How predictable, Sunderland have confirmed that Dick Advocaat has left the club only 21 days before the derby game against Newcastle.

In two weeks time the mackems play West Brom away before hosting Newcastle United.

Rumours had spread before Sunderland’s game with West Ham that Dick Advocaat would leave regardless of the result.

Despite a half decent 2-2 draw and improved display against West Ham, reports last night claimed Advocaat had said goodbye to his players and had already flown back to Holland.

Sunday afternoon has seen Sunderland confirm their manager’s departure, leaving them just enough time to follow their derby tradition and bring a new man in just before they play Newcastle.

Dick Advocaat arrived at Sunderland last March and just over two weeks later he oversaw a defeat of Newcastle in his second match in charge.

Only 19 days after being appointed, Gus Poyet beat Newcastle 2-1.

Paolo di Canio came to St James Park only a couple of weeks after arriving at Sunderland and won….

Sunderland releasing the following official statement:

Advocaat steps down

Dutchman departs the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland AFC have announced that Dick Advocaat has left his position as head coach at the club.

The Dutchman informed the chairman of his decision to step down from his role and departs the Stadium of Light with immediate effect.

Speaking about his departure, Mr. Advocaat said: “I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me. This is a very special football club, with so many great people, but I feel it is the right time to do this – not for me, but for the club.

“I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around – like we did last year. I am thankful to the chairman for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club. 

“I wish Ellis, Lee (Congerton), all of the staff, players and of course the supporters, who made me feel so welcome here, the very best of luck for the rest of the season. I have some wonderful memories to take with me and I hope I will return to see everybody again in the future.”

Sunderland AFC chairman Ellis Short said: “I am truly saddened by Dick’s decision, but I respect him for his honesty and for doing what he feels is right for the club.

“He is a man of integrity and a true football person. He was hugely respectful of the club in taking this decision and he acted 100% in our best interests. It is also testament to his character that he has forgone any kind of a financial settlement, something which is very unusual in football.

“I want to place on record my sincere thanks to Dick. He will be remembered with great affection by everyone at Sunderland and there will always be a warm welcome for him here at the Stadium of Light.

“While this isn’t a situation any of us envisaged being in, what is important now is that we regroup quickly and focus on the rest of the season.”

Assistant head coach Zeljko Petrovic has also left the club.

With Newcastle currently the only club doing worse than Sunderland, you have to wonder at what point Steve McClaren will fall on his sword if nothing improves…