both Huddlestone and Jake Livermore had far more chances with England as poor bit-part players for Tottenham Hotspur than as important, good players for Hull City.

Anyway, I suppose at least this way England can carry on embarrassing themselves without us having to take any responsibility for it or actually caring. Small mercies, and all that.

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