888Sport were delighted to catch up with former Spurs and Chelsea player Gus Poyet who also coached at Brighton, Sunderland and Leeds in his time in England.

Poyet spoke to 888Sport about a number of topics and included all of his former clubs. The Uruguayan revealed that he believes Harry Kane will stay at Spurs and that the club must be more consistent.

Looking back at Jose Mourinho’s time at Spurs, Poyet was shocked that he didn’t manage in the 2021 Carabao Cup Final and believes the club made a costly decision to part ways before that fixture.

Gus Poyet has been immediately impressed with Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea, with his fellow South American trimming the squad and focusing on those who want to be at the club.

Poyet was disappointed that Mason Mount has left for Manchester United as he has good qualities which were shown when he was fully fit.

Looking at Brighton and Poyet is concerned about their centre midfield next year with Alexis Mac Allister leaving and Moises Caicedo likely to follow, but with James Milner coming in, this can help then gain another top 10 position next season.

Poyet was impressed with Leeds' recruitment of Daniel Farke, a man who knows how to win the Championship, and how Leeds can bounce back to the Premier League with the quality of their squad.

Harry Kane is 29 years old and thus in danger of becoming the best ever player to never win anything.

Kane has one more year left in his Tottenham contract and chairman Daniel Levy is not keen to sell to a Premier League rival that's Manchester United have retreated.

Levy also seems to be holding up to a staggering 100 million pound release clause for clubs overseas, such as Bayern Munich despite his advanced age. What do you think Kane should do right now?

Gus Poyet: Well, it's a very difficult question to answer because it depends a lot on your character and why is your goal? I made a strong opinion two years ago. I said that Harry needs to move somewhere else to feel, have that feeling of winning things.

Obviously with all respect to Tottenham and the fans and everybody involved with the club, he didn't. I think in the back of his mind it's always the possibility of becoming the player for Spurs is going to win something, he's going to have all the records, everything under the Spurs shirt.

And at the same time there is a little bit of timing that in the other side of his mind is trying to push him away. It's very personal. Very personal.

Look, I can go back to the time when (Kyle) Walker left Spurs and he got destroyed by everybody. People is so naive that they were only talking he was leaving because of money.

He wants to earn more money. First of most, we all want to earn more money. Somebody say the opposite is not even in this planet. Secondly, he always said that he wants you to have a challenge, to win titles.

What can you say now about (Kyle) Walker? They're winning everything and he is earning money.

Okay, so like I said, I think it's very personal. We are all different the only thing I can add is there is nothing in football, nothing like the feeling when you win something.

We all play for money, that for sure. For example, I always talk about Uraguyans, we fight for everything during the renegotiation we put the contract in the draw and after that it's only one thing in front of us is winning. Okay?

And that's why we are so special when we are in a club. So the money is going to be always there. But the best moments in football, I can tell you like that and it's all about winning trophies.

So how will the Tottenham, England and potentially future Premier League record goalscorer's legacy be affected if he (Harry Kane) goes down in history as the greatest player to have never won anything?

Gus Poyet: It can happen and if he stays and signs a new contract. You know what, I want to put myself now in the other side and important side, the coach. You are new coach, you come into Spurs, you need to prove yourself.

I'm sure that the first thing that you say is okay, Harry Kane is going nowhere. Don't touch Harry Kane. Because if with Harry Kane it was difficult to win a trophy I can't imagine without .

But the goals are the most important thing in a football club and it will be tough for a coach to arrive to a club and the first thing he knows, he's going to lose his main player.

Do you think Tottenham would have won the league cup in 2021 if serial trophy winner Jose Mourinho wasn't sacked less than a week before the final with man City?

Gus Poyet: For sure they would have had a better chance 100% because when you have someone like Jose you know that you will always have a chance.

Very strange decision from Daniel, very strange decision. I will never understand. I think the only one you can explain that is Levy. Sometimes I prefer those explanation before, no after because now we know the result, we know that Spurs didn't win so it's even worse.

I don't know, I was 99% sure, 99% sure that Jose (Mourinho) was there to win a trophy and when you qualify for the final, he is then gone.

How do you think Erik Ten Hag should use Mount next season? And do you think he can succeed?

Gus Poyet: Without a doubt, I think that the last year and a half when Mason Mount was at his best, Chelsea was winning football games and when he was not playing or he was not 100% at his best, the club suffered a lot

So it's probably the biggest surprise for me in Chelsea, the situation of Mount leaving, but as always, we don't know the whole truth. We don't know why he didn't play a lot in the last six, seven months or eight months, why he was not there.

People was saying he was not fit, but it was always on the bench. So it's a big disappointment for me that Mason is leaving Chelsea and he's going to carry his qualities to one of the rivals.

What do you think Mauricio Pochettino should do to succeed at Chelsea after such a poor season and such a bloated squad to deal with?

Gus Poyet: He is already making already strong decisions; I think that he is going to have to make plenty.

I think it will be difficult to recognise the Chelsea in the first game of the new Premier League season. I think now no one, and I'm sure not even Pochettino knows the starting XI for the first game.

How do you think Mauricio Pochettino is going to fare at Chelsea considering the position the club are in?

Gus Poyet: Currently, I think I think Pochettino is making very strong decisions t already. A few impressive decisions. Manager will live and die by decisions. And unfortunately for Chelsea, there are too many to make.

And I tell you, no one decision is a simple one. So every kind of decision will affect the final performance of the team because there were too many players, there were too many different characteristics, there were too many different personalities.

Poch is trying to make the team the best for what he understands is better for Chelsea. So difficult to know what will happen and difficult to predict the first starting XI for Chelsea.

You mentioned the whole sort of strategy with selling players that they've adopted over the past couple of weeks. What do you make of that? Does the Ownership deserve a little bit of credit for getting rid of all the dead wood?

Gus Poyet: There were too many players at Chelsea. And when you have too many, it's a problem for the coach, but it's a problem I want to explain. I take this opportunity just to explain, to fans. All the coaches, we are different, okay?

Certain coaches that do plenty of tactics and they put in there eleven v eleven on the pitch most of the day. Some people, they do nothing about the tactical side, some people do a little bit, we are all different.

But normally you need to explain how you're going to play, how you're going to defend, how you're going to perform, how you want to do things on the pitch. So eleven v eleven at least in pre season is quite normal.

Probably most of the top coaches, they do it during the season as well. But what I mean with that is that you need to prepare the team. Now in Chelsea last year, if you want to do a tactical match and you put eleven v eleven, there were probably ten players out of the session.

So I want you now to tell me how you convince a player that is important for the group when it's not even training, when 22 plays are training and you are not even on those 22.

Okay? And let's not talk about his personality, his mental strength, because if he's not strong enough, you will lose him. If he's crazy, he will react.

And every little decision about those kinds of situations will affect the team. They are all professional, but they are human beings and you need to deal with all of them.

Mason Mount's gone to Manchester United, are Chelsea right to be selling a player of that calibre to a direct rival?

Gus Poyet: The problem I got is I like Mason a lot. I thought last year and the previous six months and before Tuchel left, I thought when Mason Mount was at his best, Chelsea was creating a lot and when he was not playing and he was not his best, Chelsea was suffering.

But when he was playing his best position around the number nine and creating and having the freedom to create, Chelsea was going forward and created chances. And after he disappeared, now we don't know why did he disappear? Because he was on the bench all the time.

People say he was not fully fit. Yeah. If you are not fully fit, you are not on the bench every game. And it was most of the time on the bench, but was not playing under Graham Potter and under Lampard as well.

So that kind of situation, what is not clear doesn't help anyone. So I'm a little bit disappointed that Mason is leaving. And always when he goes to a club, that is a rival with you. It's even worse.

Do you think there are any areas of the pitch that the club need to invest further in?

Gus Poyet: I think it's a question for Pochettino and it's difficult for him to answer now because still a big group of players.

I don't know. I don't know what is going to happen with Lukaku. I don't know how they're going to adapt to the system that Pochettino will like to play.

Is there a striker you think they can go in the market and sign?

Gus Poyet: Yes, well, I think that look, last year I made a mistake and I'm not afraid of saying it. When Chelsea signed Mudryk, I thought it was outstanding. I thought, wow, what an unbelievable player.

And I forgot what happened to me and what happened to many of the foreigners that go to England. We are all different. We all need different times to adapt to football. We think we are good enough.

We think, yeah, I'm going to change tomorrow. I play and I'm the best player on the pitch. But football is different. Life is different, styles of play is different. And we all adapt in different times.

So I think for the new players and the foreign players, we need to be careful. Me first, because I know what happened to all of us.

You mentioned Lukaku. What do you think an ideal outcome is for the club and the player?

Gus Poyet: Good question. I think depending on the way you're going to play, it's very clear for the coach to know I want Lukaku here or I don't want Lukaku. Simple.

So he needs certain deliveries, he needs certain spaces and he needs to play in a certain way for Lukaku to be the player that we all know that he can score goals. So it will depend really on what Pochettino really thinks is going to need as an a number 9.

Where do you think the club should realistically target to finish next season considering the campaign that they've just had?

Gus Poyet: Normally if you ask me last year, I would say to win the title. The problem is now they are so far away from that that we say to aim for top four. One thing that we say strongly is I don't want Chelsea to lose the objective of winning titles every year.

That's how they teach me, or they taught me when I went to Chelsea that you need to perform. They said to me you need to win a trophy every year. And that was my aim when I was a Chelsea player.

And I think when Abramovich arrived at Mourinho, he went to another level even higher. And if you remember all the sackings of Mourinho twice, Achelotti, Conte, as soon as they didn't win a title, boom, they were gone.

Okay, so I don't want them to lose that, that's primary. This is the first objective. But then obviously to try to get back in the Champion League because this year was a disaster.

Moving onto Spurs, How do you think Ange Postecoglou is going to do?

Gus Poyet: It’s going to be tough. Even more if Harry Kane goes. I put myself as a coach, you have an agreement with Spurs, you go there with all your energy and happiness and the first news is maybe Harry Kane will leave.

I think it's going to be a massive decision from the club, from Harry, from everybody involved.

I'm sure that you as a coach you would like him to stay, but so many rumours, so many things the last two or three years. I cannot say what it's going to happen. I think the only one he probably knows is Harry Kane.

If you had to guess, what club do you think Harry Kane will be at the start next season?

Gus Poyet: From experience. Tottenham. Because two years ago I thought he's going 100 percent and then he stayed. So why change now? I don't know. I don't think he goes.

What do you think a realistic target for the club next season would be?

Gus Poyet: Tough question. I think that depending on the players that you keep, depending on the players that you can bring. There is so many rumours.

I'm sure the coach is going to, sooner or later now, in the next few days, is going to have an impact on those decisions and we will have an idea what is going to happen. For example, we don't know how long Bentancur is going to be out for.

So many little things that can affect your season and there are special players that they need to be there from day one to the last. And I think that inconsistency on Tottenham in the last couple of years, it was because of that you didn't even know how you're going to do next week.

It wasn't about the strength on the quantity or the quality of the players, it was about that inconsistency of one game, everybody excited. Next game, it looked like it's another group of players. So, main thing for me, consistency.

James Madison. Is that a good signing? Does it fix some of their creativity issues?

Gus Poyet: I think it's very interesting. If he adapts to the position, remember they were not playing with a proper number ten. They were playing with the three up front.

So it would depend on how he adapts to the middle of the park. So the system is something important as well where Maddison is concerned. I don't know if they're going to play four at the back or they're going to play five.

You will adapt or you will get the player, but I think in terms of quality, Maddison will bring plenty and I think it's time for him as well to make that step to a consistent player and being an important player.

Where else do you think the club needs to strengthen during the summer window?

Gus Poyet: I would like to see Tottenham next year play with a back four, I would like to know the back four consistently.

I think sometimes that's when you are at your best, when you know your back four and you keep it solid, then the rest of the players is the one that they are in the I call them in the front page of the newspaper, the one celebrating the goal, the one taking the shirt off.

But the base of the team is a goalkeeper on the back four and probably the centre midfield. And that is what I want to see, something solid, proper. Now the coach is the one in need to make those decisions.

We'll just transition to Brighton now. another team that you managed. First of all, would do you make the of James Milner from Liverpool?

Gus Poyet: I'm sure he's going to be fine. Brighton and Tony Bloom did something very similar with Adam Lalana and he was an outstanding signing.

So I think that's the idea to have a player with experience that physically and they understand the game and will cover many, many positions. So I think it was clever, the move, very clever.

You alluded to it there. Like the recruitment strategy is going to be key, but what else do a club like Brighton need to do to try and sustain that top six place in the Premier League next season?

Gus Poyet: Not to lose too many players and they're losing many. Alexis Mac Allister is difficult to replace and if Caicedo leaves. Wow.

It's a big impact in a part of the pitch where normally where Brighton control the games, when they understand the game, the mobility and the spaces to make sure that the complicated position.

And I think for Roberto, the service is going to be a problem if you leave losing two players in a three midfield area, which is the law. I know they're going to try to sort it out with their recruitment system and probably they will find someone similar.

But again, we got to adapt, to learn the style, to adapt to the managers, many, many things. And that comes  with time.

Levi Coldwell was, who was on loan at Brighton last year will go back to Chelsea. Do you think the club should just go all out and try to keep him put in a big offer?

Gus Poyet: I think it's two ways, that one, because in one side, maybe Pochettino will like to keep him young, to learn the way and to start playing slowly another way. Brighton, I think, was a key player at the end of the season, so interesting, one that one.

I think it would depend what Chelsea thinks that the player needs now and the future he is going to have. Brighton can push in terms of the price. So it's a difficult one you know one.

A player that will be staying, Evan Ferguson, signed a new contract towards the end of summer. How big of a potential do you think he has? Does he remind you of any previous Premier League striker?

Gus Poyet: Well, I think the potential is enormous. I think he has got plenty of things that he's bringing into the team. He's very young. He's already playing international level with Republic of Ireland..

Every step he's making is going to make him better player. Now, the next step for him, I think, would be to be the first name on the team sheet with Brighton. When you become the number nine

That number nine is scoring goals, scoring 15 goals next season, then who knows where he can finish. But I'm sure that he got everything to become a top striker.

Where do you think Roberto De Zerbi ranks in the list of Premier League managers currently?

Gus Poyet: Well, first, before talking about Roberto, we talk about the recruitment system of Brighton, not only for players, coaches as well, because nobody was thinking how they're going to go when replacing Potter.

To get Roberto De Zerbi was very clever. Secondly, he's been impressive, he's been outstanding. The understanding of the game, the way he wants to play, the passion he's showing, he wants to win every game, the commitment, the way that he's behaving, I think is tremendous.

Let's say that as an ex Brighton coach and I'm a fan because I will always be looking for the results of Brighton, I'm very pleased that he's still there.

I had a bad feeling when the season ended. I had a bad feeling that he's going to go. Like you said, you need to find another one. But knowing that he's staying, I'm very pleased.

Where do you think the club will finish next year?

Gus Poyet: Top ten.

Moving on to Sunderland, almost completed a remarkable double promotion last season. What do you think was key to their success in the championship?

Gus Poyet: Consistency. They were not the best team. They didn't have too many outstanding players, but they were consistent all the time.

They knew how they were playing. Tony Mowbray made the team play in a certain way. They respected that. There were days that I watched games that they were very weak at the back, but somehow keep performing and getting results.

And because of that, better teams didn't finish in the top six. I think it was an outstanding season. 

Do you think Leeds can bounce straight back up?

Gus Poyet: I think they made a very clever decision with the coach Daniel Farke. Sometimes you can like or know a coach but I always go back to, okay, what he's done, and he won that championship twice with knowledge.

So if you want to win the league, you got a coach, they won it twice, that's clear. Then we can discuss about the way of playing, that's another matter. But in terms of looking for a specific coach to do something, I think Daniel Farke, it's a very good decision from the club.

Let's start from the basic then. Obviously, the less players that he lose, the better, because like I said, if they can keep most of the players, they are very strong and I saw plenty of Championship matches last year, and I tell you that they can go back up with any doubt, They will have the strongest squad.


The 888sport blog, based at 888 Towers in the heart of London, employs an army of betting and tipping experts for your daily punting pleasure, as well as an irreverent, and occasionally opinionated, look at the absolute madness that is the world of sport.