Following Brian McDermott’s departure from Reading back in March, Brighton’s Gus Poyet was strongly backed to succeed him.
It was reported that talks took place between Royals owner Anton Zingarevich and the Uruguayan, with Poyet ultimately choosing a promotion push in the Championship over a battle to avoid slipping into it.
As Reading – now under Nigel Adkins – lost their fight with games to spare, Brighton secured a play-off place, only to lose 2-0 to a Wilfried Zaha-inspired Crystal Palace; which leaves Poyet reportedly considering his future at the Falmer Stadium.
But his failure to deliver Premier League football doesn’t seem to have stopped those currently blessed with it from contemplating a move for him.
It is a widely-held belief that should Poyet leave Brighton, it will be a decision based on a lack of financial support rather than a doubting of his own managerial ability.
At Fulham – the most recent club to be linked with his services – he would find no such problem.
Recent reports suggest Fulham are considering the former Tottenham and Chelsea midfielder should Martin Jol leave Craven Cottage.
And they will take his recent comments as encouragement to do so.
Speaking after the loss to Palace he said, “I don’t go to places just to have a job, I go to places to put things right and to make the place better and I think I’ve done my job here.
“I have always said that during the time we keep improving I am going to be at this football club and the day we hit the roof I’m not.”
There is a suggestion that roof has been hit, that without a considerable injection of funds the club will struggle to match or surpass their impressive fourth-place finish this season.
And yet having got so close, does his failure to navigate those final few hurdles mark him out as a risk worth taking or one to avoid?
He made the right move in turning down Reading. They were a Premier League side only in name, a status that’s loss was confirmed months after it was deemed almost certain.
But Fulham have top flight foundations on which to build. And despite their unimpressive end to the season, they have a squad that requires smart changes rather than wholesale ones.
Following his failure to navigate the play-offs, Poyet may well be available this summer. It is a failure that may be overlooked by his growing list of admirers; a failure elsewhere that they hope will be the catalyst for future success of their own.
Would you welcome Poyet as the next Fulham manager? Or is there nothing in the talk of Jol moving on?
image: © Daniel Coomber