Valedicktion: Sixer coins a word, fearing ‘we’ll not see Advocaat’s like again’

Jake: 'back to the tulips, Dick'
Jake: ‘now can we have someone who will be here to stay, Ellis?’

Pete Sixsmith‘s report of the 2-2 draw with West Ham, and the dramatic aftermath, drew comments from both his brothers, Bishop-dwelling Michael (that doesn’t mean he lives inside a senior cleric) and exiled-in-Greece Phil. Will his farewell to Dick Advocaat produce another Sixer hat-trick?

Continuing our classical theme, we move from the Greek swansong (so ably deconstructed by Sixsmith Minor) to the Latin word “valediction”, which my trusty Chambers says is “a bidding farewell” (and which Sixer neatly offered as “valedicktion” when sending his article – Ed). There have been quite a few of those since Salut! Sunderland started up in the dim and distant past of the Roy Keane era.

Julius Caesar famously said (or probably didn’t) “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”).

Alas that does not apply to Dick Advocaat, who may say “I came, I saw, I quite liked it here, but why on earth did we bring in the likes of Kaboul, Borini and Matthews? Oh, well back to the tulip beds.”

There are very few Sunderland supporters who will have a bad word to say about the genial Dutchman.

One friend, someone a little bit ITK, texted yesterday morning to say that he was leaving with dignity and with the full respect of everyone, words which I think sum up the feelings of many of us.

This has been a very poor start to the season but it is clear that Advocaat knew that there needed to be a more positive style of play, which is why Lens, M’Vila and Toivonen were brought in and why Cattermole, Fletcher and O’Shea were left out.

We saw the benefits of the first three on Saturday. They were fleet of foot and quick of mind, exactly like the players you can see in the Bundesliga or La Liga on television. They play with skill and with energy which is exactly what the head coach wanted from them.

Now look at the British players he inherited. I thought he was wrong to prefer Kaboul to O’Shea and so did he as he re-instated the Irishman three games in.

But Cattermole and Fletcher epitomise all that is wrong with English football. Both are moderately talented players who seem to take little notice of managers and coaches and who continue to play the way that they want to.

Put Cattermole with a quality player like M’Vila and tell him what is expected of him, however, and you see an improvement. Cattermole would have seen M’Vila as a rival; Advocaat saw the two of them working together once the Teessider had stopped giving away needless penalties.

Fletcher turned in a very good performance on Saturday after being given a proper foil in Toivonen, allowing the Scot to play further up the field and not have to come back to search for the ball. It was probably his most effective display as a Sunderland player.

Now that Advocaat and Zeljko Petrovic have left, will these two slip back into their bad old ways, ways which have frustrated experienced managers like O’Neill and Advocaat, younger ones like Poyet and madmen like Di Canio?

Advocaat gave us a picture of what football was all about – movement, skill and the ability to do what you do properly. His ideas were well received by the crowd who had grown disillusioned with the keep ball played by Poyet , the stultifying boredom of the O’Neill era and the incompetence of Di Canio and de Fanti.

Advocaat’s departure leaves this writer feeling sad, angry and wondering where on earth we go to from here.

Sad that we did not have the full interim period to find the next manager/head coach; angry that, yet again, a club that Monsieur Salut, me and many thousands of others have devoted much of their lives to, is once again seen as a club that is going nowhere and is rapidly becoming a basket case.

And what of the future? It looks like we are going from a man who has won trophies, managed at international level and been at the top of the tree to a manager who has a reputation as one who “ensures you don’t get relegated” – and who may bring in Kevin Nolan.

Or it could be one who likens journalists to large flightless birds from Southern Africa or one who has done well at a properly run club and who may fancy a pitch at a bigger club but who may eventually baulk at the politics that seemingly go on under the surface at Sunderland.

If none of those, I am sure Jeremy Corbyn might inspire a few of the players to greater heights for the common good. Failing that, let’s bring in Boris.

Goodbye Dick. It was a pleasure to have a Head Coach with some vision. We may not see your like again.

Jake: 'sorry it didn't work out beyond the great escape'
Jake: ‘sorry it didn’t work out beyond the great escape’

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12 thoughts on “Valedicktion: Sixer coins a word, fearing ‘we’ll not see Advocaat’s like again’”

  1. I have heard that the box of frogs is getting closer, so prepare for the onslaught. Sorry to lose Dick, I guess at 67 you reserve the right not to have to suffer the stresses of watching a team plod around the field, although the tear in his eye after Lens’ goal indicates what might have been.
    Although I reside in Durham, I am currently in Camborne, Cornwall for the evening. 450 miles from home, but still anxious to hear the phone in at 5.30. The wonders of the internet!

  2. Paul, normally he would not be entitled to compensation unless he was sacked. He is a multi millionaire so there’ll be no tears shed.

  3. Thank you, Bill. I didn’t even mentioned his regular singling out in the public arena of individual players for criticism which will have hardly boosted squad morale during a difficult and tumultuous period.
    I haven’t heard one word of self criticism from this supposed managerial genius. Everyone’s fault but his it would seem?
    Sorry, just not buying it.
    Tom Lynn

  4. Sorry to spoil the Dicky love in. The fact is that he walked out when the going got tough, his naive tactical outlook resulting in a pathetic three points from twenty four on his departure. Dick bottled it. No question.
    He has since moaned to the British and Dutch press about several things but primarily about SAFC’s transfer record.
    If he was so principled why didn’t he walk out on August 31st at the end of the transfer window, citing broken promises.
    He was tactically naive and his expansive game plan proved disastrous as our goals against column and pathetic points total illustrates.
    Dick promised much and delivered little and worst of all left the club in an awful position. He’s one I wouldn’t want in the trenches with me if he gives up that easily.
    Tom Lynn

    • I think he just made a genuine mistake but he could have hung around untill he was pushed out with a hefty payment as compensation. He passed on that and I believe him when he admits to not being able to handle these players.His honesty and openness have been one of the few good points in this saga. I hope that the penny has really dropped by Short that the fundamentals are wrong when a coach of Advocaat’s stature and experience cannot work at Sunderland.

  5. Advocaat was right to leave,this club is like the Titanic,deeply flawed and heading to the bottom.The light in my heart for this team has slowly dimmed over the years,but now it is flickering in a strong wind,soon to go out and spread darkness and pestilence over the area.

  6. Ellis in Wonderland…
    Just when you think it can get no stranger… it seems that while Congerton wants to leave, he’s not only being made to work out his contract but also tasked with finding Advocaat’s replacement.
    ‘Arry Redknapp, meanwhile, is taking to the airwaves to deny a close friendship with Short and Advocaat is telling Dutch TV that he’d “become negative” and that “the struggle against relegation is not my cup of tea.”
    Not ours, either.

  7. Advocaat did an excellent job last season of keeping us up but we should have let him leave when he originally wanted to . This was always going to happen in my book ,when an experienced successfull manager who was untill a few months ago looking towards a long and deserved retirement encountered the reality of safc on the pitch and in the boardroom .We the fans know that the annual great escape is just that and the start of the season would be the same as it ever is . Honest, decent DA wasn’t prepared for this and quickly came to realise that he’s wasting his previous time . Thanks for everything and I wish you well .

  8. Get Sixer Minor to look up encomium but I like valedicktion.

    Moyes is my choice– Dick was supposed to leave at the end of the season so the club must have put plans together for who the successor would be. Congerton must have sounded people out.

    Or they don’t have any planning in place and we’ll get another knee jerk reaction and be lumbered with Big Sam.

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