Why does Gus Poyet keep getting sacked?

Colin Millar by Colin Millar / 17 August 2018, 13:38

On Friday morning, Ligue 1 club Bordeaux announced they were suspending boss Gustavo Poyet.

The decision was taken less than 24 hours after an extraordinary press conference in which the Uruguayan stated the club’s decision to sell Gaetan Laborde to Montpellier was a disgrace.

The manager then embarked on a rant relating to his lack of decision-making power, prompting the club’s press officer to declare “we will stop there” with Poyet interjecting:

“I decide when we stop. Only I decide.”

It is the latest in a growing line of unsavoury episodes involving the former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder. Within the past five years, Poyet has worked through six managerial jobs across five nations, with each of his last four stints lasting under a year.

The 50-year-old’s first job in management was at Brighton where he was memorably dismissed when appearing live on BBC in a punditry role - scroll down for video.

The Seagulls released a statement saying Poyet had “his employment has been terminated with immediate effect.” At the time, he was covering a Confederations Cup match on the British broadcaster and stated it was the first time he had been made aware of the decision.

The previous month, he had been suspended by the South Coast club and told to stay away following an inquiry, while he had reportedly told the players he had taken them to their limit following a Championship playoff defeat.

Next up was Sunderland, whom he guided to safety in the 2013/14 season but was fired the following year following a four-goal home loss to Aston Villa, with the Stadium of Light almost vacant by half-time with supporters walking out on their disaffected side. But it was whenever Poyet ventured elsewhere in Europe when he found controversy on a regular basis.

Sacked after six months at AEK Athens, the Greek club’s president blasted him as ‘immoral’ after announcing his intentions to leave the club at the end of the campaign ahead of the Greek Cup semi-final. The incident sounded familiar to that which led to Poyet’s dismissal at Brighton and was part of a recurring theme of the boss not learning from his mistakes.

Surprisingly the Uruguayan once again landed on his feet with an appointment at Spanish club Real Betis. Fans of the Seville-based club turned, en masse, against the coach after three months of disheartening performances, results and squad direction. Poyet did little to win over the fans with crushing defeats to the league’s elite and freezing out young star Dani Ceballos and club record goal scorer Ruben Castro.

Poyet was openly disliked by the fans – who regularly chanted for his sacking – and also by the dressing room, whom he quickly fell out with. After his inevitable dismissal, Poyet predictably blamed the fans, the players and the board – essentially his failure was everybody else’s fault but his own.

Within two weeks of his sacking in Spain, Poyet was appointed at big-spending Shanghai Shenhua as his agent continued to land him surprisingly lucrative jobs. Winning nine and losing 12 of his 28 outings for the Chinese giants, never able to recover from his AFC Champions League Playoff stage defeat during his first game.

After three months, the former midfielder returned to management with Bordeaux in January and with 13 wins from his 21 matches, including securing a Europa League spot, he looked to have finally stumbled upon some decent form with a stable club. But now he is gone for publicly speaking out against those who decide his future. Brave or reckless? Poyet now must hope his busy agent can once secure him another job.

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Slavisa Jokanovic
Slavisa Jokanovic
(Fulham)
14th November
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