“We are not a real physical team,” the Dutch veteran said. "If you compare us with the other teams, that’s a big difference. In the Premier League, you need physical players as well.”
Considering the lack of talent in Sunderland’s squad, it would be expected that they would focus upon their physicality to win games, as in the style of Pulis-era Stoke, but Advocaat’s revelation is a damning indictment on the team he has inherited.
They cannot win games through sheer talent, and without the physical aspect of the game to their advantage, they have little chance defeating many opponents.
Although Lee Cattermole, Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher are fairly physical characters, and have interestingly been some of the Black Cats best players this term, the likes of Seb Larsson, Jordi Gomez and Jack Rodwell have no real strength to them - and it shows in the midfield.
Even more damning of the Sunderland squad is the almost comically poor defensive solidity that has been shown this term, with ageing defenders past their best trying to cope with the attacking talents on show in the Premier League.
An occasional good performance has done little to cover up a season of mistakes by the likes of Wes Brown and John O’Shea, and the former United pair are starting to show their age this term.
It is clear that Sunderland have a squad not fit for the Premier League, and it will take a miracle if they remain in the top flight. Fortunately for them, there may just be three worse teams in the division than them - including, on current form, local rivals Newcastle.