Taylor Made: a reply to Advochaat after Norwich debacle

Jake and Bill
Jake and Bill

You’ve seen Dick’s rather lame Advochaat. Here’s a reply from Bill Taylor. It’s tough love without the love and there’ll be readers who agree and those who don’t …

Dear Mr Advocaat,

We’ve never met and probably never will so I’m not going to call you Dick, as if we were friends. But I sat close enough at the Toronto-Sunderland match to shoot some pictures of you. You didn’t look happy, even though the Black Cats won. I think you were already seeing the writing on the wall.

In reply to your post-Norwich words – or whoever pens them in your name – on this blog, one comment said simply: “Advocraap.”

So it begins.

You already know the calibre of Sunderland’s fans – hugely enthusiastic, unswervingly loyal, massively supportive of their team through thick and thin. There are clubs at the top end of the Premiership that would kill to have such a hard-core following.

You obviously felt their love and longing for a sustained relationship at the end of last season because, in spite of your wife’s wishes, you came back for more. The club shovelled a chunk of money your way but we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your decision came from the heart and not the wallet.

Doubts… you must be having a few of those yourself now. Enough to be scouring your contract for a get-out clause?

Because you’re learning something else about Mackems: They’ll back you to the hilt as long as you’re putting your heart and soul into the team, win or lose. But as soon as they start to feel that they and the players aren’t getting 100 per cent from you, they won’t hide their anger, frustration and disgust.

It happened with Steve Bruce, Martin O’Neill, Paolo di Canio and Gus Poyet. And now I can see it happening to you.

For the record, I’ve never thought you were the right man for the job. Yes, you kept us in the Premier last season and all credit to you. But that’s a bit of an artificial situation. There could have been half a dozen people who brought enough new-manager bounce to the SoL to pull it off.

Jake: ‘hasn’t everybody who watches the reserves been talking up this lad for ages? Why the f*** do we wait to be 3 nil down to give him a chance?’

I was sorry when you did an about-face halfway home to the Netherlands. I was not one of the fans who contributed to those flowers for your wife.

I’d much rather have seen us make a completely fresh managerial start with someone younger, more energetic, more committed. Someone out to make a name for himself.

That’s not you, not any more. I think you’ve run out of steam.

You’ve kept coming up with reasons for the team’s lacklustre (to put it mildly) performances. Tired, under-trained (or was it over-trained), not used to the heat.

The excuses seem to have petered out. Now it’s just “really disappointing” and you and the lads are going to “sit down together and speak to find out what the problem is”.

Are you really that clueless?

I know this isn’t the best team in the world, not the most highly skilled. There’s some deadwood. There’s not enough of a work ethic among some of the players.

That shouldn’t be a surprise to you.

And, be that as it may, they were good enough last season, under your direction, to fight clear of the relegation zone.

Yes, we need some new blood. Yes, Ellis Short needs to spend some money. But for the moment let’s work with what we’ve got. With a few exceptions, it’s the same squad with the same talent, the same abilities and the same potential as last season.

So what’s changed?

Is it you? Have the ideas, inspiration and energy simply dried up?

Why haven’t you been able to maintain the side at least at the level it had reached? You had plenty of time to get them back into shape after their summer off. Other clubs did it. Why not ours?

We’ve played two games so far against teams we should have been reasonably confident about beating. We didn’t just lose to them, we were hammered.

And you? You’re disappointed.

What are you going to be when we meet the likes of Manchester (either of them), Arsenal and Chelsea? Or even Swansea this weekend?

With all due respect, Mr Advocaat, I think that as well as sitting down to talk things over with the players, you should be taking a long, hard look in the mirror. And being honest with yourself about what you see there. I don’t think you’ve been or are being honest with the best fans in the country.

That’s unforgivable.

32 thoughts on “Taylor Made: a reply to Advochaat after Norwich debacle”

  1. This rant comes over as an unpleasant personal attack with no attempt to back it up with a few facts or reasoned arguments.
    “For the record, I’ve never thought you were the right man for the job.”
    “There could have been half a dozen people who brought enough new-manager bounce to the SoL to pull it off.”
    Name one at least.
    “I’d much rather have seen us make a completely fresh managerial start with someone younger, more energetic, more committed. Someone out to make a name for himself.”
    Oh come on, again no names, and you’re conveniently forgetting that we’d just been through Di Canio and Poyet who would fit your requirements to a T. After Poyet’s departure there was a general consensus that the club needed a steady experienced hand to get us out of the mess we were in.
    Sorry, but sitting close enough to take photos at a pre season game just doesn’t seem a good basis for character assassination.

    • Reasons? Age; clearly at the end of his career and looking forward to putting his feet up; concomitant lack of energy.
      Who else could have kept Sunderland up? Well, hey, even Di Canio pulled the side out of the doldrums for a while.
      Okay, so you want a steady experienced hand? Experienced, that is, in the Premiership? Sam Allardyce is out there. I tend to agree with our Rabelaisian Teesside friend Smoggie – we should have gone after Tony Pulis when he was available.

      • I’m off out to get a dictionary, see if Ive been insulted lol I can usually tell when you lots being cheeky

  2. Looking, as coldly and clinically as is possible, at the situation that may be developing, the next couple of weeks could be fascinating… as well as extremely worrying.
    If Short really has suddenly yanked the purse strings tight, what could that mean? That he’s content to see us flounder through the season and end it as Championship fodder? What reason could he possibly have? Reducing the wage bill? Surely not. God knows, he’s not a poor man.
    By refusing to spend any more money, could he – for whatever abstruse reason of his own – actually be trying to force Advocaat out? Because if there are no more new signings (with the possibility of our also losing Defoe), I can’t imagine him seeing out his contract.
    Which would mean yet another new manager. Who might it be and what – if anything – might he achieve?
    As I say, fascinating stuff. I just wish it were happening at some other club.

  3. I disagree with Bill on this point but wholeheartedly agree with much else of what he says. This forum is for debate and the personal slights are well out of order.

    It’s nobody’s call to tell somebody to leave and go post elsewhere when there’s a disagreement about stuff that is important to each and every one of us. Unity is strength, brothers.

    Having said all of that I’ve never felt as disenchanted with the club as I do now. The only thing that’s good about our club is the fans. Let’s not start buggering that up on here. If you want a slagging match there’s plenty of opportunity at RTG. We really don’t need it here.

  4. Is there news anywhere of Advocaat’s meeting yesterday with the team? I’d to love know more but I can’t find anything. What I have found are rumours that the transfer window has already been slammed shut for us with no money at all being made available.

    • Your recollection of what you said, about SAFC and your recollection about why you stopped posting may be points worth thinking about.

      Nobody wishes to remember things that can reflect upon themselves unfavourably, but that doesn’t mean they can be erased from history!

      • Phil and Bill

        I have no intention of getting involved in a squabble as to why Bill stopped posting but can confirm he returned with the encouragement of Jeremy Robson, Malcolm Dawson (both in comments on these pages) and me. He’s entitled to his harsh view of DA and Phil is entitled to feel, as Jeremy and others also do,that he’s wrong. We don’t have to agree with one another on detail to share common purpose.

  5. See, Jeremy, I told you my coming back would not be greeted with universally open arms! Might have known whose the first dissenting voice would be…

    For the record, Phil, I never ever said I was disenchanted with SAFC but rather with some of the denizens of this blog, naming no names. Nor was returning here my idea. I was urged to by others.

    So, no, you do not recall correctly. I have no love of hockey (the “ice” is taken for granted in North America; we call the other variety of the game “field hockey”) though the Toronto Maple Leafs do have a couple of things in common with Sunderland – an inability to rise from the lower rankings of the National Hockey League and, in spite of that, a large and fiercely partisan fan base.

    Colin, I’m working on the latest NANNY installment…

    • I have no desire or intention for this to degenerate into a squabble.

      However, it appears that your intention is to make it personal so I must ask that you substantiate your memories/allegations.

      Given (as we both know) you be unable to do either why not just retire from whence you came, after (yet again) taking umbrage and then “fluffing off in a huff”, because someone (politely) said they did not agree with you?

  6. Should, clearly,have read “no longer cared”, not “longer cared”.

    MS – When will we get an edit button?

  7. It comes as no surprise that this vilification of DA came from an exiled writer who claimed that he longer cared about SAFC, about 2 or 3 years ago, but seems to believe his views still have credence!

    Leopards can not change their spots, as this latest attack just reinforces!

    Much better, I think, that he refrains from further comments on SAFC and limits himself to his latest love – ice hockey iirc!

  8. This is what he had to say in the Echo. He isn’t disguising his words here and isn’t saying anything he wasn’t saying at the end of last season.

    “Last season, Leicester finished the season with eight wins, one draw and one defeat from the last 10 games,” said Advocaat.

    “We couldn’t do that. We are starting from a lower level.

    “And everyone, including the owner, has to understand that.

    “If we have a good team, you only have to buy one or two good players.

    “And that’s the biggest problem.”

    I wonder if Ellis Short went for a curry down the sea front last night.

  9. Really, really harsh assessment of a man who’s come here to do his best and has acted in the most dignified way possible. Charming, fair, intelligent, honest and undeserving of the comments Bill makes. To me, he’s being badly let down by those behind him, Congerton, Byrne and of course, Ellis Short. When even the consistently supine Sunderland Echo begins to question the lack of player investment, you know things have reached a new kind of low. I too had mixed feelings about Dick’s short term reappointment and would have preferred the club to have made an ambitious, bold move but, as I say, I think this attack is uncalled for…….Big Sam for blackberry week it is then.

    • Dignified, charming, fair, intelligent… and ineffective. I may be harsh in my assessment (and, believe me, I’d like nothing better than to be proved wrong) but that’s how I see Advocaat. The wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  10. Extremely harsh; unfair in fact. Blame is being pointed to the wrong man. Nobody could turn this shower of shite into a team. The money that should have been spent in the summer will not be spent. If we manage to bring in anybody before the window closes it will be players of poor character and poor quality, How do I know that? It’s simple. It’s what always happens.

    I’ve got about 46 years in and I’m more or less done with hoping against hope. I was going to use he oft coined phrase of ‘false dawn,’ but we don’t even have one of those. Total and utter bloody crap.

  11. Given “FGB”, Martin O’Neill, Paolo Di Canio, and Gus Poyet I knew it was only a matter of time before the fans turned on Dick as well. But never in my wildest thoughts did I imagine it would be 2 games into the season.

  12. Did anyone notice how MOTD skipped over Duncan Watmore’s brilliant debut??? WTF – it’s like they want to pour water on a drowning man. They only showed his goal because they couldn’t get away with skipping it.

    There are still reasons to be hopeful about the season ahead. Once they get started that is…

  13. Bit harsh I think. You have to wonder why Cattermole has been so poor – he’s leadership material but he hasn’t been at the races at all. Can you blame his performances on the manager? Or anyone elses for that matter?? Maybe some of the team are unhappy about leaving their captain out? I’m guessing there’s more to his exclusion than meets the eye.

  14. Bringing Bert van Lingen may steady the ship, and that will be a good place to start. Don’t wait too long we are in crisis and we have conceded 7 with the greatest respect to clubs who will be battling relegation. Poor and frightening.

  15. Just curious what people think – we had Martin O’Neill arrive as a saviour, no-one doubted his credentials as a manager. However, as we know it didn’t work for MO’N. Then Dick arrives with a similar, if not better management pedigree than MO’N and all is fine – or was fine last season. The point I would like to make is that now Dick no longer has his ‘right hand man’ Bert van Lingen to turn to is he struggling? Just as I believe MO’N without his right hand man’ of some years John Robertson also struggled so much and might I add they both have that ‘jaded’ look about them. –
    See more at: https://safc.blog/2015/08/sometimes-as-against-norwich-city-fc-even-a-word-is-just-too-much/#comment-83120

    • Last week talking to Leicester fans before the game I asked them if they would rather O.Neill had gone back instead of Ranieri. I told them how disappointed we ultimately were with him after a decent start. Their telling comments were “but John Robertson never went with him.”

    • Extactly what I said yesterday. U never know what u have got
      ’till it’s gone. It’s the first time in his managerial career that he has been without his number 2 and I think he is missing his support. Jean stid

  16. “You already know the calibre of Sunderland’s fans – hugely enthusiastic, unswervingly loyal, massively supportive of their team through thick and thin”

    Were you there yesterday? Apparently not.

    • Bill lives in Canada Flicky so no he wasn’t there. Those of us who were could see and hear the mounting discontent but in support of Bill’s point there were best part of 40,000 of us there at kick off and however bad the team is, whatever the size of the mess the club is in Sunderland fans will always be Sunderland fans.

    • We won seven games last season, four of those at home. The previous season we won ten games, five of those were at home. The one before that we won nine games all season, only five of them were at home. We’ve only won fourteen, that’s FOURTEEN home league games out of the last FIFTY SEVEN! And we had over 41,000 there yesterday! There aren’t many clubs in the world that would have that kind of gate after that home record, and that’s only the last three seasons, we have under-achieved for at least seventy years! Give the likes of Chelsea three mid-table finishes and they would be down to 15,000.

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