On March 21, Lee Barry Cattermole will be 24. Hardly a milestone, it is nevertheless an age at which a footballer might be expected to have acquired some degree of self-discipline.
Before yesterday’s ill-tempered affair at the SDA/SJP, Martin O’Neill praised the work Cattermole had done since he took over as manager
And it is true that Catts has seemed at times a man who has learned from past folly.
Then, with a game vitally important to supporters of SAFC barely started, he scythes down Cheick Ismaël Tioté, another street fighter of a player, and is lucky to stay on the field. For now, we can forget Tioté’s unappealing ways and embarrassing theatrics since they revert to being Newcastle’s problem, of no interest to us, until the next derby. Let us concentrate on Catts.
In fairness, he calmed down to play well for the rest of the game. That was an awful long time to keep his nose clean.
But as the teams walked off at the end, he launched into a discussion with Mike Dean, mostly excellent on the day as referee, that the official considered foul-mouthed or abusive enough to warrant a straight red. So a man paid handsomely to play football, and honoured with the captaincy of a great club, is yet again unavailable for work.
O’Neill appears to believe he can get the best out of Cattermole and somehow inspire him to develop the discipline with which he could become a consistently good Premier League midfielder. I’d love him to be right but am less sure. What do others think? I will set the ball rolling with a sprinkling of views from the Blackcats list and here:
What on earth was Cattermole doing at the end? Haranguing the ref is never going to change anything after the game. Oh yes it does – when the ref gives him a red card. What an a*******!
Well not only that George; what on earth was he doing in the first 30 seconds. He seems hell bent on remaining a liability. The lad is as thick as s***. He has to go for me. To do what he did in the first
seconds of a derby match is too stupid for words.
I’ve changed my mind completely about him and I’d stick with him, he’s 23 and still capable of responding to MoN and becoming more professional. On recent form he’d have a good chance of captainng the Olympic side, if he qualifies as an U23.
It is just possible. But while we wait for O’Neill to drum sense into him, the captaincy ought to go. I’d say to O’Shea but we risk becoming laughing stocks of football keeping faith with Catts to that extent.
He won’t take the captaincy off him at this point of the season. That’s a vote of no confidence in him which is as good as a transfer listing of the skipper. JoS will no doubt be skipper in his absence though. Whilst MoN may not think he’s captain material, I think he’ll look closer at it in the summer.
Do we not think MON might have told Catts to make that tackle so early in the game? Just to send out a message and take a bullet for the team. He didn’t put a foot wrong after that, until after the final whistle that is. It just seems odd that he’s so controlled throughout the rest of the game. That takes huge discipline that many doubt he has. It’s a theory, at least.
Pete Sixsmith (in his Soapbox match report, now live) …
Cattermole displayed all the diplomatic skills of Idi Amin having a bad hair day when discussing the game and the key decisions with Mike Dean and was given a straight red card for his troubles. Stupid, foolish and once again, his excellent display in midfield is sullied by less praiseworthy antics.
… he leaves his own fans frustrated by his yellow and red cards, but that is a part of his game. Up and down the country I hear opposition fans complaining and saying he is a disgrace, a thug and should be put out of the game. In all the years I have watched football those sentiments are a sure sign that we have a more than useful footballer. Most teams in their time have had a player that everyone else hates – long may those players exist.
Okay Here comes mister unpopular…
I’m a bit of a Cattermole fan and O’m very happy he’s our captain! … Under Brucie it was getting to the point where i would’ve happily seen him shipped off to the UAE Pro-League … but under MON I’ve been converted. His talent is there for all to witness, his effort is sometimes monumental – reminds me of Gerrard in his finer days, under MON he has shown far greater restraint and intelligence. and someone pointed out earlier, he never seems to make a fuss about a challenge, you wouldn’t see him on the floor like Tiote today … It’s also a tough physical and mental sport. And I will always prefer an honest tactic (draw first blood) than a dishonest one (Tiote’s trauma from little Sess’s chest thump)
M Salut is now heading to France, slowly with stops on the way south, but looks forward to seeing the views of others here …