So, once again we're left picking up the pieces. All is not rosy in the garden of Wearside following Dick Advocaat's departure which was confirmed yesterday. Metaphorically speaking, something resembling an unwanted plant has long been growing around the Stadium of Light pitch. It's a vine of negativity, which seems to have wrapped itself so tightly around the club it's become like knotweed. Can anyone cut through it? Speaking on Dutch television about his departure Advocaat had this to say:
"The struggle against relegation is not my cup of tea. I think it was time for someone else to take over at Sunderland. I became negative, and that didn't feel like myself. Our squad was simply not good enough. The club knew that we had to strengthen, but the chairman never told me how much we could spend."
This is the challenge that awaits the next person to be appointed. This is the size of the task and it cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately with each departing coach/manager the job becomes less and less desirable. We aren't in the luxurious position of being able to pick and choose from the top echelons of talent. It's not about making a tweak here or there, pruning the odd player from the squad - it's potentially another root and branch review. Again.
The available candidates will no doubt differ greatly from the list of those obtainable and willing to come. This has of course always been the case but this time around it feels different. This time it feels like we aren't able to neither spin the situation in our favour nor even attract names that would have been interested a year ago.
One, two or even three managers failing at the job could be chalked up to just simply being not up to scratch or perhaps even ‘right man, wrong time'. We've gone so far beyond that now. Six managers in six years is not a fact that can be dressed up and it will be a truth that escapes no-one including, importantly, those applying for the role.
Sean Dyche and Harry Redknapp are two of the names recently linked to the vacancy. Their mere mention has met with hostile objections from supporters and I can see why. It's difficult to get enthused about those two individuals if we're honest, but the stark reality is, if you flip the position around, it's likely to be even more difficult for both of them to get enthused about the vacancy at Sunderland. This is where we are now. This is what our club has become.
Bluntly, without wishing to sound overly pessimistic we should ready ourselves for the prospect of looking for our next coach/manager in the tier below that which we've become recently accustomed.
It's hoped the next man will be appointed by the time the Black Cats face West Brom next weekend which may help avoid galvanising the already rampant media circus that surrounds us presently. However, unfortunately names somehow now feel an irrelevance.