There's been lots of talk that Poyet will be similar, but there are some differences.
To some, the appointment of Gustavo Poyet as the new Sunderland manager will bare a remarkable resemblance to that of his predecessor in Paulo Di Canio.
Yet, there are a few things about Poyet which could make him a better appointment than the fiery Italian ever was for the Black Cats.
For one, he has been in and around the managerial set-up of a Premier Club before at Tottenham Hotspur and there is more a sense that he has done ‘his apprenticeship’ before taking up the reigns of a Premier League club.
He worked his way up as an assistant at Swindon Town and Leeds United under Dennis Wise before moving onto Spurs under Juande Ramos. Admittedly the Ramos reign didn’t end well despite yielding a trophy for the club.
For sure, he has had his run-ins – just look at the end of his time at Brighton and Hove Albion which, it must be said did yield a degree of success with the Uruguayan managing to return the club to the second tier, and wasn’t so far away from taking them to the top flight when they fell to Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-final.
So if Sunderland were to suffer relegation after what has been an incredibly bleak start to the season, Poyet is a manager of the ilk who could bring them back up relatively quickly – but the term of his contract doesn’t particularly signal time is on his side.
He hasn’t just had one decent spell at lower league club, been a bit eccentric and then landed a job at a Premier League club a la di Canio – though one must question Sunderland owner Ellis Short’s definition of ‘experience.’
Poyet will need to put an arm around a few players, and not chop and change too much. He would also be wise to keep Kevin Ball as close to him as possible given the lengthy period of time he has spent around the club, and that he has the respect of the players.
It wouldn’t be surprising if he did bring in a few new additions in January – though that is a long way off – but it’s doubtful it will be on the same scale of Di Canio’s overhaul. Don’t be surprised if there is the odd experienced yet high profile signing though if you think about Vicente’s arrival at Brighton.
Now, having said all that, the latest chapter in the Sunderland story - particularly throughout this season - could be fascinating.
image: © Daniel Coomber