Advocaat left Sunderland after eight games and no Premier League victories, and Billy Jones has told the Northern Echo how Sam Allardyce has been different since his appointment at the Stadium of Light.
Jones said: “I think at this stage he [Allardyce] probably was the perfect appointment. That was the general opinion from outside looking in and the work we have put in on the training ground so far and the analysis we do, the stats we look at, is a total flip side to what the previous manager was doing. The old gaffer was not in to the stats as much as the new one, obviously. That was obvious when he came in; the new manager got our stats out for the first eight games, showed us them all and the stats don’t lie.”
Advocaat was certainly and old school style of manager, and his style of coaching was perfect for motivating the team to stay in the Premier League last season.
However, it was clearly not enough to fix the underlying issues on Wearside, and Allardyce has arrived, and using stats, has picked up a first three points in just his second game in charge.
Allardyce has built a management career utilising statistics to have teams over perform their expected levels. He was one of the first proponents of statistical football, getting Bolton from the second division to an established Premier League side with his new methods.
Jones has explained that this is one of the big differences between Advocaat and Allardyce, and the Sunderland star believes that Allardyce was the perfect manager to hire when the Dutch coach left.
He has brought defensive solidity and a clear game plan, and Allardyce’s record of never having been relegated does much to suggest that the Black Cats will be safe this season.
The football may not be enjoyable to watch, and Allardyce may not be a good long-term appointment for the Wearside club, but with him in charge, Sunderland stand a great chance of staying in the top flight this campaign.