Dear Roker Report,
I do not usually criticise players or performances in that I’m sure this squad are giving 100% to Jack Ross, but I must react to your player ratings for last night.
How on earth can you award Man of the Match to George Honeyman, who I thought was the least effective player on our team?
Now I do not doubt that George is a committed, decent and hardworking man but he is simply not captaincy material and not even good enough to play in the current team.
I’ve seen Honeyman playing for Gateshead and obviously numerous times for Sunderland and I’m afraid he fails on a number of counts. He has no physical presence and is easily knocked off the ball. He does not have searing pace. He does not easily beat his man and is not a great tackler. He is certainly not a Leader in the present team.
Please explain what he does to earn your continual support and Man of the Match award last night.
Ed’s Note [JN]: I can’t speak for my colleague, as the match report is an entirely subjective opinion of one person based solely on that single 90 minutes. It really matters little in the long-term and is only an indicator for those who didn’t watch the match. In short, don’t be too annoyed - it isn’t indicative of the whole of RR’s thoughts, never mind anyone else.
On Honeyman on Tuesday, I thought he picked up some very solid spaces, recycled play well and adapted to a differing role than usual quite well. However, he was wasteful on the ball at times and dipped in and out of the game. Man of the Match? No. But play an important role? Yes.
On his importance to the team, I disagree. We suffered massively without him in the team for the last two months. I think there are arguably more talented players in each position he plays, however he is a crucial part of knitting the team together. He is a man the rest of the players follow, you don’t have to shout and ball to prove yourself a leader of men.
He is the only central midfielder in the whole squad who moves the ball with pace and vertically on more than one occasion, and his all-round movement, energy and stamina is absolutely vital both on and off the ball.
I’d actually go as far as saying he’d be one of the first names on my team sheet.
Tin hat on: some of the criticism he receives is actually disgusting and he’s often a scapegoat for some people looking to aim their frustrations at someone.
Dear Roker Report,
I notice people saying if we don’t get promoted Cattermole will be leaving at the end of the season. I can’t see it myself for one good reason.
If he’s still here on 12th August he will have been at the club 10 years and (probably/possibly) entitled to a testimonial game.
I can’t see him giving that up somehow.
Ed’s Note [JN]: Must admit I agree, but for wholly differing reasons.
I don’t think that testimonial match really matters whatsoever, but rather nobody is going to want to sign him considering his injury record, his ageing legs, reputation and gargantuan wages. No club would take the risk. As a result, I think he’ll stay until he is out of contract.
That being said, I do think it would be best for both parties if he did manage to make a move in the summer.