FORMER Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gus Poyet has quit as head coach of struggling Chinese Super League team Shanghai Shenhua after the club’s fourth consecutive loss.
Poyet stepped down after the loss at home on Sunday to Henan Jianye left the ambitious club languishing seven points above the relegation zone with seven games of the season remaining.
“The club has agreed to accept Poyet’s resignation,” Shanghai Shenhua said in a statement which thanked the 49-year-old Uruguayan and wished him well.
Former head coach and current technical director Wu Jingui will take over as interim boss until the end of the season.
Shanghai placed fourth in 2016 and hopes were high for the 2017 campaign after the appointment in November of Poyet, who has coached in the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga.
The following month, Shanghai signed Argentine star Carlos Tevez, whose reported weekly salary of around $800,000 made him the highest-paid player in the world at the time.
Yet in China, Tevez has struggled to reach the standards he set for previous clubs Manchester United, City and Juventus.
An early defeat in qualification for the Asian Champions League in February started Poyet’s tenure on a negative note and just three wins in the last 18 league games had fans calling for changes.
To make matters worse for supporters, city rival Shanghai SIPG is expected to reach the semifinals of the Champions League for the first time.
SIPG, coached by Andre Villas-Boas, defeated Chinese counterpart Guangzhou Evergrande 4-0 the first leg last month.
Barring a dramatic turnaround on Tuesday, SIPG will advance to a semifinal against either Kawasaki Frontale or Urawa Reds. – AP