Adieu Mignolet, now of Liverpool. Sess and Catts to follow him out of the door?

From Jake's series of PDC revolution images
From Jake’s series of PDC revolution images

Salut! Sunderland is famously cautious about transfer speculation. Sometimes, there is no need for caution and absolutely no need to wait for the club’s traditional dawdle towards making a proper announcement.

With Simon Mignolet, the writing was on the wall from the moment the season finished, if not earlier, and we felt perfectly able to comment on his likely departure. His agent did make some ambiguous comments that seemed at odds with the truth, long after Liverpool had quite obviously begun the process of securing our keeper’s services. But then his agent has form, as indeed do most agents. What Is An Agent For? might make a good title for a Lower Sixth essay.

And now he’s gone, with the best wishes of most of us. While we wait for some truly exciting transfer news of the inward variety, thoughts turn to the next stops in the careers of Sess and Catts. I will be bitterly disappointed to see the former leave, since I welcome wholeheartedly in our colours anyone who plays with such levels of natural ability and acquired technique. Catts? Couldn’t care less, for all that he has his advocates on Salut! Sunderland.

Here is a taste of how I sum up my feelings at ESPN. Go to http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/1727?cc=5739 for the full article ..


[Mignolet’s] sensational saves last season made the difference, ultimately more so than Steven Fletcher’s pre-injury goals, between Premier League survival and a shameful drop to the Championship. I would love to see him pick the ball out of his net many times in two particular games next season but otherwise hope he prospers, brushing aside the challenges of Pepe Reina at Liverpool and Thibaut Courtois in the Belgian national squad.

… The head coach echoed my thoughts, stressing that he wished to “personally thank him for his contribution to the team last season”. Then he offered the reassurance supporters needed to hear: “There is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes. Our aim is to build a competitive squad for the new season and this deal will give us further ability to strengthen the side.”

At first glance, other likely exits from the Stadium of Light would not aid that process. Fans have also been prepared, by the usual stream of speculation, leaks and hints, to accept that the most creative player in the Sunderland squad, the Benin midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, has played his last game for the club.

We have made the obligatory journey from empty assertions that he has settled well in the North East, loves the club and wants to remain, to the apparent certainty that he is heading east. Reports suggest either a short hop to Ligue 1 (Marseille, deadly dull last season despite finishing second, are in desperate need of playmaking flair) or a long-haul mercenary flight to China.

When the whispers first surfaced, an electronic acquaintance exclaimed on an e-mail loop to which I belong: “If it’s true, then he’s clearly just another greedy sod like Asamoah Gyan with no professional ambition.”

I beg to differ. Chinese football is hardly state of the art but how many of us feel so bound by emotion or honour to our current employers that we would turn down a fabulous offer to move? Sessegnon is 29 in any case. Would we have stood in the way of a Rolls-Royce engineer who, with not too many years left before retirement, found himself tempted by a lucrative contract to work on pre-respectability Skodas?

… PDC will find the wait for forgiveness a long one if he starts the new season without having added the midfield spark that will disappear with Sessegnon.

Lee Cattermole, another likely casualty of PDC’s desire to make the squad his own, offers spark of quite the wrong kind.

There is a good player buried somewhere inside him but the struggle to escape from a fragile shell, weakened by reckless indiscipline and constant injury, seems too great. Cattermole’s admirers argue that Sunderland invariably show better shape and substance when he is in the team, but it would be hard to shed tears over the sale of a player who spends more time suspended or on the physio’s bench.

Over to the Salut! Sunderland jury ….


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Monsieur Salut, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, by Matt
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5 thoughts on “Adieu Mignolet, now of Liverpool. Sess and Catts to follow him out of the door?”

  1. Neither Sessegnon or Clatter’emall has really shown anything like we expected for hoped. LC”s contribution has been hampered to a great extent by his complete lack of indiscipline, much of which is caused by his horrible first touch which causes him to see red mist first, lunge in second and see a red card third. He’s a very limited footballer Cattermole and still hasn’t found the net on a single occasion. Time for both to move on. As others have said, Sessegnon has a an enormous amount of talent but all too rarely have we seen him harness that to the benefit of the team. Time for both of them to move on.

  2. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Others could have been great but just could not be arsed. (I’m talking about you Sess)

  3. I echo your thoughts on Mignolet. I think he kept us in the PL last season. Having said that, I’m confident that Westwood is as good. I think, if anything’ he is a better technical goalkeeper than SM. [ IMO a superb shot-stopper ]
    I would not shed any tears on the departure of either Sessegnon or Cattermole. Sessegnon has immense natural ability, but in my opinion he is not a particuarly effective player. Makes threatening runs, but fails to spot a pass, almost inevitably either loses the ball, or gets brought down, and too often shoots from impossible positions. Cash in on him now.
    Cattermole is a very limited footballer. Can’t pass and dosen’t create. He breaks down play when he is fit, but he is indisciplined, and frankly a liability. I don’t see him fitting into PDCs plans.

  4. Consistency is king, and neither Sess or Catts have displayed enough of the correct kind.

    Sess is an undoubted talent and I would like to think we could have accommodated him at least at squad level but too often with him there was little or no end product. It may be that his team mates just didn’t offer the out and that in the right set up he could deliver consistently but now we may never know. Is he like Migs seeking pastures new, who Knows, but the persistent rumours about him being unsettled may well tell the tale. At 29 it may well be time just to cash in while his stock is still moderately high and like Migs if he is not committed to the cause then can we realistically build for the future with them still in the side.

    Catts may well just be a victim of PDC vision of a fast, fit and mobile team notwithstanding his discipline and fitness record.

    I suppose the fear is not the reinvestment of the money but rather that we have gaps in goal keeping quality and creativity. I think that Westwood is a well capable and ready made replacement for Migs, but a replacement for Sess who represented our only real creative midfielder, should he go, may well prove to be more difficult to replace. There are a raft of other midfielders at the club that should be out the door before him.

  5. Totally agree with those comments.

    I think Sessegnon is getting better each season and should be retained whereas Cattermole is unlikely to improve either in mentality or speed.

    However I do hope that PDC gives careful thought to who is to be club captain. JoS doesn’t cut the mustard as far as I am concerned.

    If recruitment is based not only on cost but character, there must be 2 or 3 potential captains amongst the new faces.

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