We were asked to pen something about what's his face for giant Sunderland fanzine A Love Supreme. ALS are award winning dons of the fanzine world and, to give you an idea of their size, have their own shop outside the ground and a printing press to knock out loads of merch as-and-when. Anyway, this was published in the latest issue which coincided with a derby win. As you'll see, we categorically state that Poyet is crap in derbies, but the rest of our prediction will hold true in time, we're sure of it.
Welcome to Planet Gus
Gus Poyet is a funny one. He was the most popular manager in Albion’s history, eclipsing those who have achieved more in the past and providing a benchmark for all those who will come after him. I have no doubt that he will brighten up your collective lives, he will be a messiah, a gift from above. Your football will improve in 2-3 weeks, bad players will become world beaters, snide ones will be out of the door. Standards will be set for all, players staff and fans, but in a way that will make you feel good, that will keep you engaged. I can’t promise, but you might start enjoying football again.
On-pitch you’ll get the whole tiki-taka thing. The media will spin this constantly, you’ll get a reputation for playing ‘the right way’ amongst other tenuous clichés. Poyet plays a conservative possession game in reality. It’s fun if you’re doing well, but some fans will complain about not getting it forward enough, you’ll get annoyed by that bloke two rows back who consistently shouts ‘put it in the mixer’ as your back four knock the ball around to each other like it’s pre-season friendly.
Press conferences will become fun, but not in a weird way like your last bloke. Poyet is immensely popular in the press and he keeps the hacks in the palm of his hand. You’ll watch on, clinging to his every word, Shere Kahn-esque. He is honest and engaging, he has a laugh, he doesn’t pull punches and when the red tops come with their patronising questions you’ll grow to love his shrug of the shoulders and trademark ‘tha’s foo’bull’ riposte.
All good so far, right? So why is he so controversial at Albion? Well, maybe you’ll see after a while. It’s rarely his fault, for one, Gus can be the perfect leader until something goes wrong, then he distances himself. He’ll wind up the chairman by questioning ‘quality’ with a faux-envious look at the clubs willing to spend silly money without the means to support it. He can be a bit ‘Chelsea’ if you know what I mean, and the bad behaviour in the squad that led to 4 players being tried twice for sexual assault put the club in a bad light, plus the poogate thing was on his watch too. He was dismissive of derby games, to protect himself when he got them wrong – which he did. He got boring, which is sad to say, but you start to see through his schpiel sometimes. There was always a strange undertone of lack of commitment too, as if he woke up every morning hoping a bigger club would come in for him. He was also too crass, like protecting Suarez during the racism incident by referring to Evra as a cry baby.
If Gus was a bloke down the pub you’d like him to chat too, and no doubt he was a laugh, but on your way home, thinking about it, you’d realise he was a bit of a knob too. Down in Brighton we should remember this guy as a demi-god, but he gobbed-off one too many times. We wish him luck, we wish you luck, let’s hope there isn’t the ‘ceiling’ for him to hit as he so eloquently put it after his team lost to our biggest rivals in the Play-off semis last season.