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Fan Letters: After 10 years is it time that Sunderland moved on from high earner Lee Cattermole?

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“It’s a no brainer... Both he [Lee Cattermole] and Oviedo must leave!” exclaims RR reader Ron. What do you think - should Cattermole stay, or go? Email us: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

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Dear Roker Report,

Congratulations Lee on your big day [ed: he got married on Saturday].

I’d love to see you still playing for the lads next season.

All the best, stick with us mate.

Onwards and Upwards.

Rob Brown

Ed’s Note [Lee Cattermole (shouting)]: THANKS MATE!

Dear Roker Report,

(Re: getting rid of Lee Cattermole)

It’s a no brainer... Both he and Oviedo must leave, even though I like them both.

Financially they are crippling Sunderland and both have made good money out of our club over the years. Their true colours may come through soon, as they may be asked nicely to leave... and if they stick around just for the money then we have two more mercenaries.

Hopefully they will find another club and leave us without a pay settlement.

Ron Scrafton

Ed’s Note [Damian]: I’m sure Brian Oviedo will find a new home for himself without too much trouble. Whether Lee Cattermole does or not remains to be seen.

I suppose the beauty of being just a player is that regardless of the sheer coincidence of being the longest serving defensive midfielder, captain and player over a period that’s seen us relegated two divisions after constant relegation battles is that you can blag your way through an interview on the grounds that it simply had nothing to do with you. Whether prospective clubs will accept that at face value or not I simply can’t say.

Still, if Rodwell can get a job anyone can. I might as well start applying. To say that I doubt we’ll get the £6,000,000 back that we spent on Cattermole would be a gross understatement. That offering from Stoke City a few years back is looking more and more like a wasted opportunity, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Dear Roker Report,

Lee Cattermole gets paid £40,000 a week, and people want to reward him for being an average player? He loves the club but continues to bleed them of his ridiculous wage.

Why doesn’t he take a wage cut? No, he’s just one of the mercenaries we haven’t been able to move on and he will sit out his contract and expect a testimonial. To me he was average last season and we are in the third tier - that, I think, sums up how good he is.

Brian Thurloway

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Couldn’t agree more Brian - except for the “mercenaries” bit. It’s not unreasonable to say ‘look, if he loves us so much then he should take the cut to help us out’ in a sense, but in another sense it very much is.

I don’t think an employee should be actively trying to lower their salary regardless of who they work for. It’s illogical in most industries but for a football player it’s even more so, particularly as they age. I won’t pretend to know a lot about Lee Cattermole’s education beyond football but I’d wager it isn’t enough to keep him in the life he and his family are accustomed to. As footballers reach the waning of their careers it’s perfectly understandable that they would take every penny they can get while they can get it. I don’t hold onto the idea of begrudging mercenaries in football in general to be honest, for the above reason.

Besides which, I’m pretty sure Lee knows that the club isn’t going to be liquidated if they keep his salary high. I don’t begrudge him his salary, I begrudge him being first on the team sheet, but of course if he wasn’t at least consistently appearing I would take exception to him being paid anything at all so it’s a bit moot.

The above opinions are merely my own and at the end of the day Cattermole has given us some great memories. I think he was allowed far too much leniency over far too long a period of time, and that his affable character has kept him a wealthy man as much as any skill-set or performance. No matter how bad a season he had he was always given every opportunity to lead the dressing room and guard the back four, and in my opinion he rarely deserved that privilege. For some reason I always feel guilt at levelling criticism at the man - probably because he clearly gives a sh*t where many others didn’t. I’m afraid time has proven that it simply isn’t enough. I wish him all the best in the future and unlike many exiting players (whom I don’t really care about beyond their Sunderland tenure) nothing would please me more than to see him succeed.

Isn’t it about time we just stop claiming that that’s what he’s been doing?

“F**k you Damian”