Wise Men Say: Just where do Sunderland go from here?

Lee Cattermole (left) and John O'Shea combine to thwart Anthony Martial
Lee Cattermole (left) and John O'Shea combine to thwart Anthony Martial
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Another game goes by and Sunderland find themselves suffering another defeat. No one can say it was a surprise, and shipping three goals in one game just feels normal now.

I’m not angry, I’m not even disappointed, I’m just bored of it.

Considering how poor our start has been, it is around now that the murmurs begin about perhaps changing the manager.

It’s not hard to see why.

The only thing to consistently bring Sunderland any measure of success in the last few seasons has been to sack the manager and trust that the dead cat bounce will be enough to stumble us over the line for another season.

It’s not as if Dick Advocaat has been blameless for our problems this season. Deciding to put his faith in the new centre-back pairing of Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates for the start of the season was an utter disaster.

While it’s laudable that he wants to set his side up in an attacking manner, the licence he has given the full-backs to bomb forward has left us shockingly exposed in defence.

Although Gus Poyet was criticised for his perceived negativity, at least we were mostly grinding out dull draws last season rather than just getting hammered by all and sundry.

There are question marks over recruitment too.

Considering our struggles at the back, letting the defensively sound Anthony Reveillere leave in order to keep Wes Brown, who is yet to play, seems an odd choice.

So I can definitely see why it’s becoming tempting for fans to think about printing out yet another P45. But, quite honestly, I’m not sure where that leaves us.

If Advocaat, one of the most experienced managers in football, cannot transform our luck then who do we think can?

With Advocaat and Martin O’Neill, we’ve tried the experienced manager approach, and seemingly failed miserably. With Poyet and Di Canio, we experimented with the fiery, passionate, up-and-coming manager.

Guess what? That didn’t work either.

Clearly there is a problem at Sunderland deeper than just the identity of the man in the hot seat. Di Canio, Poyet and Advocaat have all said as much.

The huge turnover in players over the last few years means it can’t all just be blamed on some shadowy cabal in the squad either.

So what is the problem? I don’t know. I don’t think anyone does.

I honestly have no clue what is the best path for the club now. While I’d love for him to turn things around, Advocaat has certainly made a lot of mistakes so far this season, and things don’t seem like they’re getting better.

Yet as much as I could see the logic behind it, I just can’t bring myself to back a “Dick Out” campaign.

Sure, it might solve our problems for the time being. But I’m tired of our only plan being to turn it on and off again when the Black Cats PC is on the fritz.

It turns out that being rubbish and losing every week becomes increasingly harder to take.

Maybe sacking Advocaat and bringing in Big Sam will turn our season around. But it’s hard to get too excited about that prospect when I’m sure it will all just happen again in a year or so.

The Wise Men Say podcast is available every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes.