Dear Roker Report,
There has been a lot of talk about Lee Cattermole recently, whether that be impending transfers, what he offers to the current playing squad and whether he deserves to have a testimonial match.
For me, I would be gutted to see Catts go. When Catts was needed last year, his intelligence to read the play, his experience in breaking up the play really saved our skins. I think that if we played someone like that had that extra yard of pace and with an element of height we would have a very solid central midfield.
There is also a lot to be said for loyalty within the game as well. You don’t often see players making it past two seasons rather than TEN. Cattermole has shown loyalty to the club, he has developed into a solid leader from that rash player who we would expect to see red and undoubtedly was one of our stronger players last season. When was the last time we got a chance to celebrate that level of loyalty? Kevin Ball? Gary Bennett?
Donald and co may have already alluded to the fact that due to the financial implications we cannot keep Cattermole, but lets ensure that this year he receives the Sunderland send off that he deserves and thank him for the rare commitment you see in the modern game.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’m relatively nonplussed about it all. On one hand I think that Cattermole could be a massive asset to our squad next season, but on the other I understand the financial implications of keeping him at the club and how with a tiny fraction of the money we spend on him we could find a younger player of equal or even better ability.
Ultimately the club cannot continue to pay someone £40,000 a week at this level. That’s a good Premier League wage, never mind a good stipend for a League One player.
If Cattermole doesn’t leave then it’ll be because the club think he’s worth keeping around, and if that’s the case then I’ll be happy. My gut feeling though is that we’ll pay him off to leave and replace him with someone younger and cheaper.
Dear Roker Report,
I would like to see Sunderland follow what Bournemouth has done. I would like to see almost exclusively young, British talent signed. The reasons for this are manifold and do not have to be repeated. It is a shame in some ways that the club is being sold again, because we are once again behind the rest of the league in recruitment.
Sunderland should move on Ozturk and Loovens at least. Neither of them will be able to play in the Championship, and they are the ones that have the least to offer at center-half in my opinion. Flanagan is versatile, and Baldwin can play with the ball, though he is mistake prone. Edmundson from Oldham, Stuart Findlay, or Ben Heneghan are the types of defenders we should be targeting; however, it looks like we will already be beaten to Oldham by a team that has done a great job over the years of signing young, hungry talent.
Sunderland should target a younger right back, that will be vastly cheaper than Matthews. In Central Midfield, they should move on Cattermole, and find a partner for McGeouch, some player from League 1 or the lower leagues and let them dictate the game. McGeouch was the “best midfielder” at Hibs, when his partner just ended up being the best midfielder in. Championship winning team. McGeouch should get some playing time. Sunderland need a younger winger with some pace, McGeady and Maguire are good, but neither are going to extend the field or going to allow the counter attack to be quick and deadly.
None of these opinions is some brilliant insight, but it is clear that the club needs a comprehensive strategy, which the club so far does not seem to have. We have entirely too many players that should be “good” League 1 players that will not in all likelihood cut it in the league above. Compare us to Portsmouth for instance and you would have to say honestly we do not come out favorably. They have a number of young, talented starters that they have developed, all of whom are desired by top Championship clubs. We clearly do not, honestly I am not sure we have one player that is a regular starter who we could say would walk into any championship club other than the McGeady and McLaughlin, who are by no means young.
Hopefully, we figure it out.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Bournemouth are certainly a good example to follow at this stage of where we’re at. Whilst having an extremely wealthy owner certainly helped them to power up through the leagues, their philosophy of sticking by a young manager and signing players who can grow with the club as it improves it’s league stature is certainly appealing.
It’s easier said than done, however. Our recruitment has to be absolutely spot on this summer and Jack Ross cannot afford to have a poor start.
Dear Roker Report,
I think people are much too quick to write off Jack Ross, and even your own comments are laced with threats about how long he’s got.
Having said that, if he were to leave for any reason Nigel Pearson is not the ridiculous suggestion you make it appear.
He was, after all, the manager who took Leicester from Division One to the Premiership, and it was effectively his squad which stunned everyone by becoming champions.
I wouldn’t be too quick to reject him, but I would still strongly prefer us all to get off Jack Ross’s case, give him time, space and resources, and, temporarily at least, stop playing the game of Prediction And Dire Consequence.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: What Pearson did five years ago at Leicester means very little to me, if I’m honest. Since then he’s had two awful spells at other clubs and is very much the journeyman type of coach I want to see Sunderland move away from.
I agree that Jack Ross needs a little more time, though. If he comes out this summer and plays a more expansive style of football with a squad that has a better variety of players in each position I think we’ll all be more than happy for him to continue as our manager.