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Sunderland appoint Gus Poyet as new manager

Gus Poyet (BBC)

By KEVIN KOCZWARA

The beginning of the English Premier League season hasn’t gone well for Sunderland and Jozy Altidore. The Black Cats sit in last place in the league table and parted ways with manager Paolo Di Canio after five weeks, zero wins and one point in the league.

Altidore was brought in by the Italian manager, but now he will have to adapt after a tough start to his second stint in the Premier League because Sunderland officially announced on Tuesday that they have appointed of Gustavo Poyet, 45, as the team’s latest manager.

Poyet played for Chelsea, making 105 appearances and scoring 36 goals, before moving to Tottenham in 2001. He was capped 26 times by Uruguay before retiring and jumping into coaching. He helped lead Brighton & Hove Albion from League One to the Championship in the 2010-11 season and was named LMA League Manager of the Year. He was relieved of his duties in charge of the club this past summer.

“I never thought I would get an opportunity to manage in the Barclays Premier League but here I am and it’s now up to me to prove that the right man has been chosen,” Poyet, who signed a two-year deal, told the club’s official website. “I’m absolutely delighted.”

Due to this week’s international break, Poyet and Sunderland have some time to get on the same page before his first game in charge. That will be on Oct. 19 as the Black Cats visit Swansea City before hosting rivals Newcastle United on Oct. 27.

The break should give Poyet time to shape the side. His Brighton & Hove Albion teams were fluid and passed the ball well while creating plenty of chances, so that should help Altidore as he looks to get back to the kind of goal-scoring form he was in while playing for AZ in the Netherlands.

“We analyzed 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,” said said Sunderland AFC Chairman Ellis Short.

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What do you think of Poyet’s hiring at Sunderland? Like it? What does this mean for Altidore?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Why Jozy hasn’t scored yet is simple. Adam Johnson refuses to feed him the ball. I have never seen a more selfish player.

    I think Wynalda stated that Adam Johnson has had the opportunity to feed Jozy the ball 6 plus times in and around the box, and failed to do so every single time. That’s unforgiveable as a winger.

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    • Adam Johnson dribbles around on the wing and never gets a quality ball in to Jozy. He comes in and tries to get a shot off or messes about until he is eventually pushed off the ball.

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    • So true. Adam Johnson has some good qualities, but none of them are helping Jozy. Johnson is a bit of a black hole, even if he has created far more chances than anyone else on Sunderland’s team. I’m a bit worried for Jozy’s chances of success this season. Sunderland are not a good team right now.

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    • Isnt it obvious? Adam Johnson wont feed Jozy the ball because he is from the USA. Its that damn Anti-Americanism in European soccer rearing its ugly head again.

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  2. I hope Jozy’s absence while with the USMNT doesn’t cause Poyet to start with someone else up top he has time to work with over the break.

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  3. One of their key changes was selling Mignolet at GK. You can’t fix that with a magic wand and they are shipping lots of goals. Sunderland separated itself from the surrounding pack last year by being relatively more stingy. You lose that and you are a weak offensive team that also allows plenty of goals. You are relegation bait.

    I’m also a little doubting on whether the team can be fixed by just a coach. Brighton started well under Poyet in L.1 but couldn’t make the EPL jump after that promotion. I also don’t know if they actually have the players to serve Jozy — sounds nice in theory but you need wings who can set him up — nor am I sure they have the right players now to simply transition to slick soccer……Swansea not only committed to the flowing style but has signed Spaniards, Dutch, and other continental players suited to it. I don’t see di Canio’s recruits in the same way.

    But then, things can change in the winter window, some teams get the mix right and climb out, some don’t and they go down. Last year people had Sunderland and Villa ticketed for the drop…..but I do think Sunderland will take further overhaul to escape.

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  4. Someone send Poyet a stack of game tapes from AZ. Feed Jozy and he will score.

    Might want to experiment with a second forward too instead of leaving Jozy on an island.

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      • 2012-2013 (last year)

        Goals/game in the PL: 2.8
        Goals/game in the Eredivisie: 3.1

        Yup, those horrendous Dutch defenses give up a ghastly 0.3 more goals per game than in the PL.

      • The eredivise gap tends to be most pronounced at the ends of the table. The best teams are scoring 3+ and allowing less than 1. The worst teams are allowing 3+ and scoring less than 2. 3 double digit +/- goal differences.

        In comparison, 1 double digit GD in EPL and the best teams score 2 and allow 1, the worst score 1 and allow 2.

        It may average out similar but it is not in reality the same.

      • (a) the G/game average is higher in HOL no matter how you slice it;
        (b) it’s not literally good v. bad, it’s the fact that a good or bad HOL team is better or worse than a EPL team in terms of stats….a good HOL team scores a lot…..a bad one allows a lot….and that is true even relative to EPL, not just within their own league;
        (c) recall Jozy played for a midtable AZ team with 56 G in 34 games….totals only a handful of EPL teams will get in 38 games, and most certainly not midtable EPL teams or Sunderland (41 in 38);
        (d) AZ has AJ with 5 G in 9 games this season;
        (e) at some point it’s goofy to suggest the eredivisie is not a high scoring league. And dubious to suggest that stats from a high scoring Dutch team carry over to a Sunderland side that barely avoided relegation with an anaemic offense. And that’s leaving out the Hull experience or the basic sense that teams further down the ladder in England tend to play hoofball and not flowing continental soccer. Swansea and similar teams standing out in comparison.

      • Hull is quite germane to the issue. Bottom end EPL struggler just like where he is now. He scored one league goal all year.

        I know the theory is that he has matured, but you’re talking about someone who started off professionally as a big kid and scored 9 goals for NYRB one season. He struggled through a series of destinations before finally finding AZ and the high scorng Dutch league, which seems to have suited him. Now he’s returned to one of his former leagues and to date has the same lackluster results. Maybe this says Jozy is not suited to this level of EPL side.

      • Jozy was sitting fat and ready in the box two times last week and didn’t get the feed. I see that and how he was faster and stronger than Vidic and Jones and I’m not worried about Jozy. He became a better goal scorer at AZ. At Sunderland (hopefully for only a year), he’ll become a bigger beast and improved hold up play. A power and guile combo with Johannson is going to cause problems for a lot of CB pairings.

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