The successor to the throne of Paolo Di Canio’s reign has finally been found. Gus Poyet, the former Brighton boss, is set to replace the Italian. After a faltering start to the Premier League campaign Di Canio was sacked after only five games. His replacement brings with him the Brighton backroom team of Mauricio Taricco and Charlie Oatway.
This season was billed to be a testing one for the former manager after he saved the club from being relegated last season. But he couldn’t replicate the form from last season and the club lies at the bottom of the table with no wins.
The managerial journey thus far…
Dennis Wise’s No. 2
Gus Poyet, who played for Chelsea and Tottenham, started his managerial career at Swindon Town in July 2006 where he was a player and assistant to his former Chelsea team-mate Dennis Wise. He followed Wise and the duo were appointed at the helm of Leeds United on 24 October 2006. He had great influence on the squad which was seen in the decline of the team when he left for Tottenham.
Return to White Hart Lane
On 29 October 2007 he left Leeds to join Juande Ramos as assistant at his former club Tottenham. In his first season as assistant manager he won the 2007-08 League Cup, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final. Following the sacking of Ramos at White Hart Lane Poyet was appointed as the first team manager at Brighton & Hove Albion on 10 November 2009.
First Major Challenge
He steered the club to safety in the year he joined the club. The adventure continued brightly for him in the year 2011 with a 5-0 victory against Leyton Orient and the team went on to win five of the first eight games. The League One title was clinched with four games still to play. On 23 May 2011, Poyet was voted LMA League One Manager of the Year for his achievements in the 2010-11 season. Last season he took the Seagulls to the Championship play-off where they were defeated by Crystal Palace.
Accolades followed as he won the Outstanding Managerial Achievement Award at the Football League Awards ceremony in March 2012. On 16 May 2013 he was suspended by Brighton after an internal investigation and disciplinary hearing and sacked a month later for misconduct. Out of the total of 194 games he managed for Brighton, he won 86, losing only 49 and boasting a 44.3% win ratio.
What to expect from the new gaffer
Gus Poyet takes over at the Stadium of Light with the team having gained just one point from seven games. He had made no secret of his desire to manage in the Premier League, and this seems to be the perfect platform to showcase his calibre as he said, “I look forward to proving my ability to the fans – I want them to believe because we need to stick together.”
The team looked out of sorts under the previous manager and he had raised a few eyebrows when he signed 14 players in the close season. After the sacking of Di Canio there had been positive play from the team under the interim manager Kevin Ball in the defeats against Liverpool and Manchester United.
The secret to Poyet’s success was his impressive home record about which he said, “I think the key behind my strong home record at Brighton was the connection with the fans – I can see that here.”
He has inherited a strong team from his predecessor which includes Emanuele Giaccherini, Sebastian Larsson, Ki Sung-Yueng, Adam Johnson and also the injured Steven Fletcher. Fresh blood has been injected in the team with the likes of Fabio Borini, Jozy Altidore and El-Hadji Ba. Now after such a turbulent start it’s up to him to lift the spirits of the team and its supporters.
Poyet’s managerial ability in lower leagues is in no doubt as he was greatly influential during his time at Swindon and Leeds. His time in Brighton helped produce the best football that the club had seen in recent years. He built a team which played attractive free flowing football, which saw the team fight for the Championship playoffs.
It’s his man-management skills, style of play and the ability to offer good football while working on such a small budget that make him an ideal choice for a place that is in dire need of stability, with him being the sixth permanent manager in five years.
Only time will tell whether Poyet will be able to work his magic and save the team from relegation come the end of the season. But if his former exploits are anything to go by then we can expect The Stadium of Light to be a very difficult place to conquer in the coming weeks.Published 08 Oct 2013, 21:47 IST