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    Advocaat Gone after West Ham Draw; What Now for Sunderland?

    In a move that will shock very few people, Dick Advocaat has ended his short reign as manager of Sunderland Football Club.

    Supporting Sunderland may seem like a constant uphill struggle carrying rocks in your pockets in the heavy rain, but Sunderland fans can never claim to be bored. The managerial merry-go-round continues as another manager has come and gone from the dugout at the Stadium of Light. Dick Advocaat's exit will surprise no one, the news broke on Friday night that he had made up his mind to walk away, the only surprise is that it was not confirmed until Sunday.

    The writing has been on the wall for some time for Dick Advocaat's reign. Not to say that Advocaat is a bad manager, not in the slightest, he did what he was asked to do. He kept Sunderland up last year when relegation seemed inevitable and was visibly moved to tears when he achieved this. However Sunderland's pursuit of him was strange, why go after a manager who wants to retire? The football club gained absolutely nothing from keeping Advocaat on and it's been obvious from the early days of the season that Advocaat realised his mistake pretty quickly; he did not have the heart for a season of struggle that managing Sunderland inevitably brings.

    He has now walked away, but the fans will remember him fondly and his reaction to the fans joy when they went 2-0 up against West Ham shows that he will harbour great memories of his time on Wearside as well. What now for Sunderland though, who should be the next man to attempt to turn the perennial relegation strugglers into something more?

    Who are the contenders?

    Chairman Ellis Short says he already has a shortlist of candidates but has been tight-lipped so far over who makes his list. Here's who we think he should be taking a look at;

    The Proven Candidates

    Sunderland are already in big trouble and are yet to win, so their main aim should be to survive and nothing else. There are a few men out there who are specialists in Premier League survival but none more so than Sam Allardyce. He has constantly defied predictions of relegation his entire career and is known for getting the very best out of minimal resources. The big man is also an ex Sunderland defender and he has made his disdain known for his short spell in charge of great rivals Newcastle United so the fans would welcome him. Convincing him could be the bigger job, he already turned down another approach from Sunderland in the summer, citing wanting an extended break from football as his reason.

    Another option could be Nigel Pearson. He has been out of work since his sacking by Leicester, somewhat harshly given the nature of their great escape last year. Pearson is a big character, somebody the players and fans will respond to and would definitely instill some much needed fight in this team.

    Sean Dyche is another name being touted, but with only one season of experience behind him in the Premier League (which of course ended in relegation) he may not get the nod. However he is another who would definitely bring organisation and desire to Sunderland and make them difficult to beat, his Burnley side certainly were. He also has age on his side and a long career ahead of him.

    The Outside Bets

    Gary Rowett has been doing a quietly efficient job at Birmingham City since they plucked him from Burton Albion. Rowett began the good work which is so prevalent at Burton now and has began rebuilding Birmingham after the fairly shambolic reign of Lee Clarke. He is becoming known as a master tactician and has his Birmingham team sitting 4th in the Championship against all expectations.

    His successor at Burton, ex Premier League hitman Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is also getting rave reviews for his work at the Pirelli Stadium. He took Burton to the League 2 title last year and now has them sitting pretty at the top of League 1, but surely it is too soon for Hasselbaink who is still learning his trade.

    Sometimes a jump to the big leagues too soon is a hindrance to a young managers career, just ask Paul Ince.

    Sunderland will aim to have their next manager in, whoever it may be, before their away trip to West Brom on October 17th. The new boss will have a baptism of fire in his first home game as Newcastle come to the Stadium of Light on the 25th. Sunderland will be hoping their recent tradition of replacing managers before derby day carries them to a 6th straight win over Newcastle!

    By Darren Beck (@DarrenBeck13)

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