Dick Advocaat’s Big U-Turn

Dick Advocaat has completed an amazing u-turn and is back in charge at Sunderland. Social media on Thursday was crowded with those delighted as the news broke of Dick Advocaat’s big U-turn. Later that day Sunderland confirmed that the Dutchman was returning to the club and had signed a one year deal.

Dick Advocaat’s Big U-Turn

A few days after the final day of the season, Dick Advocaat, after thinking long and hard, decided that his time in club football had come to an end. He stated that it has been a very difficult decision as Sunderland had became an important part of his life, he began to fall in love with the club but in the end he made a promise to his wife and would stick to that promise. His tears late on and after the Arsenal game were evidence that he had taken the club to heart, something that he never thought would happen. After all this was one last job, his last chance to work in the Premiership and to leave behind a success story in the process by keeping Sunderland in the Premier League. Ex Sunderland player and chairman Niall Quinn once said, “I learned my trade at Arsenal, became a footballer at Manchester City, but Sunderland got under my skin… I love Sunderland”. Maybe something similar has happened to Dick Advocaat. He commented, “Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career”

After signing today, Dick Advocatt had this to say, “After alot of discussions with Ellis (Short) and Lee (Congerton), they convinced me that I am the right man for the club. It was a great feeling being part of Sunderland in the last few months, the experience was very special and after speaking to Ellis, Lee and my family, we all agree it is the right decision.

So what now for Sunderland? They’ve finally got the man they and the fans originally wanted. What can we expect from Advocaat and Sunderland going forward?

Before finally deciding to leave he had already had talks with owner Elis Short with regards to transfers saying that the club needed more quality not quantity going forward, and his feeling was that the side needed five or six quality players brought in over the summer. Did he have players already in mind? Does he still? Time will tell, but at least he has the vast majority of the summer/pre season to sort the ins and outs at the club, something which could be vital going into the new season.

He favoured a 443 (451 when defending) formation at the end of last season which certainly worked but will he stick to this? Advocaat has used the 443/451 system many times at various clubs so knows its pro’s and cons. He has also been known to use the now old fashioned 442 system so he does have back up formations to call up that he knows well should he need to use them. If he does decide the 443/451 is the way forward then new players will be needed to make that system work in the long term. Surely the likes of Jermaine Defoe, no matter how well he did will not want to be stuck on the wing, tracking back every game.

His record at the end of last season with a struggling Sunderland side was good and enough to keep them in the Premier League. Three wins and three draws from nine games helped them on their way.

Advocaat has had many managerial positions over the years and at most of them he has a vey good win percentage. In over half of his managerial posts, he has managed a win percentage of over 50%, several were over 60%. He has also won many trophies including a UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup. He is therefore a man who knows and likes to win. Anything close to these achievements will see Sunderland fans at their happiest for many a year.

Sunderland now have an excellent chance of moving forward. Manager, owner, sporting director and fans all seem to be on the same page. At this stage things are looking on the up for Sunderland but at no point can Sunderland fans get too carried away as history dictates that things can turn sour quickly in the football world. Both Advocaat and Sunderland though have had a look at each other and like what they see. A bond, trust and a liking for each other has been developed and at the time of writing can only flourish. That’s the hope for Sunderland and their long suffering fans.