Sunderland take gamble and hire Poyet as manager
Gus Poyet was hired as Sunderland’s sixth permanent manager in less than five years on Tuesday with the task of reviving the English Premier League club’s fortunes.
The 45-year-old Uruguayan was handed a two-year contract to replace Paolo Di Canio despite having no previous topflight managerial experience and being fired by second-tier team Brighton in June in contentious circumstances.
Poyet takes over a Sunderland side at the bottom of the Premier League with just one point after seven matches, and looking for stability after the stormy six-month reign of Di Canio.
“We analysed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus’ track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward,” Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said.
As a midfielder, Poyet spent his peak playing years with Zaragoza, Chelsea and Tottenham before becoming assistant manager to Dennis Wise at Swindon in 2006. He followed Wise to Leeds before Tottenham hired him to work under Juande Ramos in October 2007.
Although Poyet won the League Cup with Ramos at Tottenham early in 2008, they were fired in October after a poor start to the season.
Poyet, though, was soon handed his first managerial job in 2009 at Brighton, which was then in the third tier, steering the south-coast club to promotion in 2011 by winning the League One title.
Brighton missed out on promotion to the Premier League by losing in the League Championship playoffs last season, and Poyet was fired in June after a disciplinary hearing following a dispute with the club.
Now Poyet is back in work and he has almost two weeks during the international break to plan for Sunderland’s next match at Swansea on October 19.
The Black Cats have shown signs they were starting to gel under interim head coach Kevin Ball in recent weeks.
A League Cup victory over third-tier club Peterborough has been followed by honest efforts in losses to Liverpool and Manchester United.