Well, the inevitable has happened.
Apparently Dick was back in Holland by 10 o’clock on Saturday night, probably enjoying a space cake and thinking, “thank God for that”. Only six and a half hours prior, his Sunderland team were looking, in my opinion, the best they had done all season and were sitting on a comfortable two goal cushion. Then, you know, Sunderland did what Sunderland dee.
It’s only came to light on Monday afternoon, following an interview with Dutch TV, that Dick had, in fact, made his decision to leave earlier in the week and the club had asked him to take the reigns for one last match before he waved his white flag. That was canny of him wasn’t it?
When the rumours started spreading heavily on Saturday morning that Dick was going to leave the club, I was genuinely gutted and hoped it was all nonsense because, let’s face it, me along with probably 80% of our fanbase love the bloke. I even proceeded to lose my BBC Radio Newcastle virginity after the game, and went on to speak highly of our performance to the legend that is Gary Bennett. I reiterated the point that I hoped to see Dick stay on as manager, to which Gary agreed. Top lad.
It’s been established through reading Dick’s interview on Monday that he felt let down by the club in the summer, in terms of player recruitment. As a result of this, he felt that his squad just wasn’t good enough and he was losing confidence in his ability to succeed as a result. He left because he wanted someone else to have a crack and, in his opinion, now was the best time for that to happen. Fair play. But this does suggest that he was obviously promised a lot more more than he ended up getting and this breach of trust between him and the club hierarchy ultimately hurt him in a big way.
Can we really blame him for leaving?
Imagine asking your mam to get you a pack of Doritos from the shops, only for her to return with a pack of Space Raiders? Nicolas Lombaerts being the Doritos of course, and Sebastian Coates being the Space Raiders. I’d be wounded as well.
Personally, I don’t hold any kind of negative emotion towards Dick Advocaat whatsoever. He’s a top class manager and a top class man, and I definitely think that he would’ve done a good enough job at SAFC had he stayed on until the end of the season. But at the end of the day, does he really need the headache associated with the mess that is SAFC at his age? The fact that he has also waived any money that he is owed by the club in his contract just shows the class of the man himself. Best of luck in the future Dick, thanks for the great memories!
It’ll be interesting to see what road we go down next in terms of our new manager. Will it be someone new and fresh like Patrick Vieira? Or will it be a more experienced figure like Sam Allardyce? I’d personally love to see David Moyes at SAFC and would want the club would do everything in their power to make it happen, if there was even the smallest of chances of it coming off. However, with early reports firing names around like Dyche and Pearson, I fear that the person who comes in isn’t going to someone we’ll all have the red carpet out waiting for in excitement.
Join us at Port of Call in Sunderland on Wednesday 14th October for a live show in order to raise funds for Pop Recs Ltd. We’ll be joined by former SAFC men David Preece and Michael Proctor, as well as ALS editor in chief Martyn McFadden. Tickets just £4. Raffle. All proceeds go to Pop Recs Ltd. 7pm start. You can buy tickets here. Feel free to share the event on Facebook, you’ll find it here. You can find Pop Recs Ltd Kickstarter page here.