After Lee Cattermole completed his move to VVV-Venlo earlier this week, Dutch publication Voetbal International (VI) have taken to asking Robbin Ruiter, Glenn Loovens and Dick Advocaat about their throughts on the midfielder’s move.
Ruiter explained that Cattermole no longer has to play for money after years of playing in the Premier League and although he wished to play abroad, the Netherlands was a perfect fit for him with how close to home it is:
Talented players, young, so I could understand the step to the Netherlands, someone with such a status in England and so much Premier League experience at VVV, I didn’t see that coming immediately but we apped and called, and then I understood. If you know the salaries in England a little, you know: Lee no longer has to do it for money.
I think Lee could earn a lot more at a number of clubs than at VVV, and certainly in England, but he wants to enrich his life with a new experience.
Many Dutch boys would like to play in England again, but the reverse also occurs. Lee wanted to work abroad again. Experience a different football culture, a different way of life. More players want that.
You always have to wait and see what comes your way. I have experienced it myself before. ”Why don’t you do this, why don’t you do it like that.” But yeah, if the big clubs don’t come, it will stop.
It also played a role for Lee that he was not open to every adventure. He got married this summer, his wife has a job as a lawyer in England. That is why he did not want to work too far from home. From Düsseldorf or Amsterdam you can be in England in no time. Hence Venlo was a good option for him.
In addition, Lee is looking forward to playing in the Eredivisie. You might not say it right away, but he loves the Dutch way of playing football. Ball on the ground, fast play, a lot of pressure forward. This is how he likes to see football, and he also controls that game. Certainly at the training he often showed that. But in England football is often more kick-and-rush. That has changed a bit in the Premier League, but in the last two seasons it was mostly blown for Lee in the Championship and League One. Now he wants something else.
It is not just an experience of playing abroad according to recently released Glenn Loovens, who revealed that Cattermole was often asking about Dutch football with the former Sunderland midfielder having one eye on an eventual managerial career:
“How do you do this, how do you do that?” Then I thought: he just wants to have a nice chat, but now it is clear to me that he was seriously curious about our football culture.
He later wants to work as a manager and sometimes wondered in which country he could best gain experience in that area. He thinks he can learn a lot in the Netherlands. Although of course he goes first and foremost to show himself on the field.
VI then asked Loovens about his fearsome reputation and the defender said it was not just his opponents that felt his wrath:
He is just as fanatic during training as during competitions. He hates to lose and also demands that his fellow players always give everything. He always goes to the extreme. He would rather mow one over it than let it pass him by.
In the Netherlands, such players lack a bit. A bit of Lee in the Eredivisie can’t hurt. Although I fear that he will soon find out that they draw yellow cards much more easily in the Netherlands than in England.
Lee Cattermole to VVV, I am really looking forward to it. I also warned him about that artificial grass. But according to him it is a lot better than what he had ever experienced in England. Well, good luck with it. VVV has a very good one about him, a real leader too. He’s only 31 years old and has played hundreds of games in the Premier League, right? Lee would be a valuable reinforcement for every club in the Netherlands.
The publication also spoke to former Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat, who only had positive things to say about Cattermole. Advocaat emphasised how important the player was to his Sunderland team and said he has faith that Cattermole will adapt to Dutch football:
He was a very important player for me. The fact that we stayed in it [the Premier League] at the time was a great achievement. Cattermole really played a decisive role in this. That boy was my leader, always went for it. A player with a great mentality. In principle I didn’t have to say anything to him. Slow down a bit rather than motivate.
They naturally earn much more in England than in the Netherlands. But apparently he is looking for something else. He will have to get used to it. Anyway on the artificial grass. And of course the refereeing. They allow more in England than with us. He regularly took a card there, so he will have to take it easy. But I have faith in that.
I didn’t follow VVV that way, but players with an enormous appetite for work always fall well there. It’s great that Stan Valckx has managed to get him to Venlo. This is a great player for a team and for a trainer a pleasure to work with. Just a real English player.