Gus Poyet quits as Shanghai Shenhua coach after another Chinese Super League defeat
Uruguayan offers to quit after an 11th defeat of the season
Uruguayan Gus Poyet resigned as coach of Shanghai Shenhua on Monday after a 2-1 loss, their fourth in a row, to Henan Jianye at the weekend left the big-spending club languishing in 12th place just seven points above the relegation zone in the Chinese Super League.
“Mr Poyet formally offered his resignation to Shanghai Shenhua today,” read a statement on the club website.
“After considering the decision, the club has agreed to accept Mr Poyet’s resignation. From today, Mr Poyet will no longer be head coach of the club.”
The club’s 11th defeat in 23 matches this season came despite the introduction of Carlos Tevez off the bench after the Argentine forward’s return from injury on Sunday.
Shenhua said Wu Jingui, a former coach of the club who was working as technical director, would take over from the former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.
Shanghai placed fourth in 2016 and hopes were high for the 2017 campaign after the appointment in November of Poyet, who has coached in the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga.
An early defeat in qualification for the Asian Champions League in February started Poyet’s tenure on a negative note and just three wins in the last 18 league games had fans calling for change.
To make matters worse for supporters, city rivals Shanghai SIPG are expected to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time.
SIPG, coached by Andre Villas-Boas, defeated Chinese counterparts Guangzhou Evergrande 4-0 in the first leg last month.
Barring a dramatic turnaround on Tuesday, SIPG will advance to a semi-final where they will face either Kawasaki Frontale or Urawa Reds.
Additional reporting by Associated Press