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Transfer Rater: Pepe to Arsenal, Darmian to Roma

Football Whispers
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By ESPN Staff

Advocaat leaves Zenit following poor run of form

Zenit St Petersburg and coach Dick Advocaat have parted company, bringing a premature end to the Dutchman's three-year spell with the Russian club.

The former Rangers and Holland boss took over from Czech Vlastimil Petrzhela in the summer of 2006 and enjoyed huge success, leading Zenit to the 2007 Russian title, the 2008 UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

But results have suffered and relations between club and manager have broken down since Advocaat's decision to take over as Belgium coach at the end of the current Russian season.

And Sunday's lacklustre 2-0 home defeat to lowly Tom Tomsk proved the final straw for the club management after a bitter few weeks of internal wrangling.

A statement released late on Sunday on Zenit's website read: "After a series of poor results in the recent rounds of the Russian championship, the club's leadership and board of directors have decided to dismiss head coach Dick Advocaat.

"Dick Advocaat has done a lot for the team and his name will forever be associated with the success Zenit has achieved over the past few seasons.

"Under his leadership, many new glorious pages in Zenit's history have been written, and fans will never forget the title-winning season of 2007 and the team's magnificent performance in Europe in 2008.

"Unfortunately, after deciding to take on the role of national coach of the Belgian national team [at the end of the current season], Zenit's performances have deteriorated notably, and neither the fans nor the club's leadership are satisfied with the league position the club finds itself in.

"In the meantime, Zenit has the task of fighting for a European place and the leading positions in the Russian championship.

"Therefore, in order to stabilise the club's position and its future development, it has been agreed by both parties that the contract of the current coach should be terminated.

"The club thanks Mr Advocaat and will move on.''

Advocaat's future appeared doomed last week when he openly criticised the club's new sporting director, former Russia international and Guus Hiddink's current assistant with the national side Igor Korneev, for his role in the signing of Italian midfielder Alessandro Rosina from Torino.

Advocaat has been frustrated by the club's transfer policy and their inability to adequately replace key players such as Andrey Arshavin, Anatoly Tymoschuk and Pavel Pogrebniak, who have all departed this year, and said that he "no longer wanted to work with Korneev''.

The defeat to Tomsk was Zenit's fourth league game without a win and has seen them drop to seventh in the table, outside the European qualification places.

They needed extra time to overcome second division side FC Nizhny Novgorod in a Russian Cup tie at the Petrovsky Stadium last week.

Youth team manager Anatoly Davydov will take temporary charge of first-team affairs until a replacement is found.

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