Gus Poyet's Appointment - Who Cares?
Though we had to wait for months, EPO have finally appointed a new manager. Gus Poyet has replaced John van’t Schip as the new Ethniki boss. While my knowledge of the Uruguayan is limited, here’s what I’ve learned:
Played as a midfielder for teams such as River Plate, Real Zaragoza, Chelsea and Tottenham
Started his managerial career at Brighton (four years), moved on to Sunderland (two years), but has not managed a club for more than one season since.
Managed AEK during the 2015-2016 season, grabbing wins against Panathinaikos and Olympiacos in the derbies, but was fired in April after letting the press know he was leaving at the end of the season. AEK went on to finish third in the league and win the Kypello vs Olympiacos less than a month later (way to save face in the breakup AEK 👏👏)
Following Poyet’s appointment, I received the following message from a friend: “Ethniki Twitter is hot garbage right now.”
Now, since I feel that most Twitter users are just trying to win a “Dumbest Person Ever” trophy, I won’t even attempt to explore the specifics that were written. Essentially, there is no shortage of topics that are being argued about Poyet; from his playing career, his managerial track record, his preferred tactics/formations, club vs national competition, to how he compares with JVS and other former Greece managers. These are just some of the many topics Ethniki fans have been getting at each other’s throats about in 280 characters or less. While there are many questions that can be asked about this appointment (and subsequently over-debated on Twitter), I feel that the most important question concerning Poyet at this time is this:
Now do not take this the wrong way. I love the Ethniki and obsess over it in an unhealthy manner like many other national team fans.. I’m not suggesting that the person who manages Greece does not matter. I’m simply trying to illustrate that the manager is the least of our problems right now.
To me, the news of Poyet’s appointment feels like a friend showing me the new spoiler they got on their car, but the car has no wheels… and their house is on fire. How on earth can anyone be bothered to evaluate Poyet when the people who appointed him are the same ones that caused Thodoris Zagorakis to resign as president just six months after his election? The same administration that allowed JVS to stay on after an abysmal Nations League campaign with the promise of “Project Qatar” and then still didn’t sack him after he failed to deliver on that promise. The same EPO that is running the Superleague so unbelievably poorly, that a federation as corrupt as UEFA had to do a holistic study just to show EPO that everything about their organization and the Greek Superleague needed fundamental structural changes.. The problem isn’t who Poyet is, it’s who appointed him in the first place.
When Otto Rehhagel was appointed, he was given complete autonomy over his team and time to shape his squad, but equally as important, he had a strong domestic league consisting of multiple clubs with good European club-level experience to pick players from. Can we say the same today?
At this point I don’t care if it’s Poyet, JVS, Rehhagel, Jurgen Klopp, or Pep Guardiola. We’ll never be in a position to get the last two names, but until EPO get their house in order, we won’t be able to attract any manager better than the former, even with the extremely promising generation of talent the Ethniki currently have at their disposal.
If the league was healthy and guys like Zagorakis weren’t running for the hills from the presidency of EPO, then I’d be glad to overanalyze every aspect of a new Ethniki manager. But the car has no wheels and the house is on fire. Poyet? Who cares?