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Analysis: Gus Poyet on a 'special' showdown at Wembley

Posted on 22 April 2017  - 09:15

An influencial and infectious character on and off the pitch, Gus Poyet played with distinction for both Spurs and Chelsea before joining our coaching team in 2007 and helping us to the League Cup in 2008. Now managing in China, Gus has given us his thoughts on today's huge FA Cup semi-final as he watches with interest from the Far East...

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Gus Poyet

chelsea_a_gus200- Made his name at Real Zaragoza, 1990-1997
- 142 games for Chelsea, 1997-2001
- 98 games for Spurs, 2001-2004
- 26 caps for Uruguay
- Coach at Spurs 2007-08, won League Cup in 2008
- Has managed Brighton, Sunderland, AEK, Real Betis, Shanghai Shenhua

What do you make of the teams at the moment?
Gus: "As the Premier League table shows, they have been the most consistent teams this year and they deserve to be first and second. Also, I think they both played great football in many of the games so this will be an exiting game to play and/or watch."

Where do you think this semi-final will be won or lost? What are the key points tactically?
Gus: "Like I said the last time, it is important to impose your tactical shape, different systems so both teams have some advantages and also disadvantages, the difference would be this time which team learned the most after the last encounter, knowing the great result for Spurs, so maybe this time Chelsea would change something to get a better result. Cup games are different as well, and being in Wembley of course will make it special. It's very tough to predict a result."

Below: Dele Alli heads home in our 2-0 win at the Lane in January

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Thinking about the title run-in as well, could the result of this match have a bearing on the Premier League?
Gus: "It is always important to beat one of your biggest rivals and at this time of the season the team winning the game would get plenty of confidence for the last part of the season, and probably the loser the opposite, so I think it is very important to win and show that right now you are the best."

Does playing at Wembley make a difference?
Gus: "Of course - different atmosphere, different pitch, everything makes it special at Wembley."

Below: Gus celebrates a goal in typical style

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Tell us about China - are you enjoying it in Shanghai?
Gus: "Things in China are great, better than expected. The football is very quick, forward-thinking and during a game there are plenty of breaks and counter-attacks, which makes them very entertaining to watch. Everyday I learn something new, not only about football but especially about life. It's been a great experience so far, a good decision to come."