Sunderland have announced the departure of Dick Advocaat from his position of head coach with immediate effect. The Dutchman made his intentions known to the chairman and the club obliged, with assistant coach Zeljko Petrovic also departing the Stadium of Light.
Short "saddened" by Advocaat's departure
Advoccat made the decision to depart after just eight games because he "felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around - like we did last year". He thanked everyone and says he is "still on good terms" with everyone at the club. Chairman Ellis Short was "truly saddened" by the news but admitted he "respect[s] him for his honesty" and for doing "what he feels is right for the club".
The decision comes after Sunderland's two-all draw with West Ham United at the weekend. The Black Cats were two-nil up but Jermaine Lens' sending off and two quick goals from the Hammers meant that Advocaat was lucky to hang on for a draw. That draw did take them above eternal rivals, Newcastle United, albeit on goal difference. The two north-east sides remain the only teams in the Premier League without a win to their name.
Can the new man turn it around?
The 68-year-old was originally set to leave Sunderland after their dramatic run to survival late last season. However, he then u-turned and took charge of them again for this campaign but has been unable to get a similar reaction to what he managed last term. The Dutchman held the reins for just 19 games, winning only four times.
A trend is now emerging, with the Black Cats parting ways the manager who keeps them in the division in the months that follow. Paolo di Canio and Gus Poyet had already suffered the same fate before Advocaat today. As to who takes over, it is not yet clear with no obvious favourite emerging from the pack. Only time will tell if Saturday's result was a sign of things to come or if it was another false dawn for the Tyne-Wear side.