Troubled Alkmaar football club AZ has sacked coach Ronald Koeman and asked Dick Advocaat to fill the gap after losing 2-1 to Vitesse this weekend.
AZ, last year’s premier league champions, are currently in seventh place with 25 points from 16 matches and failed to make it through to the knock-out round of the Champions League.
‘I did not expect this,’ Koeman, who previously coached Vitesse, AFC Ajax, SL Benfica, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia CF, was quoted as saying on the Uefa website.
‘I was very surprised about the club’s announcement. I never had the feeling that things would not improve. The relationship with my players was not the reason for my sacking; it was down to the confidence of the management. I feel very bad.’
Advocaat told the AD he was surprised to be contacted by AZ. ‘I want to take a couple of days to think about the offer,’ he said. ‘It is a sensitive issue.’
Koeman took over at AZ at the beginning of this season after Louis van Gaal moved to Bayern Munich.
AZ has also been unsettled by the bankruptcy of owner Dirk Scheringa and his DSB banking empire.