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Exclusive Gus Poyet Interview: Nunez is the next Suarez, I want Brighton job, Ten Hag won’t accept Ronaldo disruption

Liam Solomon
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Uruguayan manager, Gus Poyet spoke exclusively to Safe Betting Sites and backed Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez to be the next Suarez.

The ex-Brighton manager also admitted he wants to return to former club Brighton.

Finally, Poyet says Ten Hag won’t let ruffled Ronaldo disrupt Man United’s progress.

If you would like to use any quotes, you must credit and link to https://www.safebettingsites.com as the original source. Here are the highlights of the interview.

Highlights of the interview

Full transcript

Q: Do you think Nunez can follow in Suarez’s’ footsteps at Liverpool?

Gus Poyet: They are different players. The passion is there, because they are both from Uruguay.

Nunez might have moved to England too early in his career. However, I’m confident that he will be the future of the national team when Suarez and Cavani decide to retire.

Q: Do you think Darwen Nunez is suited for the Premier League?

Gus Poyet: Before he arrived, I said 100 percent.

He made a huge mistake with that headbutt [against Crystal Palace] and he’s been under the microscope ever since. There are certain decisions where I question him – for example against City, he decided to shoot when he had a chance to pass and he didn’t.

He didn’t allow himself a smooth adaptation to the league. The red card meant suddenly everybody was on top of him.

Liverpool needs to start playing better as a team, but I think he has all the attributes to be an incredible striker.

Q: If you are Erik Ten Hag, would you let Ronaldo go in January?

Gus Poyet: I think it’s a very difficult situation because we don’t know exactly everything that went on during the summer.

We don’t know if Ronaldo was actually leaving or if it was the club who were not happy.

It’s a matter of how much he affects the team, which he might be, because certain coaches don’t like that. I don’t think Ten Hag accepts it. It looks to be a tough season for Cristiano, because he is an incredible player, and he is playing less and less.

Q: If there was an opportunity to go back to Brighton, would you have gone back?

Gus Poyet: Yes.

They maintained the way of playing. They got the new training ground that was being set up just as I left.

But yes, an easy decision, because the way that I want to play – Brighton has plenty of those characteristics, so it would be easy.

Q: Do you see Arteta in that world class bracket of managers?

Gus Poyet: He has got the potential to be a world class manager.

I see him in a special bracket where they play a certain kind of football, a very special one.

For example, teams like City and Barcelona.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Arteta can go anywhere.

I love Pep Guardiola; I think he changed football forever. But he killed football as well, Pep, because after him everybody wanted to play football in the same style!

He has been lucky because he has coached Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City. He didn’t coach 20th in the Premier League. There is a certain manager for certain teams.

It looks to me that Arteta goes in the same direction as Pep, that he needs to coach a certain type of team.

If he continues producing at Arsenal, he can demand certain things from teams who may want him in the future because they will be expecting a particular style of football.

Q: If Barcelona come calling for Mikel Arteta, maybe even City after Pep leaves. Do you think that’s a scenario where he has to move on?

Gus Poyet: I think going to City after Pep sounds more attractive than Barcelona, but it depends how long Arteta will stay with Arsenal.

Maybe he can be a 10, 15-year coach there.

He doesn’t want to start thinking about that, he just wants to keep doing well and preparing for the future of Arsenal at the moment.

Q: If Spurs don’t win silverware this season, what do you think happens with Harry Kane?

Gus Poyet: I think it’s too late for Kane to move. I think Harry had the chance a couple of years ago when City came in for him.

It is a difficult one to predict. But depending on how the player feels, there may be a moment when he decides to change teams in search of a new challenge, for titles and maybe even a new country.

There is nothing better than winning titles with a team. It brings people together. You remember those days forever. It is really what we live for as a footballer. After football, only memories survive.

Q: Huge result for Liverpool at the weekend [against Man City]. Is this the result that sparks their season?

Gus Poyet: It should, given the fight for the title between the two over the past few seasons. Most people are a little bit disrespectful towards Arsenal, because they are top of the league and apparently it doesn’t matter! Apparently, it’ll be between Man City and Liverpool again regardless according to them.

It was important for Liverpool to get these results – if they lost, they would not be in contention anymore for the title.

Q: Do you think it was the right time for Graham Potter to make that next step to Chelsea?

Gus Poyet: There are certain opportunities that you have to take when they come around.

100 percent you are going no doubt, when Chelsea comes calling you go.

Q: Is there a risk going to Chelsea?

Gus Poyet: There is no risk for Graham going to Chelsea. No risk.

If you see the game [against Aston Villa] Chelsea could end up playing badly and still win anyway because you are Chelsea – that doesn’t happen at Brighton because you have to be spot on every single game if you want to compete.

Q: How do you rate Graham Potter as a manager?

Gus Poyet: I like him. I like him a lot.

The players seem to understand what he wants at Chelsea.

It will be a new experience for him because the demands of Chelsea are much higher, you have to win every game. If you don’t win, it’s not good. But it is normal for any person to have a settling in period and it takes time.

Q: What does success look like for Potter at Chelsea?

Gus Poyet: With new owners, It is a difficult one to predict. We knew how ruthless Roman Abramovich was with his managers.

Tuchel was fired, but we still don’t know for sure how Todd Boehly will react or what he expects from Potter.

I think sooner rather than later they’re going to click and they will start playing great football because Graham did such a great job with Brighton.

Q: Do you think Conte’s the manager to bring Spurs their long-awaited silverware this season?

Gus Poyet: He is showing that he can bring silverware {this season}.

Conte is explicit in what he wants – players he couldn’t rely on left in the transfer window when he got the job. He also demands a lot from the club and if he doesn’t get certain quality players, we know from previous jobs he won’t be here next year.

People have been quick to criticise the chairman Daniel Levy, but he has supported Conte and it is paying off.

From outside the club, it seems the message is clear. What the manager wants and why, what you have to do every week. It’s not like ‘one week we press high, one week we drop, one week we play 4-4-2.

Q: Where do you think Tottenham are going to finish in the table this season?

Gus Poyet: I think they are going to finish in the top four.

I think they’re a strong team and a very difficult team to play against. They are so good at what they do now, making it hard for opposition teams to break them down. I think it’s gonna be a very interesting game against Manchester United.

It is hard to predict which United is gonna turn up, the good or the bad one? We shall see cause it is a massive game for them, more so than Spurs.

Q: Do you think Richarlison was the right signing for Tottenham?

Gus Poyet: Yes, I think it was right, because one of the biggest problems in the last 10 years for Spurs was to sign a number nine. One who can play wide, but also work hard for their chance in the starting line-up but can step in when the likes of Harry Kane picks up an injury.

In that respect he was the perfect player because he is both versatile in attack and flexible in terms of earning his chance in the team.

Q: If Spurs don’t win silverware this season, what do you think happens with Harry Kane?

Gus Poyet: I think it’s too late for Kane to move. I think Harry had the chance a couple of years ago when City came in for him.

It is a difficult one to predict. But depending on how the player feels, there may be a moment when he decides to change teams in search of a new challenge, for titles and maybe even a new country.

There is nothing better than winning titles with a team. It brings people together. You remember those days forever. It is really what we live for as a footballer. After football, only memories survive.

Q: Arsenal are now 4 points clear at the top. Do you think they can win the title?

Gus Poyet: They’re going to be fighting for the title if they can keep everybody fit. I can’t see them competing in the same way they have without their strongest 11.

The victory against Leeds – I think they were not at their best. People think that may be a negative. But no, it’s a plus. Teams that win the league have to grind out victories.

People think Arsenal are one of those teams that have to play good football to win games. If they don’t play well, they’re gonna lose the game. But now, games like that prove they are made of sterner stuff.

I would say that they have 14, 15 solid players and it is a good group. Then it’s a matter of consistency.

Unfortunately, it’s the worst possible moment for the World Cup to be held in the middle of the season, just as they are starting to put a run together. You don’t know what’s going to happen after the World Cup is over in terms of picking up that momentum again.

Q: Are managers getting enough time at Premier League clubs to enact a project?

Gus Poyet: No. But there are two factors that we need to separate.

One, when you bring a manager into a club which is not in danger; not in danger of going down, not in danger if we don’t get into Europe etc.

And the other is creating, or recreating, because Arsenal did have this kind of style with Arsene Wenger, a way of playing football. And that takes time.

To reach that moment where everybody clicks, that can take six months, can be one year, can be two years.

Now the arrival of Gabriel Jesus has done a lot to improve in the number nine position. So maybe the style was already there, I remember they were playing very well last season, but something was still missing – it is incredible how one player can make a huge difference.

I’m pleased that Arteta has been able to show the type of manager he is. Luckily for him he has been at a club that can wait a little bit longer.

Everybody asks me, where was your best experience in football as a coach? The best time is without a doubt at Brighton because I was there for a long time, four years. We were playing the football that I wanted because I was supported by Tony Bloom.

We were on a path together, and that’s the dream as a manager. There are times that a team can be playing okay, maybe even fighting to survive, but there has to be a clear sign that things are going to improve, and there is a base to which you can start adding.

Q: Huge result for Liverpool at the weekend [against Man City]. Is this the result that sparks their season?

Gus Poyet: It should, given the fight for the title between the two over the past few seasons. Most people are a little bit disrespectful towards Arsenal, because they are top of the league and apparently it doesn’t matter! Apparently, it’ll be between Man City and Liverpool again regardless according to them.

It was important for Liverpool to get these results – if they lost, they would not be in contention anymore for the title.

Q: Salah – 4 goals in 2 games now. Do you think he can really kick on from here?

Gus Poyet: I think he was already doing well, to be honest. The problem was maybe he wasn’t scoring as much as people were expecting. When I analyse a striker, I analyse the team as a whole as well. Are you playing well and are you playing the right way?

Liverpool have not been on top form as a team, which normally impacts the strikers as a lot of the work falls on them individually – I think it was more to do with inconsistencies among the team.

You need games that will change your fortunes – it may have been against Rangers in midweek, or it may be this latest victory against City. The most important thing is confidence will start to return to Liverpool, and Salah is going be a big part of that.

Q: Do you think that Klopp was vindicated taking Trent Alexander out of the line-up {against Man City}?

Gus Poyet: It was a big decision. Managers, coaches, we live by these decisions. If you lose the game, people will blame him for not playing Alexander-Arnold, but thankfully they ended up winning.

I think it was a good decision at the end of the day. I’m sure it was a tough decision to make, but also remember that the game was defined by little things, very little. A pull on the shirt, VAR decisions.

The game was tight, and anything was possible. Man City lost the game because they played the game to win. Pep put Joao Canelo too high on the right-hand side while sticking with a back three. Full backs were always trying to recover positions and there were many times that they were endangered at the back.

Q: Do you think benching Trent was a tactical move or taking him out of the firing line?

Gus Poyet: A bit of everything. When you make these decisions, it is based on how you can win the game and what you think is best for this particular game.

Even though they didn’t create as many chances {without Trent} it turned out to be a good decision. Now for Alexander-Arnold, it is a big challenge for him. We know his qualities and his ability to go forward. We know what a wonderful right foot he has.

Unfortunately, he’s playing right back, which first and foremost is a defensive position. In that respect, you will always be judged on how you defend. It’s a challenge for him now to show that he’s a solid right back.

Q: Would you switch Trent Alexander-Arnold’s position, to more attacking?

Gus Poyet: No. You don’t have to stop him going forward. You have to make it simple for him, because we have seen him make the same mistake time and time again.

Just simplify the game down and get back to basics again; ‘this is your area, this is your position.’ It never hurts to return to the basics of being a right back.

Q: Do you think there needs to be tighter restrictions on the touchline?

Gus Poyet: I think as a manager we try to control ourselves the best we can. The passion will always be there, however you cannot stop them. If you stop them, they are not themselves and that’s not a good thing for football.

It is part of the game. Klopp was running up and down the touchline, but there are certain games that he doesn’t even move!

It is dependent on the moment. There is not one person in the world that I know, or have read that says it was not a foul on Salah [by Bernardo Silva].

That’s why the reaction of Klopp was so strong, because it was an obvious call that the referee got wrong. I read somewhere that the referee had a different approach to this game. He approached the game in an attempt to let it flow, but I don’t like when the referees plan in advance of games.

Q: Is it difficult as a manager to keep calm in those situations when a decision is so obvious?

Gus Poyet: When it is so evident, yes. I once reacted, turned and kicked a bottle of water and I was sent off.

It’s part of the game, and I think we need to maintain it. There are certain rules that we managers need to respect. That’s why they are there. Some people react more than others.

Q: Do you think there’s any connection between the animation in the technical area and the animation in the crowd?

Gus Poyet: Yes, there are examples like Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid. Him and the crowd are connected.

That is also characteristic of the club. In the last half an hour, Klopp was trying to pump up the home supporters. It is not his fault; he is trying to make the stadium stronger and the support for the team palpable.

While there is a connection, that separation is necessary because the managers are not directly responsible. Throwing a coin can hurt someone depending on how far, where you hit them etc.

People need to relax as well and understand that there is a line that you do not cross.

Q: If you are Erik Ten Hag, would you let Ronaldo go in January?

Gus Poyet: I think it’s a very difficult situation because we don’t know exactly everything that went on during the summer.

We don’t know if Ronaldo was actually leaving or if it was the club who were not happy.

It’s a matter of how much he affects the team because certain coaches don’t like that. They don’t accept it. It looks to be a tough season for Cristiano, because he is an incredible player, and he is playing less and less.

With the news that Nuno Espirito Santo is being linked for a return to Wolves, do you think it ever works? A manager coming back to a club?

Gus Poyet: It’s tough. The problem is that when he left, he was ready to go and experience something else at Spurs and it didn’t work.

For example, when you have a girlfriend, you break up, and then when you are with a new girlfriend, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener.

It might be a similar situation for Nuno when he returns, and Wolves are also in a position where they would probably welcome him back.

Q: If there was an opportunity to go back to Brighton, would you have gone back?

Gus Poyet: Yes.

They maintained the way of playing. They got the new training ground that was being set up just as I left.

But yes, an easy decision, because the way that I want to play – Brighton has plenty of those characteristics, so it would be easy.

Q: How do you think Brighton’s season will go without Potter and Cucarella?

Gus Poyet: I expect them to be around mid-table.

There hasn’t been much change in the way they play. I cannot give an opinion on the new coach. The first game was impressive. Wow, 3-3 against Liverpool. But 2 losses in a row changes the feeling and now they need to put it right as soon as possible.
How far do you think Uruguay can get in the World Cup?

Gus Poyet: It’s very difficult to make an opinion because only because we have a lot of key players injured. Aruajo from Barcelona. Cavani has only just returned at Valencia, and Diego Godin has not been playing for a while in Argentina.

But we are Uruguay and as soon as we get on the pitch, it’s a different story.

Now, this World Cup is different. They’re going to finish playing the weekend of 12 and 13 and they are immediately thrown in without spending time together as a group.

That’s tough. So I dunno how they’re gonna react. The best thing for them will be to play and get through the group stage so they use the three games as a kind of preparation for the latter stages.

Q: Darwin Nunez or Luis Suarez up front?

Gus Poyet: Under the new coach [Diego Alonso] he has been playing them together.

Cavani always produces for the country as well so he is another good option.

We have probably one of the best two or three midfielders that we have ever had in the history of football in Uruguay with Fede Vavlerde, and alongside Rodrigo Bentancu.

We look more complete as opposed to being offensive minded like in previous tournaments, and the midfield option will give balance to the team.

Liam Solomon

Liam is a content writer for Safe betting Sites. He has 7 years of experience writing articles on trending topics including sports and finance. Liam has a passion for analysing trending data and has had his data shared in publications including New York Times, BBC and 1000's more.

Exclusive Gus Poyet Interview: Nunez is the next Suarez, I want Brighton job, Ten Hag won’t accept Ronaldo disruption
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