GUS POYET believes his former club Tottenham are suffering understandable teething problems after such a hectic summer at White Hart Lane.
Today’s opponents Spurs ended a four-game winless streak when they triumphed 2-1 at Sunderland’s fellow strugglers Fulham on Wednesday night after a second half comeback at Craven Cottage.
That lean run, which included a 6-0 rout at Manchester City, brought the position of manager Andre Villas-Boas under scrutiny, with Poyet even mooted as a potential candidate to succeed him in some reports last weekend.
But Poyet, who spent three years as a player at White Hart Lane before returning as assistant manager to Juande Ramos, is not surprised that Spurs have suffered slip-ups after the summer sale of star man Gareth Bale, plus the £90million spending spree of eight new signings.
“It’s really strange to change so many players and for them to gel together very quickly,” said Poyet.
“If you start well and win three or four in a row, everything looks easy. But if not, there are doubts.
“To maintain consistency, you have to have a system of playing, but most of the time, you need six or seven months to sort it out.”
He added: “For the last year-and-a-half, Gareth Bale was unplayable.
“Tottenham were not playing some games very well, but they would win because Bale would come up with something unique.
“Spurs have got plenty of options now, but they need to adapt to the way they play and keeping everyone happy is not easy.
“But I’m sure once they get momentum and start winning games, they are going to be up there.
“They’ve got an unbelievable squad and plenty of quality.”
Spurs have struggled for goals away from home after netting just six in their seven outings on the road.
Villas-Boas must decide whether to keep faith with Jermain Defoe, who played under Poyet during the England striker’s first spell at Spurs, or restore £26million summer signing Roberto Soldado to the starting XI.
“I know the character of Jermain and he wants to play and score goals,” said Poyet.
“Every time he plays, he will have one or two chances and normally put it in the back of the net.
“It’s a decision whether to play Soldado or Defoe.
“But it would be nice if we can stop them scoring because that gives us a great chance to win the game.
“We’ve been scoring at home, but they’ve got plenty of quality.
“They can score from anywhere. They scored with two unbelievable goals from outside the box the other day.
“We need to be good, with the perfect balance of football.”