Could Fresh Start For Cattermole Signal Sunderland Revival?

Lee CattermolePaolo Di Canio has admitted that former club captain Lee Cattermole will return to first-team duty after the pair held talks in the past week.

Cattermole had been frozen out by the Italian since taking over in the spring but it now seems as though the ex-Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough midfielder could once again play a pivotal role for the Black Cats.

Cattermole remains a divisive figures among supporters, football reporters and pundits alike. On the one hand, the Teessider is capable of heroic, battling and inspirational performances where he personifies what the captain of a Premier League side should be.

On the other, his disciplinary record is abysmal, summer signing Cabral managed to notch more goals than him in his first pre-season encounter than he has recorded in his entire SAFC career and he has made fewer than 100 appearances in more than four seasons at the Stadium of Light.

However, anyone who witnessed Di Canio’s team get overrun by Arsenal’s supreme quality trio of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil on Saturday will know that the Wearsiders need some toughness in the middle of the park.

The aforementioned Cabral has found himself “fourth choice” for the two central midfield births after not even two full games in a red-and-white shirt, and with Seb Larsson and David Vaughan being well under par in Sunderland’s horrific 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace at the end of last month, there couldn’t be a better time for Cattermole to return to the side than for this weekend’s trip to West Brom.

Season-long loan signing Ki had an impressive first outing for Di Canio’s side, displaying a range of neat passing which will surely have a great effect against teams of a lower pedigree than Champions League challengers Arsenal.

Sunderland sit bottom of the division with just a solitary point following their first four games, with tough fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United on the horizon.

But there were signs that many of the 14 summer signings are beginning to integrate in a 20-minute spell against the Gunners last Saturday, where Jozy Altidore was at his bustling best, Charis Mavrias and Adam Johnson caused menace from the flanks and Craig Gardner got amongst the opposition’s midfield.

The Black Cats need to keep that up, extend the time they have on top in each match, and points will surely follow.

West Brom v Sunderland kicks off at 3pm on Saturday.

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