Gus Poyet has thrown a hand grenade into Sunderland’s summer rebuilding job with the extraordinary admission there is something fundamentally wrong at the Stadium of Light – and he needs to eradicate it.
In a remarkable confession from the Black Cats boss, he has hinted that there is something bigger than just the identity of the manager to blame for the club’s problems. He also wants to know why managers who have good track records fail at the Stadium of Light.
And in a further revelation he said that his players need to be administered with metaphorical “electric shocks” to start performing. He bemoaned the Cats slumping “back to basics” with the own goal that saw them beaten against Everton – the sixth of the campaign.
Reflecting on the dire situation, Poyet (pictured left) said: “I think there’s something wrong in the football club and it’s not an excuse. I need to find that. If I don’t find it, we’ve got a problem.
“I think I know what it is but no, I don’t. You know, you think. It’s too many times, too many things. I always say to myself ‘What happened with Brucie in the second year?’, ‘What happened with Martin O’Neill?’, ‘What happened with Di Canio?’ and what happens with me now?
“I don’t want to get away from the responsibility because I said on Monday night I am responsible. I am the first one. But who is going to be next? A, B, C – you can call him anything and the club will be in the same situation. I don’t like it, it’s not me. I need to find the solution and whatever it is, I need to put it there.”
Amid worries he may walk away at the end of the campaign, Poyet said that he still had the appetite for the job – although he later said he didn’t want to do a complete rebuild and had joined Sunderland to be “part of a process”.
“I said too many times I cannot promise I will get this club safe because it would be silly.”
Most damning of all he said the team needs to be “shocked” into performing.
He said: “I think this team needs an electric shock.
“When last year, Paolo Di Canio got here, it was a shock. When I got here, we had a shock – we beat Newcastle and Man City and it was a big impact and a change of philosophy and way of working. Then we were so-so and we had a couple of results in December because Marcos (Alonso) was already with us and there were new players coming and the cup was another shock that put us in a great situation.
“As soon as we didn’t play anymore for that, it’s back to basics. It’s back to whatever you do, there is an own goal, whatever you do there is a sending off.
“What is going to happen to us that is new on Wednesday? We can have a bet.
“What is going to happen on Wednesday?”
Poyet (pictured below) said he had “no regrets” about coming to Sunderland. He added: “I don’t want to rebuild. I didn’t come to Sunderland to rebuild nothing, I want to be part of a process and to be something that gets better all the time.”