Monday, April 7, 2014

Cue Rod Serling

So far, this is the full extent of comments I have seen from Sunderland manager Gus Poyet following a 5-1 loss at Tottenham for which Jozy Altidore had been deemed as superfluous (he went 90 in a 3-0 reserve win, no goals for him).

Here are a couple of select Poyet remarks that really make me wonder what the hell is going on over there:

"I think the desire is there... "


Hold up. Wait just a minute, please. You think that? Where is it? When? The desire to do what? Explain what you are seeing, Gus. Just do not tell us it is Bruce Willis with hair.

Then, when asked if the team has enough warriors to stay up...

"I would like to think so. Sometimes the table doesn't lie."


Oof. I am in no way affiliated with Sunderland and that hurt my balls. And it is not just what he says, but how he says it. Also, is it just me or does this guy behave like a secret hostage of some sort?

Finally, when asked what it would take to stay up, he says...

"A miracle."


Oof. At this point, I would like to know who is in charge over there, and then I would like to know why. Now, both of us - an EPL manager and yours truly, the crazy person - would like something.

Dollars to donuts, I get mine first. Anyone else smell a rant filled with nerd stats brewing?




- Greg Seltzer

16 comments:

dikranovich said...

Poyet is saying what he feels. His team just took a big loss and they did have a 1 nil lead, and were only down 2-1 with about ten minutes to play.

He also feels like sometimes the table can lie, and sometimes it doesn't.

Finally, I think he is aware of the schedule ahead, and it is a tall order. It might do Sunderland some good to spend a season or so in the lower division, so as to prioritize.

dikranovich said...

But if they can stay up, it will be at least a minor miracle and Jozy could be a part of that, especially if he played well today in the kiddie game.

Unknown said...

Greg -- Do you know if Jozy has a relegation release clause? I would think with the size of the transfer fee Sunderland paid for him it would be standard. Do you believe that it would be better for him to get out of the situation he is in rather than stick it out in the Championship or in the PL with a new cast of characters (since presumably Sunderland will have to spend some $)?

Thanks for your thoughts.

dikranovich said...

Dear lord, I just watched the entire post game interview. I should have watched this before commenting. Gus is a good guy and a smart man. His answers are real, and should strike a cord with all American fans.

No fluff from the Uruguayan. He tells it like it is, and even though he inherited this job, mid season, he accepts full responsibility.

This is not the guy you wanna be trying to throw under the bus.......unbelievable!!!

Jon said...

Greg, where do you think Jozy likely ends up next?

PSV still interested? Move back to the Ered? Ligue 1? Bundesliga?

Don't tell me MLS.

over there said...

If I'm New England, I offer an insane DP deal to get him back to MLS. Absolutely tailor-made for their system.

futfan said...

Put up all the 'nerd stats' you like but the fact remains that Jozy has failed in the PL. And he's become the whipping boy at Sunderland and, as unfair as it may be, that isn't going to change.

He just isn't the same player he was prior to this PL season. Or maybe he is and that is part of the problem. Either way though, I think most all of us U.S. nats fans have significantly overrated him.

I think the truth is that he just isn't good enough for the PL. If he were on a decent team with a lot of quality around him he might score a few goals and be a very middling striker who ends up warming the bench. But, given his consistently dodgy form and many poor individual performances this season, I think he's proved positive he isn't good enough to be a truly good every-match striker at that level and/or a difference maker for a poor side.

As for where he goes from here... I don't think there is any chance that Sunderland keeps him. Sunderland is going to be relegated, the fans positively despise him and I think management is probably ready to cut their losses at this point. Honestly, short of an MLS team, I am not sure who would want him - and certainly no one else at a price tag Sunderland would like to see.

Part of me feels really sad for the kid but I am also becoming increasingly indifferent to the situation and am ready to move on.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ futfan:

How is this for a nerd stat?

Against Premier League opponents this season, Sunderland has scored more than twice as often with Altidore on the field than they have with him not on the field (1 goal every 72.9 minutes with, 1 goal every 153.7 minutes without).

They have also yet to win an EPL game this season when he did not play, collecting one point in those four games while being outscored 10-3.

I can now tell you this was not a disciplinary gesture of any kind. As off as he may be this season, Altidore has been about 14th on the list of Sunderland problems. Singling him out for their failures is just nonsense. As is the logical extreme that he has failed in the EPL. This man has yet to have a vaguely proper chance to succeed in the EPL.

If you really want to criticize him, the worst play he has made in the last year was the one that signed his Sunderland contract. I do not think he realized the advanced dysfunction he was stepping into.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ everyone else asking kinda the same thing:

I do not yet know where I think he should go, but I in no way want that destination to be MLS.

futfan said...

How is this for a nerd stat?

Against Premier League opponents this season, Sunderland has scored more than twice as often with Altidore on the field than they have with him not on the field (1 goal every 72.9 minutes with, 1 goal every 153.7 minutes without).

They have also yet to win an EPL game this season when he did not play, collecting one point in those four games while being outscored 10-3.


That's great and I agree: Sunderland is a better side with Altidore on the pitch. That really doesn't tell us much though. It certainly doesn't tell us whether or not Jozy is good enough to be a successful striker in the PL. Sunderland is a baaaaad football team. Altidore making them a bit better says very little about Altidore's ability to cut it at the PL level. Sunderland aren't even a PL side - or won't be shortly. You are convinced he would be a terror and banging them in if he played for, say, Southampton? His touch has abandoned him for the most part, he is positively terrible in the air, his movement (or lack thereof) in and around the box is bad... the holes in his technical skill overall have been exposed vs. this level of competition. Him making Sunderland slightly better doesn't change that.

As off as he may be this season, Altidore has been about 14th on the list of Sunderland problems. Singling him out for their failures is just nonsense.

I agree with this also. I don't single him out for their problems. But that also changes nothing. The fact remains that he has been singled out by the management and the vast majority of Sunderland fans and PL fans for that matter. Altidore is a running joke around the league. And he is now playing with, and not scoring for, the Sunderland U-21 side. No, I don't single him out for their problems. I just try to look at his individual skill and play objectively and I don't think he is good enough to be truly successful at that level. He has proven to this point that he isn't good enough to be significantly helpful to a poor side. On a mid-table side he might be a marginal player who scores a few goals and is in and out of the starting lineup. On a truly good side he'd never see the pitch.


As is the logical extreme that he has failed in the EPL. This man has yet to have a vaguely proper chance to succeed in the EPL.

Sorry, no. It isn't 'extreme' in the least to say he has failed. He just has. Let me ask you this: when is he going to get that proper chance? What other PL team is going to afford him that opportunity to show his greatness? Especially now? With the season he's had? See that's the thing, it's highly doubtful he's ever going to get another chance either way and, to this point, he has failed. There's nothing extreme about it nor is it said with malice.

If you really want to criticize him, the worst play he has made in the last year was the one that signed his Sunderland contract. I do not think he realized the advanced dysfunction he was stepping into.

I don't criticize him for it. It may have been a mistake but he wanted another crack at it and went for it. I think he found out that Sunderland sucks and that he isn't probably good enough regardless.

dikranovich said...

30 years ago, the knock on professional soccer in north America was that it was a retirement league. That label helped to push the profession out of our country. Now young players return to make our league better and put professional soccer at a level it has never been To before in our country.

Yet, there are people that don't want it for some reason. Maybe because they aren't living here, or maybe they have some other chip on their shoulder, that would make them think they know more than epl managers or us national team coaches.

If you are an American and you are against the idea of Jozy altidore playing in MLS, then you really need to get a better grip on the situation. And I do mean REALLY!!!

justinwkoehn said...

dikranovich, the head coach of the US MENS NATIONAL TEAM wants his players to continue to push themselves in Europe. There's a much higher ceiling there. For those wishing Jozy join another top flight team believe he has a higher ceiling. For those who think he's already plateaued, then sure, coming back to MLS when he's 24 is fine.

dikranovich said...

No sorry, I don't think Michael Bradley has plateaued!!!
Every coach wants his players to push themselves, and our national team coach also wants to see his players responding in uncomfortable positions, which Jozy is in now.

justinwkoehn said...

You're right, I don't think Bradley has plateaued. I think getting regular playing time is doing him well right now. It may have oddly enough been the right move for the world cup. However I don't see him getting much better than he is now (which is still pretty damn good) playing in MLS.

Tom said...

"However I don't see him getting much better than he is now (which is still pretty damn good) playing in MLS."

Doubt that he'd be getting *much* better *anywhere* else at 26.

In a higher-level league, *maybe* he could gain a *bit* more polish, learn a few tricks at the margin. Certainly he *might* prevent much falloff playing in a more challenging location.

Or maybe he got where we is and was because what motivates him most is inside.

Freegle said...

You think player development is done at age 26?

A player gets better by challenging himself and by playing with and against better players. Bradley will be the best player on every field he steps onto until June. That's a recipe for plateau/regression.