Veteran Dutch boss Dick Advocaat earlier today confirmed that he will not sign an extension to his contract with Sunderland.
The 67-year-old is believed to have been offered a three-year deal with the Black Cats to attempt to bring some continuity to the club.
Advocaat confirmed his exit by telling the clubs official website: “At certain moments in your life, you have to make a decision and I am almost 68 years old now. A number of clubs contacted me but the decision was always Sunderland or nobody,”
“I would like to thank the chairman, Lee, the staff and of course the fans. We gave everything in our time there and achieved what we set out to. Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career.”
From that statement it seems that the veteran Dutchman has decided to retire from football, after turning down the contract offer from the north east club.
Sunderland seem to have the perennial problem of making slow starts to the season under one boss and then bringing in a new one near the end of the campaign to save them from the drop. The tactic seems to have served them well over the past couple of seasons with the likes of Advocaat, Paolo Di Canio and to a lesser extent Gus Poyet arriving late in the campaign to secure survival.
The big turnaround in bosses means that the club and team never seems to have any continuity. Continuity helps players and teams become settled and successful. Teams are very rarely successful without some sort of continuity.
The clubs lack of continuity in recent years has led to the Black Cats struggling for consistency and ending up with a poor team, which never really moves forward.
The Black Cats owner US businessman Ellis Short seems to be ambitious when it comes to where he wants the club to be and achieve, with talk of turning the team into one that is regulars in the top ten of the Premier League.
However, from the outside looking in he does not seem prepared to invest enough of his own money to help the club sign better quality players. The Black Cats spend very little by Premier League standards.
The club from the north east tend to shop in the bargain basement when it comes to new players, while some of their rivals are shopping in top end high street boutiques. The Sunderland owner must know that he has to speculate to accumulate.
Allardyce was told by West Ham that his contract was not being renewed once the Premier League campaign came to an end. However, the decision had not come as a big surprise as the 60-year-old had already vacated his residence in the capital.
The veteran former-Bolton boss is regarded as a good Premier League boss who brings stability and solidity to a team. However, he is a boss who has been accused of negativity by West Ham fans.
Paul Clement is a highly-rated coach and is currently assistant boss at Real Madrid, but is expecting to follow former-boss Carlo Ancelotti out of the Bernabeu exit door this summer.
The former-Chelsea coach looks set to finally launch his managerial career this summer, as he is being linked with a number of vacant positions in English football. Sunderland are just one of the clubs being linked with 43-year-old.
Clement also worked with Ancelotti at Chelsea and PSG and is apparently highly-regarded by the Italian boss.
Former-England boss Steve McClaren is being linked with a number of vacant positions this summer, despite being sacked by Derby after a late season collapse by the Rams which saw them slip-out of the promotion picture.
McClaren has enjoyed a mixed managerial career so far, with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. He has managed in the north east before at Middlesbrough and was relatively successful.
The Sunderland hierarchy need to act fast to get in a new boss. Their last few choices have been good short-term options, but surely now they need a boss who is capable of delivering stability in the long-term.
I am sure most Black Cats fans would not mind a season in midtable for a change and could probably live without the end of season great escape.
Who will be the next Sunderland boss?