The WAW team give their thoughts on the appointment of Gus Poyet as head coach - who do you agree with?
As news of Gus Poyet’s appointment as the new Head Coach at Sunderland broke on Mon (7th Oct) I hoped that the Uruguayan would have a bang-average season. Boasting a win average of 44% form his successful spell in charge at Brighton would mean that, if he managed to match that for the rest of our season, we would win 13 of the 31 league games. Put another way, we would collect another 39 points which would take us to the magic 40 points for the season. Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Is there anyone who wouldn’t settle for that right now?
Having looked at a few of those mooted to be in the running, I think Poyet is probably the best of the bunch. Pulis (win average of just 36%) spent a lot of money at Stoke and achieved good things though much disparaging ink has been used up commenting on the style in which they accomplished it. I’m not sure how much was in the link with Rangnick. I think he would’ve been a great choice but I could really ever quite imagine it happening. Who else? McClaren? Well, he has a similar win average (45%) but that’s largely boosted by his success at Twente; he failed miserably at his last post in English football (Forest) and it would’ve always been a difficult sell on Wearside. I think if Bally is going to be a great manager he might have already started somewhere by now, or he might have to start somewhere else before getting a break at Sunderland.
So for me, Poyet was one of the better choices. I think fans optimism has justifiably been abraded by the Di Canio debacle so no one is going to get too carried away by the latest new dawn over Wearside. However, I think Poyet at least brings a certain style of football, a plan, a theory to get behind. Di Canio seemed to be all about personality and attitude. Yes, you need a bit of attitude a bit of fight, a winning mentality; but you also need, you know, tactics, man-management skills. Personally, I’d like to see us stick with Poyet now even if we get relegated. It’s a huge task to save us now – not impossible – but extremely difficult. First things first, let’s hope he can at least restore a bit of pride and give us a reason to stick up for our club. Keep the faith.
Hiring Gus Poyet could either be a stroke of genius or a cataclysmic decision which could doom our club…where have I heard this before?
Personally, I think hiring the Uruguayan is the wrong decision. Although he has been known to coach some fantastic football, he has had the knack of having a hot head and a bit of a temper, something the players wouldn’t want to experience once again.
I think Ellis Short should have took a punt at René Meulensteen in all honesty, he has the Premier League experience, a history working with egos in the dressing room and of course, learning his trade from one of the greatest managers of all-time, Sir Alex Ferguson.
In terms of our league status, I think we may just, and I mean just, survive in Premier League once again, but I do hope Gus can prove me wrong.
The wrong man, at the wrong time, with the wrong task. Gus Poyet's appointment seems more like going with my daughters to shop for shoes and trekking around all the stores before going back to buy the original pair first seen. The old pair exploded, obviously not having gone through security. Checks this time appear more like a compromise between the short-termism of Tony Pulis aimed to stave off relegation and the long-term vision of Ralf Rangnick, who was probably never on Ellis Short's list or only fleetingly.
In his programme note for the Manchester United game, Short clearly set out his priority sacrificing long-term interests for the “absolute necessity of staying in the league.” Yet the position of Poyet is more likely to fall between the two, which could well prove to be an impossible task if he tries to stave off relegation while changing the overall style of play more to his own liking. Despite my pessimism, which I hope is misplaced, I feel the Uruguayan would be well suited to rebuilding a team to bring Sunderland back up again. That is if he is still at the Stadium of Light. Two year contract? That’s a message of confidence.
Is Gus Poyet the man to bring that stability? Only time will tell. Many people will point to his lack of Premiership experience but to be honest I don't go for all that. How can a manager prove himself if nobody gives him a chance? Hopefully Poyet is ready to grab his chance with both hands and show us why he's the right man for the job.
He had a decent run at Brighton and got them playing some good football, more importantly for me though he got their defence organised and hard to break down. We have been shaky at the back all season and have conceded a lot from set pieces. If he can start to fix that it would go a long way to keeping us up this season.
Some of the things I have heard about how he conducts himself with the players worries me a little, it sounds a lot like the stuff Di Canio was doing. I really hope Poyet has learned the lessons of his predecessor and takes a better approach to man management.
The club has appointed him at the best time, we have had a tough couple of games and he has the international break to find his feet. We really need him to get the team firing on all cylinders and get us out of the mess were currently in. We still have the majority of the Premiership campaign to pull away from the foot of the table. We have a decent squad and should be able to stay up but the tide needs to turn soon before were cut adrift.
Ambivalence over the appointment of Poyet is to me due in no small way to the lack of confidence our fans (perhaps legitimately) have right now in the Sunderland board. The Uruguayan though does come with his own causes for concern – Vicente’s criticism must be taken with a pinch of salt as he has a history of falling out with people in the game, and a dispute with the Brighton chairman which only occurred at the end of his spell. Other players including the well-traveled Wayne Bridge have been more than complimentary of both Poyet’s tactical methods and attitude towards the players.
What Poyet needs to do is simple: win games, or at least look likely to win many right from the offset. How well we change from a direct mode of play to a possession mode (and it looks as if he is somewhat of a partisan towards this style) will perhaps determine his success in the immediate short term. If it works, it could mean that Jozy Altidore will see more of the ball played to his feet, as he prefers, which would surely be of more benefit to him. The season effectively starts here.
My overriding feeling regarding this appointment is some strange concoction of excitement and apprehension. Excited because its about time we get to see some proper football at the Stadium of Light after the dull or simply dire play under Steve Bruce, Martin O’Neill and Paolo Di Canio. There is a genuine presence and aurora that surrounds Gus Poyet which gives you the sense he would fit in with top flight football.
He does bring with him a fair bit of baggage filled with disconcerting mysteries which threaten to implode much like what happened under Di Canio. My major concerns surround his ability to deal with the massive egos and genuine laziness that is pretty much the norm in the Premier League and especially at Sunderland. If you did not already know, Di Canio’s departure was caused directly by the players themselves – albeit he did contribute heavily to his own downfall. I really hope we have not let one blaze die down to ignite yet another – I’m not sure if our club would survive if that were the case.
Poyet’s lack of Premier League experience is not a massive problem for me, if his football is indeed as successful as it seemed whilst he was at Brighton there are already perfect examples of similar philosophies succeeding in the top flight – most notably Southampton and Swansea. Still, the appointment scares me a little. So does the notion of John O’Shea being asked to pass the ball regularly!