GUS IS GONE
After weeks of poor results, murmurings of boardroom unrest, and vehement fan backlash Gustavo Poyet is finally out as manager of Real Betis. The news was made official on November 11th, according to a report from The Daily Mail.
Poyet’s last game in charge was a 2-0 defeat away at Villareal. In eleven La Liga games Poyet’s men won just three times. Betis drew twice under Poyet and lost on six occasions. Among the defeats were a 6-1 drubbing at home by Real Madrid, a 6-2 thrashing at Camp Nou, and a 1-0 loss to city rivals Sevilla.
Poyet lasted just six months at Betis, after joining on May 9th, weeks after leaving AEK Athens. At AEK, Poyet overachieved, guiding the newly promoted (but legendary) club to second in the league. However, he soured his relations with the boardroom there, alleging (probably quite correctly) that Greek football was fixed and that he would not be re-signing with the club at the end of the season. In response to these comments, AEK sacked Poyet in the last few days of the season.
Poyet certainly didn’t overachieve at Betis. In fact, he drastically underachieved. Depending on the damage done to his reputation, it may be a while before we see Poyet bounce back. (Ed.note: maybe if he had played Charly Musonda more often, this wouldn’t have happened...)
Poyet’s sacking is just the latest in a long line of departures we’ve seen since we began covering ex-Chelsea players in management.
This feature began in February and since then there have been 15 firings and/or resignations:
- Kevin Wilson, Nuneaton Town - Nov 18th, 2016 (sacked) *We’ll get to this in a second.
- Gus Poyet, Real Betis - Nov 11th, 2016 (sacked)
- Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Queens Park Rangers - Nov 5th, 2016 (sacked)
- Ritchie Hanlon and Paul Hughes, Kings Lynn - Nov 3rd, 2016 (resigned)
- Roberto Di Matteo. Aston Villa - Oct 3rd, 2016 (sacked)
- Dan Petrescu, Kuban - Oct 4th, 2016 (sacked)
- Christian Panucci, Ternana - Aug 14th, 2016 (sacked)
- Gianfranco Zola, Al Arabi - Jun 27th, 2016 (sacked)
- Dan Petrescu, Jiangsu Suning - Jun 3rd, 2016 (sacked)
- Gus Poyet, AEK Athens - Apr 20th, 2016 (sacked)
- Frank Sinclair, Hednesford Town- Apr 14th, 2016 (“mutual consent”)
- Hernan Crespo, Modena - Mar 26th, 2016 (sacked)
- Christian Panucci, Livorno - Mar 21st, 2016 (sacked)
- Frank Sinclair, Hednesford Town - Mar 2nd, 2016 (resigned)
- Leon Knight, Barnton FC - Feb 15th, 2016 (sacked)
- Nicolas Anelka, Mumbai FC - Feb 15th, 2016 (contract not renewed)
This leaves us with seven managers in the game. Five if you don’t include international coaches. With ex-Chelsea players-turned-managers’ numbers dwindling, this biweekly feature will probably become a monthly one, unless you’re all super interested in Dan Petrescu...
Gus Poyet was not the only manager who got his marching orders in the last fortnight. Former Chelsea and Northern Ireland striker Kevin Wilson (above) was let go by Vanarama Conference North side Nuneaton Town on November 18th, according to Nuneaton News.
Wilson’s last game in charge was a 1-1 draw at home to Stockport County. In 18 games as boss of Nuneaton this year, Wilson only managed three wins. This left the team in 19th place in the table with just goal-difference separating them from the relegation zone.
This is in stark contrast to Wilson’s previous season with Nuneaton, when he led them to just short of the play-offs. That was Wilson’s first season with ‘The Boro’. Prior to that he successfully managed Ilkeston Town.
Wilson has had a bad year, but he doesn’t deserve all the blame. His promotion-chasing side of last year was gutted during the summer and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wilson pick up a new Conference gig in the very near future.
Dan Petrescu is still gainfully employed. He’s had a good start to life as manager of Al Nasr in the United Arab Emirates. His second game in charge was a 0-0 draw at home to Dibba Fujairah in the Arabian Gulf Cup on November 3rd, but he followed that up with a 3-1 victory away at Al Sharjah in the Arabian Gulf League on the 18th. These points took Al Nasr up to 8th. In the cup, which is divided into two groups, Al Nasr are currently third in Group B.
The last man standing in England’s Championship is Slavisa Jokanovic, whose Fulham team are still in good form. Their only game over the past two weeks was a 1-1 home draw to Sheffield Wednesday on November 19th. They’re up to 8th in the league, striking distance from a play-off spot.
In Scotland David Hopkin is also doing well. His Livingston United remain top of Scotland’s League One, despite losing 2-1 away to Peterhead on November 19th. Livi were knocked out of the Scottish Challenge Cup on the 13th, though. Welsh side TNS beat them 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals.
Back in England the managerial team of Ritchie Hanlon and Paul Hughes was not out of work for long. After walking out of Kings Lynn they were signed up by west London club Hayes & Yeading United. Hayes & Yeading play in the same league as Kings Lynn (the Southern Premier, one league below the Conference North/South). They took over on November 2nd and played their first game on the 5th, a 3-0 loss away to Chippenham. On November 19th they also lost 2-0 to Leamington away. Hayes & Yeading are currently 22nd in the league, facing a relegation battle.
Mickey Hazard’s Hadley are also struggling at the wrong end of the table (in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division). They are placed 18th after a 2-1 loss at Welwyn Garden City on the 19th.
In International play Didier Deschamps kept France top of Group A in their World Cup Qualifying campaign. This was thanks to a 2-1 home win to Sweden on November 11th. On the 15th France were held to a goalless draw at home to the Ivory Coast, in a friendly.
Andriy Shevchenko and Ukraine are chasing Group I leaders Croatia, in World Cup Qualifying. They are currently in second place, after a 1-0 win to Finland, at home, on November 12th. They also beat Serbia 2-0 in a friendly on the 15th.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
With Gus Poyet leaving the feature, let’s spend some time listening to the former midfielder discuss his personal best XI during a conversation with Goal.