Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Is Paulo Di Canio too volatile for the Premier League?

Former Sunderland manager Paolo Di CanioPaolo Di Canio has been unceremoniously given the boot from Sunderland after taking just a point from five games at the start of this season.

For some, the decision has come too early, but for others, probably those that chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning” after Sunderland lost 3-0 to West Brom at the weekend, it is the right call.

Di Canio only lasted six months at the Stadium of Light, but in that time he created enough negative headlines to last at least triple that period.

Soon after his appointment on 31 March, ex-Foreign Secretary David Miliband resigned from his positions as vice-chairman and non-executive director of the Tyneside club due to Di Canio’s links with fascism.

The 45-year-old renounced his links, but soon after got stuck into the fitness of the squad he had inherited from Martin O’Neill, branding them “not the fittest in the world”.

In May, he dropped defenders Phil Bardsley and Matt Kilgallon after they were photographed in a casino.

“It was disgusting – these people can’t train with me,” said Di Canio.

The Italian also fined seven players and threatened to reduce their holiday if they did not perform well enough in their final game of the season.

“I told them we can win, draw or lose with dignity, respecting the club’s name and the fans. But if not, I will reduce their holiday,” he said.

Those comments saw an investigation undertaken by the Professional Footballers’ Association, with chief Gordon Taylor exclaiming that Di Canio could not be “a law unto himself”.

The summer saw Simon Mignolet and Stephane Sessegnon exit, while 14 new players were signed at a cost of £19 million.

Bardsley was again on the end of Di Canio’s wrath at the beginning of this season, suspended for comments he was believed to have made on social media.

The ex-Swindon boss also publicly criticised his captain John O’Shea, after he gave away a game changing penalty against Crystal Palace.

“Our leader didn’t react in the way he should. That is terrible because it was a crucial game for us,” said Di Canio.

“The penalty didn’t come from a dangerous situation. It’s absolutely poor and not acceptable.”

Earlier this month, Di Canio asked Martin Atkinson to send him off against Arsenal, which he duly did.

Following that, the former striker accused Sessegnon, who joined West Brom on deadline day, of not caring for Sunderland.

His most bizarre act as boss of the Black Cats came on Saturday when he walked over to fans after the West Brom game in order to listen as they berated him.

Di Canio said after that: “It’s obvious we’re still not together. We don’t have many leaders in terms of desire to play with a premier style.

“I’m never going to change my regime. I am what I am. My way to manage the team is for the top, top level. I have to be clear to everyone – the board, the chairman, the fans – I’m never going to change.

“One day, if I receive the full support from the players, we will turn the corner.”

Of course, the backing of his players was not forthcoming.

The senior players are actually thought to be responsible for his departure, after complaining to powers above following a “brutal and vitriolic” post-match meeting on Sunday.

By comparison, a list of highs at Sunderland for Di Canio is somewhat smaller.

In fact, securing Premier League survival last season and beating Newcastle 3-0, which prompted Di Canio to slide onto his knees in celebration, are probably the only highs of note.

Is Di Canio too volatile for the Premier League then? On the evidence of his Sunderland tenure, it is extremely hard to say no.

The negative things he did during his time at Sunderland were too frequent and the man himself has said he will “never” change.

That being the case, it is very difficult to envisage a Premier League club giving Di Canio another chance.

Can you? Leave your thoughts below.

Article title: Is Paulo Di Canio too volatile for the Premier League?

Please leave feedback to help us improve the site: