How did Cheer Up Peter Reid go on from there? ‘…. when a saviour’d come our way.’ The Sunderland chairman, Ellis Short, avoided the word, preferring instead to talk of the “track record, experience, commitment and passion [that] make him the right man to take us forward”. It remains to be seen who will need cheering up most come the end of the season …
Salut! Sunderland extends a hearty if nervous welcome to Gus Poyet, newly appointed as head coach of SAFC on a two-year contract.
If he does in 31 games what Paolo Di Canio managed in seven and keep Sunderland up, he will have more than earned the second year and perhaps an extension.
It is difficult to know, looking up from rock bottom, seven points short (because of our ghastly goal difference) of a non-relegation place, who could have taken on the challenge with real confidence. Every manager or head coach, even when young with limited experience, must have some, maybe a lot of, self-belief. The job at Sunderland involves, in large measure, transferring that to the players.
Poyet starts, as all those taking charge of Sunderland AFC should, with our support. Even most of those of us who had misgivings about the baggage that came with PDC gave him the benefit of the doubt once the club sorted out its dismal initial handling of the appointment and issued that famous statement on what Di Canio was and was not.
The Uruguyan arrives unencumbered by that sort of history. Like PDC, he also arrives without Premier experience on management, good as both were as top-flight players. He therefore faces a steep learning process as he attempts to replicate the success he had at Brighton, before it all ended in tears, at the higher level.
There’s a press conference later and we’lhttp://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/2212?cc=5739l hear what Poyet himself makes of the task ahead.
Pete Sixsmith has already set out his immediate roadmap and I have reproduced it in a piece written for ESPN – – http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/2212?cc=5739. Essentially, it is this: forget the awful luck SAFC have had with the fixtures list – all but two of the first eight home games against top six contenders – and concentrate on the winnable next three matches, at Swansea and Hull with Newcastle at home in between.
It is no use relying on the supposedly easier run of home games that starts with Norwich at home in December. The season could well be defined by how many points we manage from that little cluster before Man City, Chelsea and Spurs arrive looking for easy away wins.
Here’s an extract from that ESPN article:
New managers/coaches can have a magical effect. Peter Reid staved off relegation to an even lower division back in 1995 and turned a modest squad into Premier-bound champions in the following season. O’Neill fired up Bruce’s troubled team in 2011 to take the 19 points from nine games that ensured survival despite a later slump. Even though only seven league games have so far been played, Poyet has to show he, too, has a magic wand.
And now over to you, Gus, to put a smile on our faces …
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