After weeks of turbulence, calls from fan groups and general unrest, Gus Poyet has finally been relieved of his duties at Real Betis.
The Uruguayan was brought in to head the start of new era Betis after Pepe Mel was sacked in January and a new administration board was elected. Poyet took over from the very popular caretaker manager Juan Merino and initially optimism was plentiful. However, the initial good vibrations that were flowing through the club fairly quickly turned to slight pessimism and then downright turmoil.
Despite making a few good signings on paper, it just never seemed to fit with Poyet in charge. His style of football was much different from what béticos were used and even the philosophy of the club in truth. Poyet is careful, considered and not really ready to jump into gung-ho mode, unlike say Pepe Mel would. The team always played on the side of caution and just didn’t show excitement or any belief in their abilities; this has to be because of Poyet’s management style.
He only had just over five months in charge at the club, which is no time at all, and no one can realistically expect an immediate change to the style and fortunes at the club; the problem is that there were absolutely no signs of anything positive, which may seem quite harsh, but it is true. The team played exactly the same way last season under an increasingly desperate Mel, but this season they seemed to play with even less spark and with even less ideas. It wasn’t good to watch.
This snapshot of results shows the last seven games. Two wins and five losses, is quite bad but it’s more so the manner of the defeats. Lacklustre screams out to me. Four goals scored and 12 conceded in that time. The best goalscorer with have, Rubén Castro, dropped to the bench and Cejudo captaining the side against Villarreal was the limit for some.
Fans have been calling for this head with shouts of “Poyet Vete Ya” circulating for a few weeks now. Once you lose the fans there’s no looking back. I’ve held out in hope that we will start to show signs of improvement but none came. For me the scales were tipped last week against Villarreal in another woeful performance. They had tipped long before for many fans.
I think Torrecilla and the board wanted didn’t want to act just yet but the fans power was too much. Some sections had said they would boycott the matches until Poyet was fired. I am now glad to see the back of Poyet. I like a few players will be very glad to see the back of him too, namely Dani Ceballos, Charly Musonda and Rubén Castro.
Poyet was a great footballer, full of flair and excitement, but his management style is the polar opposite. He had me bored stiff and resenting watching the team by 10pm on a Friday night, Betis’ ‘favourite’ kick off time.
Víctor Sánchez del Amo – Víctor the Saviour?
And now with have the start of another new era. No doubt this will be the biggest challenge of Víctor’s career – the poison chalice of Betis. We hope he can provide the antidote. The club have made a very considered appointment, after backing Poyet for a number of weeks, many directors were sick of him without announcing it publicly.
Torrecilla has held talks with Míchel, Luis García and Juan Ignacio Martínez but has opted for Víctor, which has gone down pretty well with fans and journalists.
This is the same legendary Víctor who revelled at Deportivo between 1999 and 2006. Since he retired he’s been building up his coaching and management experience. He’s had spells as assistant at Getafe, Sevilla and Olympiacos before taking over as manager of Deportivo in 2015, his first managerial appointment. His record wasn’t brilliant and he coaxed Depor to a 15th place finish before being sacked. He went to then manage Olympiacos but only last two months there and failed to get the team through Champions League qualification. He now becomes the youngest manager in La Liga at the age of 40.
So far not so good, so what have we to look forward to with Víctor in charge?
He’s started off by saying the right things, “The union between the team and the fans is essential.” Correct. He also wants “to make all béticos feel proud of what they see on the pitch”. Get the players to get there all and the fans will love you. Also manage to do this and the team will probably do quite well. Easier said than done I’m guessing.
In terms of tactics he is fairly flexible opting for 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 generally with the occasional 4-5-1. The difference will be the motivation he gives the players, this is undoubtedly the key. Betis are desperately short of leaders, I hope he can provide the impetus, be the example and get the players believing again.
He has a week to work with the players before the next game against Las Palmas on Friday.
Buena suerte caballero y mucho Betis!