Is Gus Poyet the right man for Sunderland?

Sports Mole takes a look at what Sunderland need from their new manager and if Gus Poyet fits the bill.

It did not take long for the first managerial casualty of the new Premier League season. Paolo Di Canio's bizarre remonstration with the Sunderland supporters at the end of the 3-0 defeat away to West Bromwich Albion proved to be fruitless as he was out of a job the following Monday after just five games of the season.

With Sunderland expected to name their new manager early next week, Sports Mole considers whether the hot favourite Gus Poyet is the right man for the job.

"Since the start of the season I've dedicated myself to watching the games of teams that might call me if things weren't going too well," The Mirror quoted Poyet as saying. That is either a sign that Poyet has been doing his research on Sunderland or that he is always on the lookout for the next opportunity.

Brighton manager Gus Poyet during the match against Leicester on April 6, 2013© Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion fans will be only too aware of the Poyet's need for the club he works for to have what he perceives as ambition. Without knowing the ins and the outs of each club's finances, it is hard to say whether such ambition is based on financial clout or just whether a chairman feels that the club can keep getting better. Certainly, in the case of Brighton, Poyet was managing a club that wanted to be - and was close to being - in the Premier League.

However, immediately after the playoff semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace Poyet became critical of the lack of finances and the way the club was run. Not long after this Poyet was suspended and then eventually fired, without a public explanation. It could well be that Poyet's outspoken criticism of the club could not be tolerated, but by then it had become clear that the Uruguayan did not want to wait any longer to manage in the Premier league.

This, then, is perhaps a worrying sign for supporters of the Black Cats, who have seen the hot-headed Di Canio fail to translate what was a summer upheaval on to the pitch in terms of results. Although Poyet did have a good relationship with - most of, the likes of Vicente aside - his players and the ability to bring in good talent for Brighton's level, in terms of speaking his mind Poyet is similar to the Italian.

Sunderland's Italian manager Paolo Di Canio reacts during the English Premier League football match between Sunderland and Fulham at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, northeast England, on August 17, 2013© Getty Images

However, that is merely one part of what being a football manager requires, and is arguably the least important aspect. At the end of the day, Di Canio was fired because of poor results and not his antics off the pitch. It is on the pitch were Poyet comes into his own. In all competitions for Brighton, Poyet took charge of 194 games, winning 86 and losing just 59. He took a team struggling in League One to the brink of the Premier League in just under four years.

There was a huge gulf between the style of football Di Canio wanted Sunderland to play and what was served up on the pitch. Poyet had Brighton playing a winning brand of football, with the players from goalkeeper to the strikers drilled in ball control. It meant that even the less technically gifted players at the club played with calmness and patience. Under pressure, Brighton sometimes suffered surprise defeats, but his is exactly the type of football that Sunderland need to get them out of trouble.

He is also unproven at the highest level. This, surely, is not as much of an issue as some people believe as even the experienced managers started somewhere. But it could come into Ellis Short's thinking when he looks to make the final decision on the new man in charge. For all Poyet's positives, the Sunderland board will need to weigh up the dangers of the similarities to Di Canio before they settle on him as the new boss.

Brighton manager Gus Poyet during the match against Leicester on April 6, 2013
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