Poyet named new Sunderland manager
The Uruguayan replaces controversial Italian Paolo Di Canio, who was sacked last month by bottom-of-the-table Sunderland following a 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
The former international midfielder, who played for Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, was sacked by Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion in June for an undisclosed breach of club discipline.
“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,” Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said in a statement on the club’s website (www.safc.com).
Poyet, 45, has been tasked with ensuring Sunderland’s Premier League survival after a dreadful start to the season during which they have managed only one point from their first seven matches.
Kevin Ball took temporary charge after Di Canio’s dismissal, and Sunderland beat third-tier Peterborough United in the League Cup but lost to Liverpool and Manchester United in the league.
Di Canio was brought in by Sunderland in March to replace Martin O’Neill when the club looked almost certainties for relegation.
He managed to keep Sunderland in the Premier League but the side won only three of his 13 matches in charge.
British media said the Sunderland players were unhappy with Di Canio’s abrasive management style and public criticism of them but the Italian denied reports of a training ground bust-up following defeat to West Brom.
Poyet was an early favourite for the role, despite his acrimonious parting with Brighton, whom he led to the Championship (second tier) playoffs.
He was suspended following the playoff semifinal defeat to Crystal Palace in May, and found out he had been fired as manager while working as a pundit on live television.
Poyet appealed but Brighton upheld the decision.
He will bring Mauricio Taricco and Charlie Oatway to Sunderland as part of his backroom staff, with his first match in charge against Swansea City on October 19.
- Born Gustavo Augusto Poyet Dominguez in Montevideo on November 15, 1967, he made his name at Spanish side Real Zaragoza as an attacking midfielder. The club won the King’s Cup in 1994 and the Cup Winners’ Cup a year later, defeating Arsenal in the final.
- Became Zaragoza’s longest-serving foreign player after his seven-year stay. Scored an impressive 60 goals in 240 games for the club.
- Won 26 caps for Uruguay, scoring three goals, and helped his country win the Copa America in 1995
MOVE TO ENGLAND:
- Poyet moved to Chelsea on a free transfer in 1997 starting the season badly as he suffered a ligament injury. However, he recovered in time to send Chelsea to the 1998 Cup Winners’ Cup final by scoring a crucial semifinal second leg goal against Italian side Vicenza.
- Poyet then helped lead Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over Stuttgart in the final, bringing European success to Stamford Bridge for the first time in 27 years.
- After 145 appearances with Chelsea and 49 goals, opportunities became fewer under new manager Claudio Ranieri, so he transferred to Tottenham Hotspur in 2001. Poyet helped the team reach the League Cup final, but they lost 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers in his debut season.
MOVE TO MANAGEMENT:
- Became a player-manager in 2006, serving as assistant to Dennis Wise at Swindon Town, and then in 2007 worked beside head coach Juande Ramos at his former club Tottenham.
- Poyet then moved to Brighton in November 2009, with the club involved in a League One relegation battle. Guided them to safety and then won promotion by lifting the title in his first full season in charge.
- After a 10th-placed finish in the Championship in 2011-12 following their move to the Amex Stadium, Poyet led the side to fourth place in the table in the 2012-13 season, the club’s highest league finish since relegation from the old First Division in 1983.
- In July, however, Brighton upheld their decision to sack Poyet following his appeal. He was initially suspended for comments made following a promotion playoff semifinal defeat to Crystal Palace in May and fired the next month.