Sunderland to suffer blow as Dutchman on the way out this summer

Sunderland are set to lose manager Dick Advocaat at the end of the season regardless of whether he keeps the club in the Premier League, according to the Sun.

Advocaat has turned things around at the Black Cats since joining in March and looks to have guided the team to safety, though they are not mathematically safe just yet.

They are three points above safety with one week to go, and have a game in hand over Hull and Newcastle as they travel away to Arsenal on Wednesday.

A point from that game will ensure Advocaat has kept the team in the top flight but he will not stay on as manager next season, despite initially looking set to pen a long-term deal.

Embed from Getty Images

He is reportedly under pressure from his wife to stick to his word and leave at the end of his short-term Sunderland contract, calling time on his 28-year managerial career.

The 67-year-old has picked up 11 points from a possible 21 at Sunderland, giving him a win percentage of 43% – a significantly better ratio than Gus Poyet’s 31%.

His departure will leave Sunderland chiefs looking for a new boss over the summer, with West Ham’s Sam Allardyce linked with taking over the reigns.

Has Dick Advocaat turned things around at Sunderland? Do they need him next season?


Alan Curbishley says manager job insecurity to blame for lack of youth development

Ex-Charlton and West Ham boss Alan Curbishley has said that instability at Premier League clubs and regular managerial changes is affecting the development of young English players.

Gus Poyet was the most recent manager to succumb to the pressure to succeed in such a short space of time and he was sacked by Sunderland after being in charge for just one year and five months.

Poyet’s name is just another added to the long list of Premier League manager’s that have barely stepped foot in the door before being given the boot or walking away from the club.

Short-term Premier League managerial posts since 2011

Short-term Premier League managerial posts since 2011

“You’re averaging a year in the Premier League for a manager at the moment and if you think that you’re only going to be in the job for a year, then your thinking has got to be short-term and it’s about survival and doing well,” said Alan Curbishley while speaking on The Morning View for Sky Sports News.

“There’s pressure on clubs to do well, so if there is a choice between playing a young player for the future of the club or bring in an experienced player, if your job’s on the line, you’re invariably going to go for the experienced player.”

Embed from Getty Images

Curbishley is currently coaching at Championship side Fulham and believes that unless manager’s are given the chance to be in the job for a significant period of time, they won’t be able to think about the club’s future.

“When you think long-term, that’s when you become more open to bringing in young players and developing them.

“That’s the problem at the moment, there’s only a couple of managers in the Premier League, and I’ll probably say Arsene Wenger’s one of them, who has been there for the long run, so he can afford to bring his young players through if he can.

Embed from Getty Images

“There’s managers that get into a job and think they’re only going to be around for a year or a little bit longer than that – they’re the ones who have got the problem.

“I think until we make it more stable for the manager, the manager’s only going to start thinking short-term, and that then is detrimental to the young players.”

Do Premier League manager’s need longer in the job in order to develop young players?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs Sunderland 

Venue: Upton Park – Saturday, March 21 – 17:30 GMT (13:30 ET)

Match Odds: West Ham 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Sunderland 7/2

Match Preview

West Ham play host to relegation strugglers Sunderland in the Saturday night Premier League clash in what is a huge game for both managers.

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is feeling the heat from the board and needs a result to stop a dire run of form, which sees West Ham without a win in eight in all competitions.

Newly appointed Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat takes the reigns for the first time after replacing Gus Poyet earlier this week and it’s important that Advocaat makes a good start to his tenure as Sunderland look to avoid the drop.

Embed from Getty Images

West Ham haven’t won a home game in the Premier League since January 18th in a 3-0 win against Hull. A home win is much needed and there is potentially no better time to play Sunderland after they dramatically lost 4-0 to Aston Villa last weekend.

However, it could also be the worst time to play them, as anything but a win on Saturday will leave people once again asking questions of ‘Big Sam’, and a great start to the season has seemingly been undone by recent results.

West Ham’s home record in the Premier League: P15, W7, D3, L5

Gus Poyet’s departure on Monday sees Dick Advocaat come into the save the Black Cats from relegation despite the fact that Sunderland aren’t in the relegation places at the moment, although they sit just one point above the drop zone.

Embed from Getty Images

The sacking of Poyet looked inevitable, even during the 4-0 loss last weekend to Aston Villa. But can Advocaat produce the results?

The main task Advocaat has is trying to motivate his squad to perform on Saturday, and the fact the game is live on Sky Sports will mean there is no room for embarrassment again.

Sunderland’s away record in the Premier League: P14, W2, D7, L5

The reverse fixture ended in 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light back in December, with goals coming from Jordi Gomez and Stewart Downing.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

West Ham’s Enner Valencia will be hoping to recover from a foot injury that forced him to miss the Arsenal game. James Tomkins, Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll are all unavailable, while Winston Reid faces a late fitness test. Carl Jenkinson is expected to come back into the side after being ineligible for the Arsenal game.

Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher isn’t expected to start after being forced off against Aston Villa but could feature. Adam Johnson has had his club suspension rescinded so is now available. Will Buckley is doubtful and Lee Cattermole will serve the last game of his suspension so he’s unavailable. Emanuele Giaccherini remains out with an ankle injury.

Key Points

West Ham’s last five in the Premier League: D/D/L/L/L

Sunderland’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/L/D/L

Key Stat: West Ham haven’t won at home to Sunderland in the Premier League since April 2010.

Key Player: Diafra Sakho – The Senegalese striker is due a goal after going three games without one. Expect him to end that on Saturday.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

West Ham 2-0 Sunderland – Although the new Sunderland manager comes in fresh with ideas, success will take time and the Black Cats won’t end their run of seven games without a win in all competitions.

Encouraging Dick Advocaat stat suggests Sunderland will be safe

Sunderland are in trouble. There is no doubt about that. The club sit just one point above the relegation zone and sacked Gus Poyet earlier this week, bringing in Dick Advocaat just one day later.

The Dutchman faces a tough task in trying to keep the Black Cats in the Premier League in what is his first job in English football.

Sunderland have won just four league games all season and are without a win in six following last weekend’s shock 4-0 defeat at home to fellow relegation strugglers Aston Villa.

Embed from Getty Images

Advocaat has plenty of experience as the 67-year-old has managed at eight different clubs from the Netherlands, Russia, Germany and a four-year spell with Scottish side Rangers from 1998-2002.

He has also enjoyed international coaching roles with six different nations and has managed his homeland on two separate occasions.

Don’t miss our latest podcast as we discuss Sunderland as well as MLS

Advocaat will become the oldest manager in the Premier League and will hope his wealth of experience can prove valuable.

He has an average win percentage of 54.5% through his coaching career so far and if he can transfer that record into the final stretch of Sunderland’s season, the Black Cats will more than likely be safe.

Projected Sunderland points tally based on Dick Advocaat's career win percentage

Projected Sunderland points tally based on Dick Advocaat’s career win percentage

It must be noted that this is simply a projection based on the previous successes Advocaat has enjoyed. A projected final tally of 40 points would surely be enough as no team has been relegated with a minimum of 40 points for the past 11 seasons since West Ham were with 42 points in the 2002/03 campaign.

The task of turning things around at Sunderland in the middle of a fierce relegation fight is a new challenge for the Dutchman but he will hope his experience can help to make an immediate impact.

Embed from Getty Images

A tough end to the season will see Advocaat and his new team travel to West Ham this weekend, while tough away trips to Arsenal, Stoke, Everton and finally Chelsea on the final day of the campaign also lie in wait.

To pick up the projected 14 points, Sunderland will need to win at least three of their last nine but it will likely need to be more unless they can draw their other six remaining matches.

Home games against rivals Newcastle, followed by Crystal Palace, Southampton and Leicester will all be seen as winnable by Advocaat and he must now turn all attentions to fixing things quickly before Saturday night’s trip to West Ham.

Podcast: David Villa, NYCFC, San Jose Earthquakes & Sunderland

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast Zack Walford talks to Louis East and Jamie Ives about the latest weekend of MLS action as we chat David Villa and New York City as well as the San Jose Earthquakes and their hopes for the season. We also discuss Sunderland after Gus Poyet was replaced by Dick Advocaat at the Stadium of light this week and the Black Cats’ chances of Premier League survival.

Gus Poyet sacked by Sunderland, Dick Advocaat favourite to take over

Sunderland have sacked head coach Gus Poyet after a run of just one league win in 12 with the club just one point above the relegation zone with nine games to play.

Sunderland’s 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa on Saturday was the final nail in the coffin for Poyet and that embarrassing loss stretched the team’s unbeaten run to six in the league.

“Sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season,” Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said in a club statement released today.

Embed from Getty Images

“We find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed.

“I would like to thank Gus for his endeavours during his time at the club, in particular last season’s ‘great escape’ and cup final appearance, which will live long in the memory of every Sunderland fan.”

Gus Poyet's record as Sunderland manager since being appointed in October 2013.

Gus Poyet’s record as Sunderland manager since being appointed in October 2013

Sunderland have won just four times in the Premier League this season and have drawn a total of 14 games this season, half of those by a 0-0 scoreline.

The club bought Jermain Defoe in January but the Black Cats have not improved enough in front of goal to steer clear of relegation troubles.

Only Aston Villa (19) have scored fewer goals than Sunderland (23) in the league this season and the Black Cats have registered the fewest number of shots in the top flight.

Dick Advocaat is the early favourite to replace Poyet at the Stadium of Light but whoever comes in will only have nine games to turn things around.

Embed from Getty Images

Sunderland travel to West Ham on Saturday and it is unclear if a new head coach will be in charge for the trip to London.

Current West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is also in the running for the job at Sunderland and he is the second-favourite at this point. Michael Laudrup, Harry Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle are three other names being linked.

Did Gus Poyet deserve to get sacked? Who will be Sunderland’s next head coach?

Podcast: Xavi, MLS surprise teams, Chelsea & Sunderland

In this week’s MLSGB podcast Zack Walford talks to Louis East about Xavi’s reported move to New York City FC, three MLS teams who could surprise people this year as well as a look at Chelsea and Sunderland‘s contrasting form in the Premier League.

Are Chelsea the best team in the Premier League? Will Sunderland avoid relegation? Let us know your thoughts below or get in touch on Twitter: @MLSGB_

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Hull City vs Sunderland

Venue: KC Stadium – Tuesday, March 3rd – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Hull City: 11/10 – Draw: 23/10 – Sunderland: 12/5

Match Preview

Hull City play host to Sunderland on Tuesday night as both sides look for a vital three points in what should be a close match. With both teams losing at the weekend, it will important that they try to avoid defeat here.

Steve Bruce has turned it around somewhat in recent weeks as prior to the loss at Stoke on Saturday, they had won two on the bounce – the first time Hull had registered back-to-back wins in the Premier League this season.

Much of the lack of success has been blamed on his formation choice. Adopting a 3-5-2 for this campaign has seen the side struggle. However, injuries have not helped Bruce’s squad and they must now focus on trying to steer clear of the relegation zone as they currently sit just four points above it in 15th.

Embed from Getty Images

Hull have to be confident coming into this fixture, however, as they look much more threatening than their opponents and won the reverse fixture 3-1 at the Stadium of Light back in December. The Tigers have received a boost going into the game as it is looking likely that Nikica Jelavic will be able to feature.

Hull City’s Premier League home record: Played 13 – Won 4 – Drawn 3 – Lost 6

Gus Poyet hasn’t had the best season in the hot seat and after Sunderland’s recent form, his side has been pulled into the relegation scrap. They are just three points above the drop zone in 16th but know a win at Hull would propel them above their opponents.

Embed from Getty Images

Sunderland have only won one of their last ten and have had an incredible seven 0-0 draws this term.

After the weekend’s match against Manchester United, Sunderland will be hoping for more time on the ball as they only managed 29% of possession on Saturday in that 2-0 loss.

Sunderland’s Premier League away record: Played 13 – Won 2 – Drawn 6 – Lost 5

They were unfortunate to lose Wes Brown to a dubious red card, and the ban has since been rescinded so the centre-back will be able to play on Tuesday night.

The Black Cats have the second-worst form in the Premier League at the moment but must ensure they pick up at least a point against Hull in what is a real six-pointer at the bottom end of the table.

Team News

Hull City: Robert Snodgrass (knee), Liam Rosenior (hamstring) and James Chester (shoulder) are all out. Mohamed Diame (knee) and Robbie Brady (calf) remain doubtful. Nikica Jelavic and Maynor Figueroa will face late fitness tests but should be available for selection. Dame N’Doye will expect to start after having to settle for a place on the bench at Stoke on Saturday.

Embed from Getty Images

Sunderland: Emanuele Giaccherini (ankle) is likely to miss the remainder of the season, while Billy Jones (ankle), Ricardo Alvarez (knock), Will Buckley (knee) and Jack Rodwell (calf) are all doubts for the game. Adam Johnson has been suspended by the club regarding issues away from football but Wes Brown will be available after his red card on Saturday was rescinded.

Key Points

Hull City’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/W/W/L

Sunderland’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/D/L

Key Stat: Hull City have won the last four meetings between the two sides in all competitions. The last time Sunderland beat Hull, Steve Bruce was in charge of the Black Cats.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Dame N’Doye – The Senegalese striker has scored on the two occasions he has started for Hull City since joining in January. They have won both of those games too. He’s the one to watch.

Score Prediction

Hull City 0-0 Sunderland – Neither side can afford to lose this one as they both are in search of survival in the Premier League. That means it will be a tight, closely contested affair with little to separate them. Sunderland are the draw specialists in the Premier League and could settle for an eighth goalless draw of the season.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs Sunderland

Venue: Old Trafford – Saturday, February 28th – 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester United 4/11 – Draw 18/5 – Sunderland 8/1

Match Preview

Manchester United and Sunderland face-off on Saturday afternoon in a match which could have huge implications on where each team finishes come the end of the Premier League season.

United are looking to get their top four push back on track whereas Sunderland are looking for a win to steer clear of the bottom three as they are just three points above the relegation zone.

The Red Devils are coming off a disappointing league defeat away at Swansea last time out and will be hoping for an immediate reaction, especially after Louis Van Gaal’s comments last week that Manchester United are the best team in England. Last week they were second best in South Wales and need to pick back up again.

Embed from Getty Images

Old Trafford is going to need to be rocking as Manchester United can’t afford anymore slip-ups in their quest for Champions League football with just four points separating third and seventh. United sit in fourth and need to make sure they remain in the top four for the remainder of the season if they are to get back into Europe’s elite competition.

Manchester United’s Premier League home record: Played 13 – Won 10 – Drawn 1 – Lost 2

Sunderland on the other hand are languishing in 16th at the wrong end of the table. The Black Cats are hoping to get a second win at Old Trafford in a row after last season’s 1-0 win which kept them in the Premier League as they confirmed their safety in their third to last game.

Sunderland’s Premier League away record: Played 12 – Won 2 –Drawn 6 – Lost 4

A 0-0 draw at home to West Brom last weekend wouldn’t of done the team any favours and that stalemate took their draw tally for the season to a staggering 13.

Embed from Getty Images

The reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light earlier this season saw both teams play out a 1-1 draw, with Jack Rodwell scoring after Juan Mata had given United the lead.

Team News

The bad news for United is that Robin Van Persie, who suffered an injury at Swansea last week, is not back until April. But Manchester United have terrific talent in the forward positions to come in with the likes of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney waiting in the wings. Michael Carrick will also miss out with a calf strain.

Embed from Getty Images

Gus Poyet doesn’t have too many injury concerns ahead of the trip to Manchester and can call on most his troops to try and surprise United and further inflict damage on their Champions League ambitions while increasing their own position in the Premier League. Emmanuel Giaccherini is expected to miss the rest of the campaign with an ankle injury while Jack Rodwell, Billy Jones and Will Buckley are all doubts for this weekend’s game.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/D/W/L

Sunderland’s last five in the Premier League: L/W/D/L/D

Key Stat: The last time the two teams played out a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford was in April 2006. Expect goals.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: David De Gea – The Spanish goalkeeper has made over 70 saves this season (more than any other ‘keeper in the top six) and will be expecting to add to his seven clean-sheets in Saturday’s game at Old Trafford.

Score Prediction

Manchester United 3-0 Sunderland – United to bounce back to winning ways with a comfortable victory in front of their own fans. Sunderland have not been good lately and will not be able to escape the dangers of relegation this week.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle United vs. Sunderland

Sunday’s afternoon kickoff sees the return of the Tyne-Wear derby as St. James’ Park will see Newcastle plays host to an out of form Sunderland side.

Alan Pardew’s Magpies will be the favourites heading into this one, as they lay eighth in the table, seven places higher and seven points better off than the fifteenth-placed Black Cats.

This is a fixture which usually brings high drama, and this one looks set to be another classic installment despite the fact that this is hardly the best teams these two clubs have fielded in the Premier League era.

The Magpies come into the tie with a resurgence of form having won their last four at home, including the victory which ended Chelsea’s hopes of an unbeaten season two weeks ago.

Embed from Getty Images

They have however, had less success against their rivals recently, having not beaten Sunderland since August 2011.

However, Gus Poyet’s men are without a win in their last six Premier League games, though they have drawn five of them.

Sunderland interestingly, has a total of ten draws this term, having only played sixteen times so far. So their form isn’t terrible but they need to start turning draws into wins and Sunday would be a perfect time to do so.

They have won the last three Tyne-Wear derby games, and so Gus Poyet has reason for optimism heading into this one.

Embed from Getty Images

You’d be a brave man to predict this one, but whatever the result, we’re sure this will be an entertaining Christmas treat for all who watch.

Score Prediction: Newcastle United 1 – 1 Sunderland

Key Player: Ayoze Perez – whether Pardew decides to play him up top or plays him wide left of a front three, Perez will work tirelessly for the team. And he’s been known to score vital goals so far this year.