pete sixsmith

This is the essential piece on Gus Poyet’s dismissal. Over to a gloomy Pete Sixsmith


And so the deed has been done.
The general consensus here in the North East is that it had to be after that performance on Saturday and that the club and the former Head Coach can now move on and achieve success with someone else.

The stories that are beginning to trickle out of the Stadium make it seem clear that Poyet would not have been here after May. There appears to be little contact between him and Lee Congerton and the owner was becoming more and more exasperated with Poyet both on and off the field.

Poyet made it clear that some players he wanted were not being brought in while some players that he didn’t want were. It has to be said that whoever was responsible for bringing in Coates, Alvarez Jones and Gomez during the summer window has a lot to answer for. We can’t blame the Italian connection for those stumers can we?

Marco Gabbiadini and Gary Bennett were on Total Sport tonight, both with slightly different viewpoints. Marco is a hunky dory man who wants things to be on an even keel and is prepared to look at both sides of the case, while Benno has made it clear all season that the football has been abysmal and that the former Head Coach is mostly to blame; “No tempo, no fight and gutless” would sum up our former skippers take on things.

Nick Barnes was sorry to see Poyet go from the journalist’s point of view if not from the footballing one. It must be difficult trying to describe the latest 0-0 draw to listeners in Ealing and the Cote D’Azur – although probably not as difficult as actually paying to watch it as a supporter.

So where to from here? The timing of the dismissal suggests that a short term fix is required and that calls for an experienced coach who can earn himself a large bonus by keeping Sunderland in the Premier League. It could be Dick Advocaat, keeping the seat warm for someone else or it could be another surprising left field choice – Gary Neville perhaps?

Should the new man succeed in keeping the club up, it will probably be met with groans from supporters of other Premier League clubs who will have to stomach watching Sunderland again next season. It would be fair to say that, in eight years, we have done absolutely nothing that has been of lasting benefit to the League, save keeping a few pub landlords in holiday money. Our football has, in the main, been dire.

I thought that Poyet was a good match for the club; he was young and ambitious, had played in Spain and England and had ideas (shame they turned out to be dud ones). He gave us a wonderful trip to Wembley and engineered that staggering run at the end of last season where we managed to win four games in a row and avoid the drop.

But the heart of that team was ripped out as Bardsley and Colback decided to look for new clubs – and found them in the Premier League – while Ki, Alonso and Borini decided to go back to their parent clubs and not stay at Sunderland. That’s five good players who did not fancy staying. Maybe they looked at Bridcutt in training and realised that this Head Coach was as imaginative as the previous ones.

Whoever comes in will have to perform a miracle even greater than last season’s as this team is far, far worse than the one of a year ago. On the evidence of the last few games, I would say that this team is even poorer than poor old Mick McCarthy’s triers in 2005. I have little cause for optimism that the drop can be avoided.

Here is a club that can attract 45,000 for a game at the bottom of the league, which has thousands of loyal and dedicated fans who have been short changed by managers, coaches, players and owners for far too long. Those empty seats will take some filling if the Championship is where we are next season. Mine will be one of the empty ones.

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

11 Responses to “Sixer’s Goodbye to Gus: ‘my seat will be empty if SAFC go down …’” Subscribe

  1. Drummer March 17, 2015 at 5:30 am #

    They’ll probably plague you with free tickets through the post from time to time . Happened to a mate of mine who gave up ,with the freebies and borrowed ones he was there nearly every week . There’s no escape !

  2. Mike Sixsmith March 17, 2015 at 7:20 am #

    A fine performance by Monsieur Salut on Radio Newcastle this morning. Ah the joys of the internet.
    Looks like Mr Advocaat is nailed on at least until the end of the season. Can’t do any worse, surely?

    • salutsunderland March 17, 2015 at 7:45 am #

      I was a lot better on an American programme late last night. Just as Radio Newcastle rang this morning with news of Dick, our man from Orange, another man from Orange arrived at my house to change the TV decoder. Trying to explain, phone in hand, why I couldn’t immediately deal with him got lost in translation. So any bum notes in the interview are down to dropping one of the two oranges I was trying to juggle.

  3. Paul March 17, 2015 at 8:20 am #

    Is the PL that great? The Championship is far, far more exciting in terms of competitiveness. The PL is over hyped and, of course, an obscene business adventure which has nothing to do with or to offer the average punter. Ellis Short is trying to salvage his investment which happens to be SAFC but it took a walk out to force his hand. I do not get the feeling that the hirearchy have listened to the supporters until last weekend and that shows how wide the gulf is between them. Not to mention the dismay which has been caused by how the club has been mismanaged after Quinn and, before him, Keane exited.

  4. Mike Sixsmith March 17, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Fine juggling Monsieur, never missed a beat!

  5. Keith Hutton Africa March 17, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    The writing has been on the wall for a long time. It appears Poyet did not have his heart in the club, he wanted to leave and got his wish, he is another manager who has proven he hasn’t quite what it takes, but lack of effort is unforgivable and has seriously dented his reputation, he blames his lack of say in transfers, but it is difficult to believe he was not involved in Buckley, Bridcott, Coates and Vergini. He may have wanted others but I think he only has himself to blame

  6. smoggie March 17, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    I dont understand this attitude of if the team doesnt stop up I’m not coming back to watch them. A proper supporter’ll support his team no matter what level they play at. And like Paul says you’ll see closer football played in the championship and entertainment is what you should be going to a game for surely to god. Anyhow I think that’s where your bound under Advocaat. He’ll put his foot in the water and it’ll be straight over his head. According to the Echo half of your lads are a load of piss artists. First thing for him to do is knock that on the head and then worry about how little he knows about English football. He’s got nowt to lose mind and a lot of money to gain out of his nine games. And then it’ll be kiss me backside and back to Holland lol

    • IanOklahoma March 17, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

      Your right,a true supporter will watch his team whatever level it is,but no-one is going to waste good money watching shite! The premiership is were all the top class players are and people want to watch them,yes its expensive,but the clubs have to compete and win things like the champions league to get the best players,good players are not going to sign for a championship team whatever you pay them.Gone are the days when you were allowed to play a couple of foreigners in the team,teams are full of them now.As for Boro,I hope they do get promotion,we need 3 north east teams in the top flight,the only problem is staying there? I think it is a good idea to give dick advocott the job till the end of the season,thank god it wasnt Warnock,I wish him luck in trying to get this lot playing some decent football and save this club from doom!

  7. pete sixsmith March 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    I’ll take no lectures on loyalty from the supporter of a club that struggles to get 18,000 for league games.I know what I want to spend my money on and it is not regular Championship football. It’s also my way of saying that enough is enough. I assume that our Boro friend has a season ticket and travels to away games – or is he one of the loud mouths that frequent Teesside and who has an opinion on everything?

    • smoggie March 17, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

      I suppose you could say that I’m both lol. But no lecture, not at all I just don’t understand why you’d want to watch shite in the premiership instead of good close football in the championship. All credit to your supporters but its not like you’ve got no loudmouths on Wearside

    • Eric012 March 17, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

      You have the right to reply my sulphur breathing friend.

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