Featured Personality: Dick Advocaat
Dick Advocaat (born September 27, 1947 in Den Haag, Netherlands) was head coach of the Dutch national football team and, in his younger years, a football player. He is now coach of the South Korea national football team . Before his appointment as coach of the Korean team, he was the coach for the United Arab Emirates national football team .
A temperamental but hard-working midfielder during his playing days, the clubs he played for include: ADO Den Haag , Roda J.C. , Sparta Rotterdam , and FC Utrecht in the Netherlands and Chicago Sting in the U.S.A.
He then moved onto coaching at the tender age of 32, starting at Haarlem and S.V.V. before becoming assistant to footballing legend Rinus Michels at the Dutch national team.
He led the Dutch team to the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup as Head Coach in his first spell in charge (1992-1994). He then returned to coaching at club level at first with PSV where he won his first trophy as coach winning the Dutch Cup in 1996 and the Dutch League Championship a year later. In 1998 Advocaat accepted the call from Rangers chairman David Murray to become the Scottish Premier League teams new manager. At Rangers during the 1998/1999 season, he drafted in fresh talent to break the chain of victories by their fierce incumbent rivals Celtic , bringing in a legion of Dutch internationals like Arthur Numan , Bert Konterman , Michael Mols , Ronald de Boer and Fernando Ricksen . He successfully reclaimed the Scottish Premier League crown, with his first season in charge culminating with a spectacular treble achievement (two cup victories, as well as the league). A season later he again won the Scottish League championship and guided Rangers into the UEFA Champions League for the first time having beaten Parma A.C. in a qualifier. However, the arrival of Martin O'Neill at rivals Celtic put pressure on Advocaat as Celtic eased to a domestic treble in season 2000-01. Celtic once again looked like cruising to the league championship half way through the next season and as a result Advocaat made the decision to vacate the manager's position. Alex McLeish was appointed as his successor with Advocaat moving to the position of General Manager.
He rejoined the national team set-up following Louis van Gaal 's failure to take the national team to the 2002 World Cup in January 2002 and presided over the Netherlands' qualification for Euro 2004 via the play-offs. Holland had finished second in their group behind the Czech Republic and therefore went into a play-off in order to qualify for Euro 2004. They managed to achieve this after a 6-1 aggregate win over Scotland but not before surviving a harrowing encounter: losing 1-0 in the first leg in Scotland . Advocaat was criticised severely by the Dutch media, so much so that several of the team's players refused to speak to the media even after the comfortable and inspired 6-0 victory in the return leg at the Amsterdam ArenA . For a short time after that, the football world placed trust in Advocaat that he was the coach to bring glory to the hotly-favored 'Oranje'.
Despite taking Holland to the semi-final stage of Euro 2004, the Dutch media were critical of Advocaat. Holland were beaten 2-1 by Portugal in the semi-finals of Euro 2004 after a dismal performance. The team also made several criticisms of his tactics, especially those in the team's shock loss to the Czech Republic in the second game of the first round of the tournament. In that game, with the Dutch leading comfortably (2-0) against the fancied Czechs, Advocaat made a tactical change that shocked even his own players as he brought on the ageing Paul Bosvelt in midfield position replacing crowd favorite Arjen Robben who had been contributing immensely throughout the match. The Czechs seized the opportunity to capitalise on the substitute's weaknesses and scored three goals. Shortly after the tournament with even death threats posted to him, Advocaat quit his job as head coach on July 6 , 2004 . He then went briefly back into club management with German team Borussia Mönchengladbach however he resigned on 18 April 2005 after less than six months at the helm.
His nickname is "The Little General", which is a reference to his mentor Rinus Michels' sobriquet "The General".
In July 2005, he took a job as coach of United Arab Emirates, but quit in September to take over South Korea's national team.