Despite walking away from Sunderland in May after signing a short-term deal for the final few months of the Premier League season, legendary Dutch manager Dick Advocaat is heading back to the Stadium of Light.
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Advocaat, 67, joined the Black Cats in March after Gus Poyet was fired with Sunderland’s position in the league table looking perilous. With his fancy cream scarfs and passionate displays on the touchline, Advocaat won the hearts of the fans instantly and steered the north east club away from relegation with three wins and three draws from his nine games in charge.
Sunderland offered the Dutchman a new deal at the end of the season when their safety was secured but after initially declining that contract Advocaat has performed a U-turn and has decided to stay on after talks with Black Cats chairman Ellis Short and sporting director Lee Congerton.
“After a lot of discussions with Ellis [Short] and Lee [Congerton], they convinced me that I am the right man for the club,” Advocaat said. “It was a great feeling to be part of Sunderland in the last few months, the experience was something very special and after talking with Lee, Ellis and of course my family, we all agree it is the right decision.”
Advocaat made Sunderland into a tough team to break down as they conceded just 10 goals in nine outings and recorded four clean sheets. His main mission will be to improve the offense as Sunderland scored just 31 times last season, the second lowest total in the league.
That said, the former head coach of the Dutch national team will now look to kick on the Mackems and not only survive in the PL next season but aim for a top 10 finish.
The fact that Advocaat has only signed a one-year deal is a little surprising but given his age and generally reluctance to remain at Sunderland in the first place, is seems like the Black Cats could do a lot worse than keep on the guy who saved them from relegation.
He may not be the long-term solution, but for now Advocaat and Sunderland seem like a match made in heaven.