Rangers-linked Dutch manager Dick Advocaat has resigned from his position as the manager of the Iraq national team – sparking outlandish rumours about a return to Ibrox.
The former Ibrox boss, 74, will forever be attached to the Gers after a three-year spell at Rangers between 1998 and 2001 and has stepped down from his position in the Middle East.
🚨 BREAKING: Dick Advocaat has resigned from his position as #Iraq national team manager.
More to follow… 📰 pic.twitter.com/fkDg4EOouo
— Soccer Iraq (@SoccerIraq) November 23, 2021
The legendary Dutch coach – who has managed 14 clubs and six countries including three stints with the Netherlands – leaves his post after failing to win in six World Cup Qualifiers.
Advocaat has overseen three draws and three defeats since taking charge with the Iraqi national team in August, leaving the nation second bottom of Asian qualifying Group A, 10 points off second place.
The top two in the group qualify directly for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while third place earns the chance to qualify through a playoff.
Iraq have only qualified for one World Cup in their history; Mexico 1986, where they lost all three group games against Mexico, Belgium and Paraguay.
“The Iraq Football Association has accepted the resignation of coach Advocaat,” said Iraq FA spokesman Ahmed Zamil [Reuters].
“Advocaat expressed his deep regret to Iraqi fans for the disappointing results as he had hoped to lead the national team to direct qualification for the World Cup finals.”
Dutch coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on hunt for Rangers assistant as Dick Advocaat resigns
The move has certainly piqued the interest of Rangers fans online who – somewhat tongue in cheek – have positioned Advocaat’s resignation against the appointment of Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Dutch coach Advocaat took van Bronckhorst to Ibrox as a player in 1998 and now the former Netherlands captain has returned to the Gers following the exit of Steven Gerrard.
van Bronckhorst has made no bones about his hunt for a new assistant manager and Rangers fans have been pointing out that one has just become available.
Dick Advocaat resigns from Iraq job. Would be superb if he was to come in as GVB's assistant till Van Gastel was out of his contract in the summer.
Not likely but would be immense. 😂
— Kenny Van Ninjhorst (@kenny47110) November 23, 2021
— Danny – Alleen een excuus 🇳🇱 (@OnlyAnExcuse) November 23, 2021
The missing piece to the puzzle 😍 https://t.co/TwOMuqlhT7
— Kyle 🇬🇧🏴 (@KMC_72) November 23, 2021
One last ride with Gio before he retires, again, for about the 5th time. https://t.co/tU0Ht7pVA4
— Aaron (@AHC146) November 23, 2021
👀 What's this all about then……. https://t.co/C5XSvb3Jx9
— Kris van Boydhorst (@KBoyd55) November 23, 2021
He's coming home, this time as part of GVB's team. https://t.co/f567wbvueA
— Gio The Rangers Manager (@GioRangers) November 23, 2021
Gio’s new European coach👀🤣 https://t.co/9IBo1hJLLd
— S-CAMBO (@Stewartcambo) November 23, 2021
Bring the old band back together surely 😂😂 https://t.co/yw3YwddKtJ
— Alan (@basilbolisbro) November 23, 2021
BRING HIM HOME. https://t.co/iT9s6Aii6t
— Incroyable Kenneth (@SevKen5088) November 23, 2021
Assistant manager 👀👀👀 https://t.co/9hhgBonChI
— Gio vAn-dy 🇳🇱 (@andyh1872) November 23, 2021
Whilst we’re unsure that Dick would be on the club’s radar, Rangers’ hunt to reinforce the backroom staff continues.
So far Gio has added Roy Makaay (first-team coach), Arno Phillips (fitness) and Yori Bosschart (video analyst) to his team but Steven Gerrard took six coaches away with him to Aston Villa.
Rangers are reportedly preparing a raid on Belgian outfit Royal Antwerp for one coach but there is some conjecture regarding what his role might be.