Advocaat’s Sunderland regret
Former Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat retired at the end of last season, after over 40 years in management, which saw him take the reigns of six national sides and more than a dozen different clubs.
In a comprehensive interview with Sport/Voetbal Magazine where he discusses his career, the 73-year-old said that he was always keen to avoid managing teams he did not believe he could improve, and would leave quickly if he ever had that thought:
If I didn’t want something, I didn’t do it. And if I thought: I can’t make this team better, I would have decided within two days and left.
As an example, Advocaat pointed to his time as Sunderland manager, where despite keeping the team in the Premier League in dramatic fashion and being handsomely paid, the lack of ambition at the club has left him with some regrets that he took the job:
With hindsight, I regret that a bit. I had a great contract, a private jet and after the enforcement I couldn’t do wrong. But if there are no prospects, it stops. Then I want to leave.
Blackburn line up familiar Harvey successor
John Park had been lined up by Mark Campbell to become Sunderland’s Director of Football before the investor’s takeover of the club from Stewart Donald fell through.
The former Celtic chief scout, who is credited with signing the likes of Victor Waynama and Virgil van Dijk for the Scottish club, could now be joining Blackburn Rovers where he would replace Stuart Harvey.
Harvey left a similar role at Blackburn to join Kristjaan Speakman’s staff at Sunderland as the Head of Player Recruitment and now Park is in talks with Rovers, where he would link up with former Celtic boss Tony Mowbray.
Talbot praise for Pickford
Sunderland academy product James Talbot had success in Europe last night, as his Bohemians side beat Icelandic outfit Stjarnan 3-0 at the Aviva Stadium in the Europa Conference League Qualification.
The Irish side go through 4-1 on aggregate but before the game, with the score standing at 1-1 and the possibility of penalties on the horizon, Talbot was keen to praise to his former Sunderland team-mate Jordan Pickford for his efforts the Euro 2020, telling Extra.ie that he believed Pickford should have been in the team of the tournament:
I was close to him over there, not so much these days, he’s a superstar now.
All the lads say he’s too aggressive but he’s like that. If he’s calm, I think you won’t get the best out of him, you know what kind of way. He needs to play on the front foot. His (earlier) save for the (Italy) goal was unbelievable.
I know (Gianluigi) Donnarumma was unbelievable as well but he (Pickford) only conceded two goals. I’m surprised he wasn’t in the team of the tournament.