Shanghai Shenhua Greenland coach Gustavo Poyet.
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua’s new manager Gustavo Poyet impressed his new bosses with “details”, according to club president Wu Xiaohui.
The former Uruguay midfielder, named head coach of the Chinese Super League side, showed up for a press conference at Shenhua’s Kangqiao training camp along with his four assistant coaches yesterday.
“Our goal for the new season is to go through the AFC Champions League qualifiers (to reach the group stage), and continue to make the 2018 Asian league (with a top-three finish in the CSL),” said Poyet, who later attended his first training session with the team at the camp.
The former AEK Athens and Real Betis manager arrived in Shanghai only two days ago, but has already impressed the club officials with his style.
“He is a very careful person who pays much attention to details,” said club president Wu. “Did you notice that he checked his watch before saying ‘good afternoon’ at the beginning of the press conference?”
Wu explained the club’s rationale behind appointing Poyet who is new to Asia and the CSL, especially compared to his predecessor Gregorio Manzano who coached Beijing Guo’an before joining Shenhua.
“At first, we wanted to keep Manzano, but the team also expects more progress next year,” said Wu. “Club officials had some disagreements with Manzano on some crucial ideas, which was not good for the club.
“Poyet, on the other hand, is young, passionate and willing to communicate with players and club officials. The age structure of his coaching team is also good, as they are experienced, energetic and willing to help.”
Poyet said he is familiar with the team’s key players, while Wu said the new manager is already making plans to work on the team’s short comings.
“There is nothing to worry about in the new season,” said Poyet. “We will see our performance in the league and make further plans for the Asian competition.”
Wu promised fans “a surprise” as the club is yet to announce a new foreign signing to fill Demba Ba’s position. The Senegal striker is in Qatar as he recovers from leg fracture surgery, with no time-table set on his possible return.
Reports suggest that Shenhua is targeting Boca Juniors’ Argentina striker Carlos Tevez.
The club also announced four new domestic signings — defender Sun Shilin from Dalian; striker Zhu Jianrong and midfielder Li Peng, from Qingdao; as well as ex-player Mao Jianqing.
Mao, who left Shanghai in 2010, played for Shaanxi, Hangzhou (loan), Beijing, Shanghai Shenxin (loan), Qingdao (loan) and Shijiazhuang. With Shijiazhuang being relegated from the CSL to League One, Mao decided to “come home”.