Dear Roker Report
l was sad and disappointed to hear stories of Lee Cattermole being booed and goaded at Hartlepool on Saturday. He is entering his tenth season for Sunderland if he stays beyond the transfer window. In the period he has been here we have had some good times and bad times, but he has always made himself available for selection when fit.
Thereby lies part of the problem. In nine seasons he has missed half of the games through injury and suspension. He has always l feel been rushed back due to his importance to the team and this has impacted on his current situation. He was never blessed with lightning pace but used his stamina and tenacity to unsettle the more gifted players on opposing teams. What pace and stamina he possessed seems to have deserted him and left him totally ineffective.
So while he is no longer the player he was, let us remember that this was the man who captained Boro at 18-years-old and has captained both Wigan and Sunderland too. He is not a Jack Rodwell who was content to not play at all and pick up huge wages nor Ndong who is refusing to turn up for work. He is an honest, good professional whose injury problems and willingness to play through them have contributed to his early demise. He is unlikely to feature and l think it would be a good gesture on behalf of the club if he was offered a free transfer to let him continue whatever is left of his career elsewhere.
Ed’s Note [JN]: I don’t boo players, but I can see why some did. He’s now seen as essentially a symptom, or even figurehead of our troubles in the past. He is no longer an astute footballer who can keep up with the pace of the game either on the ball or off it and the sooner he’s gone, the better.
However, you are right. He’s now twelve years into his career as a professional footballer. Over this time, constant injury, injections to get him back fit and his robust style have quite obviously taken their toll physically. The earlier palyers start their career, the earlier they’re finished. I think question marks should be more so directed at why he was given a six-year contract in the first place in July 2015. Fingers should be pointed at whoever authorised it; Dick Advocaat? Lee Congerton? Margaret Byrne?
Dear Roker Report,
It’s reported in the news today that Sunderland are struggling to offload Papy Djilobodji. This doesn’t come as any surprise and there were suggestions that a loan deal might be the best way forward.
The only way that would work is for the club doing the loaning to pay all of his wages because of the fact that he still hasn’t reported for duty (along with Ndong) we surely aren’t paying him so for him to go on loan and us to subsidise his wages would to me be ludicrous.
Also the same problem would occur once the loan term was over. He can’t play for anyone else while we hold his registration and we don’t pay him for being in breech of contract. Win-win for us. I realise that getting rid would be better because of the financial input he might create to make transfer coffers available but make his agent work to find a club. Same goes for Ndong.
Ed’s Note [JN]: Rest assured, both are in violation of their contract by going AWOL and refusing to turn up to pre-season training; and therefore are NOT being paid by the club. Champagne Papy isn’t quite as successful as Drake, but he sure is good at raking the cash in.
He cut the mustard at Dijon (yes) but the wages are a stumbling block. They’ll also be the case for loan clubs. There is interest from a few of the rich sides in Russia (there are very few) so let’s hope someone panics late on and think’s he has a modicum of talent.
Dear Roker Report,
Just a quick one. To all of the naysayers complaining that we’ve spent nowt this summer. Sunderland p*ssing money up the wall on players has NEVER left us up the creek without a boat, let alone a paddle, has it?
Ed’s Note [JN]: Agreed. You don’t need to spend money in this league. Since the conception of League Two in 2006/7, only £19m has been spent by every single club combined in the succeeding twelve years. We ain’t a Premier League club anymore, and it is high time some sections of our fan base realises this.
Leaving it late is a risk, but playing a hand to early drives up prices later as other clubs then know you have money to spend. Donald himself has admitted on the most recent podcast that he planned to get the free transfer’s in early and summed it up perfectly when mentioning Jack Marriott. Why spend a highly-inflated £6.5m on one League One player when in fact half of that can get you a whole squad of good League One players?
As explored in an article on the site now, the top three last season, Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham spent £2m combined in summer 2017. That speaks volumes.