When Gus Poyet left Sunderland in March 2015, Black Cats fans will not have imagined that six years later they’d be playing their third consecutive season in League One – though it’s fair to say that period has been eventful for their former manager as well.
The Uruguayan coach famously helped the North East club avoid relegation from the Premier League in dramatic circumstances in the 2013/14 campaign but was sacked in March 2015 with the club teetering just above the bottom three.
After seven months out of a job, Poyet returned to management with AEK Athens but while his positive impact on the pitch was clear – helping them win successive matches against rivals Olympiacos and Panathinaikos and reaching a Greek Cup semi-final – he was sacked in April 2016, with the club said to be frustrated that he’d informed the media he would leave at the end of the season.
A brief and unsuccessful spell with Real Betis followed before the former Black Cats boss headed to the Chinese Super League to take charge of Shanghai Shenhua in November 2016.
Shanghai Shenhua would go on to win the Chinese FA Cup in 2017 but that triumph came two months after Poyet resigned on the back of pressure from the fanbase.
An eight-month spell at Bordeaux followed and ended in similarly dramatic fashion with the 53-year-old suspended and then fired by the French club after criticising the sale of forward Gaëtan Laborde.
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After nearly three years out of management, Poyet returned to South America to take charge of Chilean side CD Universidad Católica in February this year and had near-instant success, winning the 2020 Supercopa de Chile by beating rivals Colo-Colo.
But his tenure at the club was short-lived and he left by mutual content in August, meaning he would be available to make a characteristically dramatic return to the Stadium of Light should Lee Johnson depart any time soon.