Gus Poyet

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Gus Poyet
Gustavo Poyet Brighton v Spurs Amex Opening 30711.jpg
Poyet in 2010
Personal information
Full name Gustavo Augusto Poyet Domínguez[1]
Date of birth (1967-11-15) 15 November 1967 (age 52)[1]
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1989 Grenoble 37 (8)
1989–1990 River Plate (Montevideo) 78 (28)
1990–1997 Zaragoza 239 (63)
1997–2001 Chelsea 105 (36)
2001–2004 Tottenham Hotspur 82 (18)
Total 463 (125)
National team
1993–2000 Uruguay 26 (3)
Teams managed
2007–2008 Leeds United (Assistant)
2009–2013 Brighton & Hove Albion
2013–2015 Sunderland
2015–2016 AEK Athens
2016 Betis
2016–2017 Shanghai Shenhua
2018 Bordeaux
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Gustavo Augusto "Gus" Poyet Domínguez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈɡus poˈʝet]; born 15 November 1967) is a Uruguayan former footballer. He was most recently the manager of Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

Poyet played as a midfielder and began his career with short spells at Grenoble and River Plate. He then spent seven years at Real Zaragoza, with whom he won the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In 1997, Poyet moved to Chelsea on a free transfer and helped the club win the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In 2001, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur, where he saw out the remainder of his career. He was also part of the Uruguay side which won the 1995 Copa América.

After his playing career ended, Poyet moved into coaching. He served as assistant manager to Dennis Wise at Swindon Town and Leeds United, and Juande Ramos at Tottenham Hotspur. In November 2009, Poyet was appointed manager of Brighton & Hove Albion and in his first full season led the club to promotion as League One Champions, for which he was named League One Manager of the Year by the LMA. In October 2013 he was hired by Premier League team Sunderland and guided them to the League Cup Final in his first season, but was sacked in March 2015 after a poor run of results. After short spells at Superleague Greece side AEK Athens, La Liga club Real Betis, and Chinese Super League team Shanghai Shenhua, he took over Bordeaux in 2018.

Playing career[edit]

Club career[edit]

Born in Montevideo,[1] a goalscoring midfielder, he began his career with spells at Grenoble and River Plate. Poyet moved to Real Zaragoza in 1990; winning the Copa del Rey in 1994 and the Cup Winners' Cup a year later, beating Arsenal in the final.[2] He became Zaragoza's longest-serving foreign player, and scored 60 goals in 240 games for the club.

Poyet joined Chelsea on a free transfer in June 1997. Not long into his first season at the London club, he suffered cruciate ligament damage, this meant he missed the victorious 1998 Football League Cup Final but recovered to play in the team's successful Cup Winners' Cup Final against VfB Stuttgart. The following year, he contributed 14 goals – making him the club's second highest scorer – to help Chelsea finish third in the Premiership, including a crucial headed goal in 1–0 win against Leeds United.[3] He also scored the winner for Chelsea in the 1998 UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid.[4] In 1999–2000, he scored 18 goals (which again made him Chelsea's second highest scorer), with a scissors-kick volley against Sunderland,[5] a long range strike against Lazio,[6] and both of Chelsea's goals in the FA Cup semi-final against Newcastle United,[7] among the most memorable, as the team won the FA Cup and reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

With the arrival of new manager Claudio Ranieri in September 2000, Chelsea was a team in transition. With Ranieri seeking to reduce the average age of the squad, Poyet became surplus to requirements and requested a transfer.

In 145 appearances for Chelsea, Poyet scored 49 goals.

Poyet joined Tottenham Hotspur in May 2001 for around £2.2 million. He scored 14 goals in his debut season for Spurs and helped his team reach the League Cup final, but they lost 2–1 to Blackburn Rovers.[8] His time at the club was blighted by injuries, and he again sustained cruciate ligament damage in August 2002,[9] but still managed to score 23 goals in 98 games.

International career[edit]

Poyet was a Uruguay international, making his international debut on 13 July 1993 in a friendly match against Peru (1–2). After 67 minutes, he was substituted by Carlos Aguilera.[10]

Poyet helped his country win the Copa América in 1995. In doing so, he was voted as the best player in his position at the tournament.[11]

He won 26 caps in total, scoring three goals.

Coaching career[edit]

In July 2006, he became a player and assistant manager at Swindon Town alongside ex-Chelsea teammate, Dennis Wise.[12] Both Poyet and Wise were given permission to talk about forming the new Leeds United management team on 23 October 2006 and looked set to take the place of caretaker manager, John Carver, until Swindon withdrew permission due to disagreements over compensation.[13] On 24 October 2006, Poyet was confirmed as assistant manager of Leeds with Dennis Wise as the manager.[14] On 29 October 2007, Poyet rejoined his former club Tottenham Hotspur to work alongside new head coach Juande Ramos as a first team coach with Marcos Álvarez as a fitness coach.[15] During his first season as assistant manager at White Hart Lane, he won the 2007–08 League Cup, beating Chelsea 2–1 after extra time in the Final after a penalty from Dimitar Berbatov in normal time and a header early into extra time from Jonathan Woodgate.[16]

On 25 October 2008, Poyet parted company with Tottenham Hotspur along with manager Juande Ramos, first team coach Marcos Álvarez and sporting director Damien Comolli.[17]

Management career[edit]

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

Poyet as Brighton manager in 2011

On 10 November 2009, Poyet was announced as the new manager of English League One side Brighton & Hove Albion on a one-and-a-half-year contract.[18][19] Former Tottenham teammate Mauricio Taricco was also announced as Poyet's assistant manager. He steered the club to safety as he had a brilliant start to his career at Brighton by going to Southampton and winning 3–1. He started the 2010–11 season by making a number of signings including Gordon Greer, Radostin Kishishev, Liam Bridcutt, Matt Sparrow, Casper Ankergren and Ashley Barnes. He also signed a new four-year contract along with his assistant Mauricio Taricco.[20]

The season started with five wins from the first eight games putting Brighton top of the League One table. Brighton started the year 2011 with a 5–0 home win on New Year's Day against Leyton Orient.[21] Most notable was a run of eight straight league victories in March, leaving the club 13 points clear at the top with games in hand over all of their closest rivals with the exception of Southampton. Brighton secured promotion to the Championship following a 4–3 home win over Dagenham & Redbridge, Ashley Barnes scoring the winner in the 63rd minute. The League One title was clinched on 16 April 2011, as Brighton beat Walsall 3–1, having been top without slipping since the eighth game of the season and with four games of the season still to play.[22] On 23 May 2011, Poyet was voted LMA League One Manager of the Year for his achievements in the 2010–11 season – his first full season as a football manager.[23]

During pre-season 2011, Poyet twice broke the club's record transfer-fee in signing Will Buckley and Craig Mackail-Smith, and also brought in former Spain and Valencia playmaker Vicente on a free transfer. After an unbeaten start to the 2011–12 season, Poyet was named as Championship manager of the month for August 2011.[24] Poyet shortly after signed a new and improved five-year contract to remain at the club until 2016.[25] In March 2012, Poyet won the Outstanding Managerial Achievement Award at the Football League Awards ceremony, beating Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman and former Huddersfield Town boss Lee Clark.[26]

On 16 May 2013, days after Brighton lost to Crystal Palace in the Championship play-off semi-finals, Poyet was suspended by Brighton and told to stay away from the club pending an inquiry. Poyet reportedly told his players that he could not guarantee whether he would remain at the club, and also intimated that he had taken Brighton as far as he could.[27] On 23 June, Brighton released an official statement declaring that Poyet had been informed that "his employment has been terminated with immediate effect".[28] Poyet said that he was only made aware of his sacking when a member of the BBC production staff handed him a printout of the club statement, whilst working as a pundit for BBC Three's coverage of the Spain vs. Nigeria group game in the FIFA Confederations Cup.[29]


Poyet on the touchline as Sunderland manager away to Chelsea in April 2014

On 8 October 2013, it was announced that Poyet had been appointed as Head Coach at Sunderland on a two-year contract,[30] becoming the first Uruguayan to manage in the Premier League.[31] Eleven days later in his first match in charge, they lost 0–4 away to Swansea City.[32] His second game in charge, and first at the Stadium of Light, resulted in a 2–1 win against local rivals Newcastle United on 27 October.[33]

In his first season in charge, he took Sunderland to the League Cup Final after a penalty shootout win over Manchester United in the semi-finals.[34] On 19 April 2014, Poyet defeated José Mourinho in his first-ever home league defeat in the Premier League as Chelsea manager, a 2–1 win to Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.[35] Poyet led Sunderland to a 2–0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion on 7 May to guarantee Premier League safety with one game remaining, performing "a miracle" in his own words by arresting a decline that saw Sunderland seven points adrift of safety as late as 7 April, when they lost 5–1 to Tottenham Hotspur. Defeat to Everton in their following league game made avoiding relegation look like a near impossible task for the club, but Sunderland, under Poyet's stewardship, earned 13 points out of a possible 15 in their following five league games.[36][37][38] Poyet signed a new two-year contract at Sunderland on 28 May 2014.[39]

The club sacked Poyet on 16 March 2015. Two days prior, in his last game, they lost 0–4 at home against Aston Villa with all goals conceded in the first half, prompting a mass exit by fans.[40] At the time of his sacking, they were in 17th place in the league, one point above the relegation places.[41]

AEK Athens[edit]

On 29 October 2015, AEK Athens reported that Poyet had agreed in principle to be the club's manager until summer 2016.[42] In February 2016, he guided his team to successive wins against neighbours Olympiacos and Panathinaikos.[43] He was sacked on 19 April 2016


On 9 May 2016, Poyet had signed a two-year deal with Real Betis.[44] On 12 November 2016, he was sacked and replaced by Víctor Sánchez.[45]

Shanghai Shenhua[edit]

On 29 November 2016, Poyet became the manager of Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.[46] On his debut, Shenhua lost to Brisbane Roar at home in AFC Champions League Playoff stage.[47] Later in the season, he led the club to achieve its first consecutive away victories since 2010,[48] but also witnessed the first home defeat within two seasons. Despite of being blamed by public for poor performance in the league and resigning on 11 September,[49] he was still appreciated by some fans for his contribution to the team's championship in 2017 Chinese FA Cup later in November, including a 1-0 home victory over classic rival Beijing Guoan in 4th round, and a 3-1 away victory over Shandong Luneng in quarter final.


On 20 January 2018, Poyet became the manager of Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.[50] In August, he was suspended by the club after criticising the sale of Gaëtan Laborde to Montpellier.[51] He was subsequently fired and replaced by Ricardo Gomes on 5 September.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Poyet is married to Madelon González with whom he has two sons: Diego (born 1995) and Matias (born 1993).[53] Diego is also a midfielder, making his professional debut in 2014 for Charlton Athletic before moving to West Ham United, and has represented England at youth international level.

Poyet's father was Olympic basketball player Washington Poyet, while his brother Marcelo also played the sport professionally in South America.[54] Poyet introduced basketball to Sunderland academy training sessions, believing it to share many attributes with football, particularly marking.[54]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played on 16 August 2018
Team From To Record Ref.
G W D L Win %
Brighton & Hove Albion 10 November 2009 23 June 2013 194 86 59 49 044.33 [55]
Sunderland 8 October 2013 16 March 2015 75 23 22 30 030.67 [55]
AEK Athens 29 October 2015 19 April 2016 28 18 5 5 064.29 [56]
Real Betis 9 May 2016 12 November 2016 11 3 2 6 027.27 [57]
Shanghai Shenhua 29 November 2016 11 September 2017 28 9 7 12 032.14 [58]
Bordeaux 20 January 2018 5 September 2018 21 13 2 6 061.90
Total 353 151 95 107 042.78



Real Zaragoza


Brighton & Hove Albion


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External links[edit]