POYET BACK IN BUSINESS
Though he was fancied by Forest, and a few other Championship clubs, Gus Poyet has decided to join Real Betis Balompiè of La Liga. The Spanish club unveiled the Uruguayan as their new manager on May 11th. Poyet had been out of a job for barely a month, having left AEK Athens under a dark cloud in late April. Poyet had led the storied Greek club to second place in the league, but admitted to feeling jaded over a the state of Greek football and his relationship with the board plummeted after he announced his desire to leave Athens in the summer.
At Betis, Poyet has a team that finished 10th in the table and made it to the last 16 in the Copa del Rey. He takes over from former West Brom manager Pepe Mel, who had gotten Los Verdiblancos (the green-and-whites) promoted in style last season, winning the Segunda División outright. Mel was fired in January for a 'bad run of form', which didn't look too bad on paper.
Poyet's current squad boasts a number of recognizable figures, including Dutchmen Ricky van Wolfswinkel (ex-Norwich) and Rafael van der Vaart (of Real Madrid and boo-Spurs fame). Promising Chelsea youngster Charly Musonda is also at the club, on loan.
Poyet's first game in charge of Betis was the Seville-based club's last of the season. On May 15th, at Betis' Estadio Benito Villamarín, Poyet's men beat Getafe 2-1, relegating their opponents in the process. On May 20th, Betis played lower-league side Recreativo Huelva in a friendly, beating them 4-0.
Poyet will likely be tasked with, at a minimum, keeping Betis comfortably in La Liga for a second straight season in 2016-17.
After his odds to become the next Aston Villa manager were slashed, Roberto Di Matteo was spotted arriving at Birmingham Airport on May 20th. With the Villans in the midst of a takeover from Chinese investors, multiple sources have pointed to the former Chelsea midfielder/manager being the new Villa regime's top pick for the manager's job.
However, RDM may have other plans. On May 21st, Sky Sports reported that Di Matteo was in Rome talking to officials from famed capital club Lazio. This isn't the first time Di Matteo has been linked to the club he once played for in Serie A.
Whether it's England's Second City or Italy's Eternal City, it seems we won't have to wait much longer before Roberto Di Matteo is back in football management.
Another man who will continue in management for at least the near future is David Hopkin who, despite seeing his Livingston United side relegated from the Scottish Championship, has been handed a new one year contract with the club. The club said in a statement (per the BBC) that 'continuity' was one of their main objectives moving forwards. Although, one might expect Hopkin's seat to warm up considerably should Livingston not get off to a hot start in their next campaign.
In China, Dan Petrescu, whose Jiangsu Suning crashed out of Asia's Champions League last month, suffered his first league defeat of the season. On May 21st Jiangsu fell 1-0 away to Tianjin Teda. Before this they drew 0-0 at home to Shijiazhuang on the 14th. The dropped points have seen Jiangsu drop further back of Guangzhou Evergrande, who lead the league on 27 points. Second place Jiangsu have 21 points after 10 games played.
In China's FA Cup, Jiangsu easily dispatched lower-league Wuhan Hongxing, beating them 3-0 away on the 11th.
A little close to home, at Fulham, Slavisa Jokanovic saw a transfer embargo lifted on the club allowing him to spend on new players during the summer. The transfer ban had been placed on the Cottagers after they made a financial loss in excess of the permitted limit, as determined by the FA, at the end if the 2013/14 season (when they were relegated from the Premier League).
In order to land one of his rumoured targets, Jokanovic will need to go toe-to-toe with another Dugout Blue, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. According to Get West London both Fulham and JFH's QPR are vying for the services of Celta Vigo centre half Sergio Gomez, who is valued at around £4.6million.
With it being reported that Hasselbaink's top goal for the summer is building a new defense, let's take a moment to watch the then-Chelsea striker doing the exact opposite; tearing some old ones down!