Cattermole could be stripped of captaincy

Steve Bruce has put Lee Cattermole’s future as Sunderland captain in doubt after criticising the midfielder for receiving his second red card of the season.

Cattermole was sent off after only 21 minutes in his team’s 1-1 draw away to Wigan Athletic at the weekend, just weeks after being sent off in Sunderland’s opening game of the season against Birmingham City – also in the first half.

Bruce was furious with his skipper for accruing two yellow cards in the space of 20 minutes against Wigan and has now admitted that he will reconsider Cattermole’s position as captain.

“I made a big decision in the summer to give him the captaincy and I’ll review it in the next week or so,” said Bruce after Sunderland’s 1-1 draw.

“The responsibility may be too much. I’ll have that conversation with him and think about it.’

Cattermole was named club captain by Bruce after the departure of previous skipper Loik Cana in the summer, and it is fair to say the 22-year-old does not seem to have adapted to the new role too well thus far.

The former Middlesbrough player only lasted 43 minutes in Sunderland’s first game before receiving his marching orders for a reckless challenge on Lee Bowyer, his second booking of that game.

And again Cattermole could not even last the first half against his former club, earning himself a red card for two bookable offences within four minutes of each other.

Bruce has now changed his tune having claimed referees “victimised” Cattermole after his red card against Birmingham, and is weighing up whether the responsibility of the Black Cats’ captaincy is simply too much for Cattermole.

“Lee needs to learn,” commented Bruce. “That is twice he’s been sent off in the first half this season. The way he is going he’ll see half his career wasted with suspensions.”

Cattermole must now serve another suspension, and receives an additional one-match ban for a second red card of the season.

He will miss Sunderland’s games against Arsenal and the Carling Cup tie against West Ham United.

By Jonathan Fadugba

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