What should Sunderland fans expect from Dick Advocaat?

We take a look at what Dick Advocaat will bring to Sunderland, as he looks to keep them in the Premier League.

Confirmed by the official Sunderland website on Tuesday morning, 67-year-old Advocaat has been appointed as the Black Cats head coach in an attempt to keep them in the Premier League.

With nine games left, Sunderland sit just one point off the relegation places, and the well-travelled coach, who has worked with Serbia, Zenit, PSV and Russia in recent years, will have his work cut out to bring together a team lacking in character and ability.

With so few games to impress in, it will be hard for Advocaat to truly get his style across on Wearside, but we take a look at his recent tactical work to highlight what can be expected from the new-look Black Cats.

Since managing Zenit and the Russian national team between 2006 and 2012 - with other jobs in between - Advocaat has utilised a high-pressing, attacking 4-3-3 system, rotating the midfield three and allowing the wingers to cut inside.

Much emphasis is put on the striker to draw defenders to either side of the pitch, creating space for the wide players to run in through the centre, and now might be the chance for Ricky Alvarez to truly excel as a wideman-cum-number 10.

The two full-backs will have to take on a lot of the attacking work to create width in the final third, with the natural wingers drifting inside. Patrick van Aanholt should excel in such a role, but there should be fears that 35-year-old Anthony Reveillere will not be able to perform this role at his age.

There are also fears in the midfield, with a high pressing, rotating system not playing to the strengths of many of Sunderland’s central players. Lee Cattermole should excel as he possesses both brilliant fitness and a pressuring mentality, but the likes of Jordi Gomez, Jack Rodwell and Liam Bridcutt will be shown up in this system.

Seb Larsson could also prove to be of vital importance, as he will provide the attacking threat from midfield. Playing as a deeper number 10, he will be tasked with getting into the box with well-timed runs to provide much of the goalscoring threat. The Swedish midfielder enjoying a late-season run of form could prove vital to the Black Cats staying in the top flight past the end of this campaign.

Advocaat has much work to do to change Sunderland from their current state of disrepair, and there are doubts as to whether he will have enough time to fulfil such a duty. However, he has a defined system that will help some Sunderland stars excel while some suffer, and the players will need to trust him if they are to ensure they remain in the Premier League.

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