For many USMNT fans the friendly match with Scotland was a chance to truly bury an opponent they’d already smacked around the pitch once. It didn’t exactly end that way.
For the Scottish side, they were hoping to exact revenge. They didn’t make it there.
For Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, the 0-0 draw between the United States and Scotland was a snoozer just like it was to everyone else. He was looking for something vastly different.
“Unfortunately it was 0-0,” Poyet said. “I was looking for a 3-3 draw with three from Fletcher and three from Jozy Altidore.”
His point of view was a unique one when the two teams squared off last weekend, getting the chance to see the two Sunderland strikers “in the same game playing in different styles.”
Now, he must get them on the same page in the same squad.
The pair have only played a total of 135 minutes together in the four matches since Poyet took over. But the 46-year-old Uruguayan said he wants to work on ways to fit both in at the same time.
“I would love to see them play together but we need to train a few things and play with them both. We need a few days but we haven’t had that in the last few weeks because they were not here with the rest of the squad. My aim, if it is possible, is to play with two strikers and how we can manage to do it and which players we need is the part of what we need to work on. We will see. I think it is possible.”
Sure, it’s possible. But thus far, it hasn’t worked. Altidore has not scored a Premier League goal yet this season, while Fletcher has two in seven matches.
Poyet has picked up a bigtime win over Manchester City since joining the club in the beginning of October, but only Fletcher started, leaving Altidore on the bench as just a 77th minute substitute – for Fletcher.
For the new boss, he believes ultimately the success of their possible partnership is ultimately up to the players.
“Sometimes it does matter what the manager thinks, it is up to the players to show that when you try it that it works,” said Poyet. “They need to learn together, play together in training, practice, understand the movement of each other but it is not that easy.”