Firstly I apologise for the lack of updates on the season start, a combination of holidays, new job and weddings have kept me from the laptop.
Two games in, how are we looking?
Well, probably not as well as most people anticipated. In jornada 1 we were on the end of a 6-2 hammering to a great Barcelona performance and the week after we played out a dull 0-0 draw with Deportivo. Not quite the electric start that pre-season had lead us on to believe would materialise, but as ever at Betis, onwards and upwards.
Gus Poyet – man with a plan?
I’ve already heard on the grapevine (aka Twitter) that a small selection of people are calling for the return of Pepe Mel amidst Poyet’s less than impressive start. That really is short-sighted even by Spanish football’s standards. The Pepe Mel boat has well and truly sailed and to bring him to Betis for a third time would be preposterous.
Two games is a ridiculous amount of time to judge a manager by, especially after visiting a very much on-form Barcelona for the first game of the season, which was fairly cruel on Poyet. He needs time to bed in, transmit his philosophy and style of football to the players and also allow the 10 (so far) new signings to gel and form relationships. There is no way that all that can happen before the end of August; as fans we need to be patient if we want to see the bearing of any fruit.
Let’s have a quick look at Gus Poyet’s starts for the other clubs he has managed, albeit he took over all three part-way through a season.
Took over on 10th November 2009 after the club won just three games of the 09/10 season leaving them hovering above the relegation zone. Poyet picked up three wins during his first 9 games in charge and took Brighton on a steady, progressive season which saw them finish 13. The following season the man from Montevideo took the club on an unbelievable run which earned them promotion to the Championship after making the top spot their own from match day 8 right through to the final game. Poyet then did incredible well in the two seasons he had at Brighton in the Championship, taking them to the play-offs before an acrimonious departing.
Poyet wasn’t long without a job and was instated as the Sunderland manager on 8th October 2013 with the club dead bottom of the Premier League after the departure of Paolo Di Canio. The Uruguayan didn’t get off to the best start in the North East, losing 4-0 to Swansea but the team started to pick up by December and despite a scare towards the end of the season, finished in 14th place. The following season was a bumpy affair and eventually Poyet was sacked in mid-March after a 4-0 drubbing to Aston Villa.
Poyet took over at the Greek side at the start of November 2015. After a rocky start – a draw to Panathinaikos and loss to Asteras Tripolis no less – he took the reigning Greek champions on a good run, which eventually saw them finish third after Olympiacos stormed the league by 30 points. Again it was another bitter ending for Poyet, which seems akin to his lively personality, after he told the club he would be leaving just a day before a semi-final.
What does this mean for Betis?
For me it is far too early to judge the man. He seemed to make good progress during pre-season with the team and in combination with sporting director Torrecilla. Their plan, good or bad which is impossible to tell yet, needs time to hatch and hopefully prosper. Poyet is a volatile coach, we new this before he signed thanks to his not so clean exits at any of the clubs he previous managed.
Showing his volatility on cue – Poyet has been banned from the touchline for the next two games after telling referee Clos Gómez not to come back to Betis because we never win when he is in charge. Not the best start to his Betis managerial career.
It’s also been shown in his other stints that he doesn’t bring an immediate impact to a club in terms of results. It ranges from a couple of weeks to a couple of months in charge before we start to see progress in the league table. However, this time at Betis is different. Poyet has never started to manage a team with a full pre-season in front of him. Of course he has had pre-seasons at Brighton and Sunderland but he has always taken on a role in October or November.
I think we have made some smart signings this summer, the latest of which (number 10) was Serbian midfielder Darko Brasanac, who was signed from Partizan Belgrade on a five year contract. This comes after a deal with David López fell through.
Making way for Brasanac is centre midfielder Didier Digard who goes on loan to Osasuna. The Frenchman failed to impress last year and as such doesn’t feature in Poyet’s plans.