Former-Brighton boss Gus Poyet has been handed a two-year contract at Premier League Sunderland.
Poyet comes in as a replacement for mercurial Italian Paolo Di Canio who left the club after the Black Cats were defeated by West Brom.
Poyet’s backroom staff from Brighton, Charlie Oatway and Mauricio Taricco will join the Uruguayan in the north east.
Sunderland chairman Ellis Short confirmed the appointment by saying: “We analysed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus’s track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward. We welcome him to Sunderland.”
Gus Poyet’s only managerial experience so far came at Brighton, where he did an outstanding job. In four years he helped the club to promotion to the Championship and also to the Championship play-offs.
The Uruguayan managed to produce a team that played winning, passing football on a relative small budget by Championship standards. He also established himself a reputation as one of the most highly-rated bosses in the English game.
His performance with the Seagulls led the former-Tottenham coach to be linked with a number of high profile jobs. In fact he was actually linked with the Sunderland job prior to Di Canio being appointed as Black Cats boss.
Poyet lost his job at Brighton in controversial circumstances. He was suspended by the club for reasons still unknown to the public. The Uruguayan was believed to have found out about his sacking by Brighton while he was working as a pundit for the BBC.
Poyet claimed that was the first he had heard about losing his job, while the club claimed that he already knew that he had lost his job. The whole situation seemed like a strange one considering the job he had done at the AMEX Stadium.
Poyet has always struck me as a likeable guy, but he has also always struck me as a fiercely ambitious sort of guy. Maybe his ambition played a role in him leaving Brighton. It seemed that he the ambition to take the Seagulls into the top-flight, but maybe the Brighton board were not willing or able to give him the resources to get the club promoted.
It seems he is now where he wanted to be, but not with Brighton with Sunderland. It is just a shame Poyet did not get there with the club he managed for four years.
Lack of experience
One concern of some Sunderland supporters is Poyet’s lack of managerial experience in the top-flight. He has been a coach at Premier League clubs like Tottenham. However, he has never been a boss in the Premier League.
People have even made comparisons with Poyet’s predecessor Di Canio, in the fact that he only has lower league managerial experience. I believe some Sunderland fans are worried that it may be a case of history repeating itself.
However, Poyet is a different sort of character to Di Canio. The Italian was infamous for being a strict disciplinarian and fell out with a number of his players. In contrast I have never heard of any players bad mouthing Poyet or falling out with the Uruguayan.
In fact Poyet seems like a good man-manager, which in Sunderland’s situation is badly needed. He has not gained a reputation as good boss for no reason. The appointment of Poyet really has met with a mixed reaction though.
Gus Poyet steps into a club in a right royal mess. The team are currently bottom of the table and struggling to perform in the top-flight. The Blacks Cats did put in a decent first half display against Manchester United on Saturday, but in the end lost 2-1.
The big issue for the Uruguayan is that he needs to help the massive number of new players to settle into the team. Di Canio brought in 14 new players in the summer and at times they played like the strangers they are.
The first thing Poyet must do is raise spirits amongst the players. As they showed in that first half against United, they can play well and are good enough for the top-flight. Sunderland does have quality within their squad, but the players have not performed to their full potential for a long-time.
Poyet has a big challenge on his hands. The Black Cats are currently second favourites at 4/5 to be relegated this season. Gus Poyet must know the challenge that lies ahead of him, but I am sure he relishes the challenge of resurrecting Sunderland’s season.
The Black Cats will certainly attempt to play football under Poyet. Whether the former-Brighton boss is a good appointment remains to be seen. However, if he does keep the Black Cats in the top-flight I am sure there will be a few less doubters amongst the Sunderland faithful at the end of the season.
Is Gus Poyet the right man for the job at Sunderland?