Lee Cattermole holds a reputation in England as something of a rough player, and goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon has admitted to the Chronicle that the image of the Englishman is accurate.
The 26-year-old midfielder is set to miss the Black Cats’ next two fixtures, having received his 10th booking of the season in the last fixture. He misses a vital relegation tie with Aston Villa, as well as a tough game with overachieving West Ham, and Cattermole’s suspension shows him living up to his reputation.
Known for his suspensions, for both yellow and red cards, Cattermole has spent a large portion of his professional career on the sidelines. The former England Under-21 international already has seven red cards in his professional Premier League career, meaning that he only needs one more to move onto joint first place in that table. Considering his young age, and his style of play, there is almost no doubt that he will lead the red card tally by the time of his retirement.
Despite his bad disciplinary record, Cattermole’s style of high-energy play is needed amongst his ailing teammates. The Englishman represents a brand of all-action football lost in the modern game, and Sunderland goalkeeper Pantilimon has explained the best qualities the midfielder brings to the team.
Speaking to the Chronicle, the Romanian stopper said: “Lee is a good player, a good lad and a good teammate.
“He is aggressive and he fights all the time for the team, and he has great spirit.
“He is a very important part of our team, but midfield players will pick up bans and we have to cope with that and make sure we can carry on.”
Sunderland will be hoping that this ongoing suspension is the last of the season, as Cattermole will likely be vital in the Black Cats retaining their Premier League status.