Sunderland’s Poyet: Stability key to success

Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.
Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.

GUS POYET believes it would have taken a managerial “genius” to be successful at either Sunderland or Tottenham this season after such wholesale changes during the summer.

Both Sunderland and tonight’s opponents Spurs conducted a huge overhaul of their squads at the start of the campaign, with the Black Cats bringing in 14 fresh faces and the White Hart Lane outfit splashing out £100million on eight players to replace the departed Gareth Bale.

Neither spending spree has paid off, with Sunderland once again rock bottom of the Premier League table, while Spurs’ top four ambitions look in tatters after dropping to seventh place.

Yet Sunderland head coach Poyet says both his predecessor Paolo Di Canio and former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas were always going to face an uphill battle to get that influx of new signings to gel at the two clubs.

Former Spurs midfielder Poyet told the Echo: “I think Spurs are in a very similar situation to us, in terms of all the changes they have made.

“All the players that have come in, the change of manager, the fact we were both expected to do better than we have done.

“I know it is difficult for those in charge at Spurs to send out the message that, because they brought in so many players, this is a transition year.

“They lost the best player in the league, in Gareth Bale, and brought in eight new ones.

“It’s hard to send out that message because people get annoyed, so you don’t say it and then people expect you to be near the top again.

“And when that doesn’t happen, there is a change of manager and then another change of players and the whole things starts again.

“When you spend that much money on that number of players, to expect all of them to come in and perform straightaway - you need to be a genius. Not a manager, a genius.

“And there are not too many of those, if there are any geniuses in football!

“Here it was similar. How can you cope with 14 new players, without risking going down? You would need to be a genius.”

The concern for Poyet will be that Sunderland are facing another summer of upheaval, regardless of which division the Black Cats are in next season.

Eight players are out of contract at the Stadium of Light, while a further five are only on loan deals.

Should Sunderland succumb to relegation - as seems increasingly likely - none of those are likely to be at the club next season, while Poyet would also face losing some of his more saleable assets.