As the tumult of emotion surrounding the heroic rearguard action that earned Sunderland’s Premier League survival at Arsenal dies down Dick Advocaat will have time to reflect on a difficult job, well done.
The usually phlegmatic Dutchman had been moved to tears on the Emirates pitch by the intensity of the occasion, but remained suitably in control of his faculties to deadbat the headline-seeking beseechings of the Sky Sports microphones.
When the ageing tactician arrived on Wearside, seven years after his last major trophy in club management, few suspected that he or the beleaguered troops he had inherited from predecessor Gus Poyet were capable of a third successive relegation escape act.
Having achieved it, he is 7/5 to be in charge of the club on the first day of 2015/16, but he sounded a note of circumspection when quizzed on the likelihood he would extend his contract at the Stadium of Light, putting off any decision until next week.
With a clearer head he must, in due course, realise that the time is right to leave the Black Cats a hero, rather than see his legacy soured as past successful dogfight commanders Poyet and Paolo Di Canio have done before him.
Speaking before the Arsenal game, Advocaat was astute enough to realise that Sunderland is a club in need of major changes to the way it is run, the kind of changes that would benefit from being overseen by a younger, hungrier coach whose career has more distance left to run.
The Dutchman will also have enough nous to recognise that immense good fortune has contributed to the club’s survival every bit as much as sleeves-rolled-up determination or his own managerial mastery.
Would they have had the cutting edge to best Southampton without not one, but two penalties? Likewise Everton without a brace of deflections, one coming off Jermain Defoe’s hand?
From Advocaat’s perspective the wise move now can only be to ride off into the sunset, were comedy ‘voice-off’ Mrs Advocaat is doubtless waiting, a Wearside hero.