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New Cats boss has charisma, but is no Di Canio Mk II
ANDY NAYLOR from The Brighton Argus gives us the lowdown on new Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet.
Poyet v Di Canio
It will be an entertaining ride with Gus in charge. What you will get is oodles of charisma and a bit of controversy thrown in, but he is just an open and honest guy.
He is box office, but irrespective of the acrimonious nature of his departure, he also did a great job.
He took over when Brighton we're struggling in League One and immediately he stabilised them. They went on to win the league in style in his first full season and then he guided them up the Championship and then on the brink of the Premier League.
You could point to certain similarities between the two, but you could also point to some fairly big differences, which suggest he isn’t Di Canio Mk II.
It would be very unfair to say he is another Di Canio, because he is his own man and he is different but you can see why people think he is the same.
Style of play
His biggest legacy was establishing an identity on the field. The system was well established, he played 4-1-2-3 and he’d have a holding midfielder, who was key to it all. Liam Bridcutt played that role and he has been Brighton’s player of season for last two seasons.
The centre halves would split, get it from the goalkeeper and play out from the back. It’s a passing style but it was also quite a cautious set-up. While it was seen as attractive it wasn’t exactly gung ho, it was all about controlling the game.
He stuck to it quite rigidly. One of the criticisms aimed at him was that he left substitutions too late and there wasn’t really a Plan B.
It went back a few months behind the scenes. There were vibes that things weren’t quite right. He did have a fairly persistent bee in his bonnet about the budget. Not so much the budget itself, but the fact he felt that if you had a mid-table budget you shouldn’t expect to finish higher than that and I think he felt there was an expectancy put over him.
There was also a situation where in the early part of his tenure he had control over a lot of different areas and that changed when the new chief executive came in. To some extent his powers were reined in a little bit and he didn’t take too kindly to that.
His relationship with the squad
He is a player’s manager. Some like to keep their distance and have that air of authority but he was very pro his players and he wanted everything done in a way that gave them the best possible chance of performing. He still had the authority, but if you speak to players here they would say it was fantastic under Gus. He was popular with the majority of the squad there’s no doubt about that.
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