Why Poyet is wrong to ask Sunderland players to adapt

Gus Poyet has expressed his belief that Sunderland players need to adapt to his tactics.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Poyet claimed that there is an issue in his squad due to a lack of wingers, and stressed that the rest of his players must adapt.

He said: “We know that we don’t have too many wingers at the moment, which has created a bit of an issue, but the players need to adapt.”

Poyet has been well set in his ways this season, despite the obvious failings in Sunderland’s squad.

A 4-1-4-1 system designed to increase defensive stability has limited any sort of attack, and although an efficient system, it has left the Black Cats just four points off the relegation places.

They have only lost 10 games, but their four wins are the joint lowest in the league, and an inability to score consistently has brought numerous draws.

Things will get even harder in the coming weeks, as the Wearside club face a number of games with a weak squad.

In a system designed for wingers who operate as attacking outlets whilst the striker defends, Poyet will be entering games without Will Buckley and Emanuele Giaccherini, who are both injured, whilst Adam Johnson is suspended, and the Uruguayan coach has shoehorned players into his system despite them being out of position.

For all Poyet’s calls that his players should be able to adapt to his system, the coach should be able to adapt his own system to his players - especially when they are in the situation they are in right now.

Being willing and able to adapt to the current situation is one of the traits that defines the best managers in football history, and changing a system to suit your squad can work wonders.

Not only is Poyet’s unwillingness to change liable to negate the strengths of some of his players, but it will also reduce the overall efficiency of the team, as players cannot put in their full ability.

Having players able to play in numerous positions is a help to any manager, but when unable to call upon such players, it is down to the manager to prove his worth.

Poyet does not look like doing such a thing, and his inability and unwillingness could cost the Black Cats their Premier League place.

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