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Should Fans Worry Over Poyet Quit Rumours?

Gus really isn't going to walk, is he?

Matthew Lewis

In recent days, a plethora of reports in the tabloid press have thrown Gus Poyet's Sunderland future into question. It has been claimed that Gus Poyet isn't committed to the club and has a list of hard demands which he expects to be met if he is going to be persuaded not to activate a clause in his contract which allows him to walk away.


For starters, I'm not sure that the ability to quit is really unique to those managers with specific clauses in their contracts. It isn't as if they are slaves. Any manager can walk away whenever they want. It's exactly what Roy Keane did, if I remember correctly.

But generally speaking the whole thing just reeks a little of forced sensationalism to me. Then again, sensationalism is what tabloids do.

The way it has been depicted, you'd think Gus Poyet and Ellis Short were at bitter loggerheads, stubbornly entrenched in two wholly opposing camps and spitefully throwing their own excrement at each other whilst Poyet uses his 'miracle' escape as a gun pointed at Short's head, begging him to 'make his day'.

Some accounts of the situation, such as George Caulkin's in The Times offer a considerably fairer reflection of the situation, though the narrative is a dramatic one upon first reading no matter how it is framed.

But, in reality, I am not sure that this is 'news' at all.

Yes, Poyet is sitting down with the Chairman and key members of the board to both analyse the season and settle upon a shared strategy for the future. That is happening.

It will also be happening in every boardroom at every club in every country in the next couple of weeks, though. Contract renewals, transfers, the state of the youth team and everything else will be coming under the microscope for everyone. It's nothing Sunderland-specific.

Obviously Poyet has his own ideas on how he wants the club to operate, some of which he is very passionate about. You would expect that, though, considering he is the man who ultimately carries the can. In fact, I think we'd all hope that he was taking such a strong interest in our club rather than simply seeing it as a job and being happy to pass the buck.

But there are no ultimatums in play here. Both sides realise they are onto a good thing and there is a general willingness on both sides to work together. It's important to note that any talks that happen are not about how to keep Gus Poyet at Sunderland, but how Gus Poyet and Sunderland can take the club forward.

Why would Poyet want to leave, anyway? Having gone through what he has this season, why would he walk away and let it count for nothing, just as he has finally managed to get his footballing message across and started to see it bringing results?

He has seen Sunderland in a light that very few managers have. He has seen the scenes at Wembley and would have found it as impossible as anyone else to have not been wowed by the spirit of this football club. He has seen the Stadium of Light at it's very best. He saw the 9000 at Old Trafford. These are not things you find at just any football club.

More to the point, I think Sunderland can offer Poyet something else that he will struggle to get elsewhere - legacy. Get it right here, be the man to finally break Sunderland free of the historical shackles, and he will be remembered and idolised with a reverence few other clubs can match right now.

I don't think Poyet will leave Sunderland this summer. I'd be surprised if he has even seriously considered it. You can obviously never totally rule anything out in football, and there will be some issues to work though, but let's just hope this season doesn't have one last huge shock in store. The chances are it won't.

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