By KEVIN KOCZWARA
The beginning of the English Premier League season hasn’t gone well for Sunderland and Jozy Altidore. The Black Cats sit in last place in the league table and parted ways with manager Paolo Di Canio after five weeks, zero wins and one point in the league.
Altidore was brought in by the Italian manager, but now he will have to adapt after a tough start to his second stint in the Premier League because Sunderland officially announced on Tuesday that they have appointed of Gustavo Poyet, 45, as the team’s latest manager.
Poyet played for Chelsea, making 105 appearances and scoring 36 goals, before moving to Tottenham in 2001. He was capped 26 times by Uruguay before retiring and jumping into coaching. He helped lead Brighton & Hove Albion from League One to the Championship in the 2010-11 season and was named LMA League Manager of the Year. He was relieved of his duties in charge of the club this past summer.
“I never thought I would get an opportunity to manage in the Barclays Premier League but here I am and it’s now up to me to prove that the right man has been chosen,” Poyet, who signed a two-year deal, told the club’s official website. “I’m absolutely delighted.”
Due to this week’s international break, Poyet and Sunderland have some time to get on the same page before his first game in charge. That will be on Oct. 19 as the Black Cats visit Swansea City before hosting rivals Newcastle United on Oct. 27.
The break should give Poyet time to shape the side. His Brighton & Hove Albion teams were fluid and passed the ball well while creating plenty of chances, so that should help Altidore as he looks to get back to the kind of goal-scoring form he was in while playing for AZ in the Netherlands.
“We analyzed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus’s track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward,” said said Sunderland AFC Chairman Ellis Short.
What do you think of Poyet’s hiring at Sunderland? Like it? What does this mean for Altidore?
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