Gustavo Poyet: Ask A Silly Question

The midfielder-turned-manager answers silly questions for FourFourTwo.

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Hi Gus. Your name is Gustavo Augusto. Does this make you ‘Gus Gus’?
Yes! I am Double Gus! Augusto is an old man’s name in Uruguay really, so my friends laugh at me. But I don’t mind – it’s my grandfather’s name.

What’s the best thing about Uruguay?
We’re a small country of just three million. We’re good at football and have won two World Cups, and we’re a special people with warm hearts.

Who do Uruguayans hate? Bolivians? Those bastards from Peru?
People mix us up with Paraguayans! No, no, no! I’ve got Paraguayan friends but that’s like mixing England and France. Argentina are rivals. We have the Spanish language and football in common, but most Uruguayans are from Spain, while the Argentines are Italian. And we both think we’re better.

According to a spurious, unscientific list on the internet, capital city Montevideo has got the most beautiful women in the world after Stockholm. Is this true?
I think so. In that part of South America, they have very fit girls. They look after themselves. You can find a beautiful woman anywhere, but the average girl on the street is better in Montevideo. When you land at the airport, you see the difference straight away [cackles gleefully].

What about Venezuela? They always seem to win Miss World.
They have very beautiful women. Unbelievable. But the average girl is a bit better in Uruguay.

What Uruguayan cuisine would you cook to impress such a lady?
Asado, which is wood-smoked barbecue. It tastes really smokey. We spend hours around the fire, and we practically eat the whole cow – even the intestines. It may sound odd to you, but they’re really tasty. Not nice, right?

We’d give it a go if you’re cooking, Double Gus. Can you Tango?
I’m useless. It’s embarrassing because people think all Uruguayans can Tango. The Argentines are better. You won’t see me on Simply Come Dancing, although I watch it on TV. The people who go on have a lot of courage. They are outside their comfort zone.

What’s the most confusing thing about moving to England?
The weather. The ketchup – my son puts it on everything. The accents. I got really confused in Leeds…

Did you eat Yorkshire puds and watch Last Of The Summer Wine?
Yorkshire pudding, yes. But summer wine? I have no idea what that is.

You’ve not missed much. Ever visit Swindon Steam Railway Museum?
I didn’t. I’m sorry to the people of Swindon! They’re gonna kill me! I should have gone. But it was my first management job and I was obsessed. I practically stopped living. There was no time for Railway Museums!

Did Dennis Wise ever teach you Cockney rhyming slang?
It took me six months to understand anything Dennis Wise said. After that, he taught me rude stuff. I don’t want it printed in FourFourTwo, really.

Ah, go on. We won’t tell anyone.
He always used to say “thank you hairy crutch” really quickly, because it sounds a bit like thank you very much. We had 17 different nationalities. Nobody understood.

Did you enjoy the snow recently?
I’ve been trying to do my coaching badges, but it kept getting cancelled! I live in Kent and there was loads of snow. I like it – we don’t get snow in Uruguay. But there’s a hill by my house and my car was snowed in. I was digging and digging. Mamma mia!

Did you make a ‘snowman Gus’?
We did. The kids made a big snowman. But I’m sick of it – I need to drive places!

Are you a Take That or Girls Aloud man?
Oh, I like all music. They’re both great bands. I’m into downloading off iTunes. I always pay, swear to God! When you buy an album it stays on the shelf. With iTunes, you listen to the best songs.

A modern man. Right, we’re off to book a flight to Montevideo. Cheers, Gus Gus!
Pleasure, my man!

From the April 2009 issue of FourFourTwo.