Will Paolo Di Canio save Sunderland?
Sunderland have admitted that they panicked whilst deciding to sack Martin O’Neil. They took very little time in replacing him with Paolo Di Canio, the ex-Swindon boss.
Appointing the 44-year-old Italian is certainly a gamble. He has a proven record of success in both leagues one and two, but stepping straight into the top flight is risky business.
When he took over at the county ground in Wiltshire, the reds were a struggling league two outfit. During his one and a half year stint there, he managed 95 games, racking up 54 wins, 23 draws and 18 losses. When he departed the club in controversial circumstances, Swindon stood second in league one and were looking good for promotion.
Without doubt, Di Canio will install some much-need pride and passion back into a struggling Sunderland team. However, his large amounts of passion for the game have also lead to some headline-grabbing actions in the past. At Swindon, he had a scrap with one of his own players in the tunnel and also subbed his goalie before halftime.
Martin O’neill is a fantastic manager, but I think Sunderland have done the right thing in replacing him. The players didn’t seem to be responding to him at all, and I think bringing in Di Canio will lead to Sunderland maintaining their Premiership status.
Changing the manager doesn’t always work, but with the likes of Lee Cattermole and Steven Fletcher sidelined, there is great opportunity for players to prove they are starting XI players. Every single player will be fighting to either keep or gain their place in the team, and this could lead to positive results for Sunderland.
Whether he is successful or not, I am happy to see Paolo Di Canio managing in the Premier League. He loves the game of football and we will undoubtedly see some great interviews on Match Of The Day!
Di Canio faces a very tough test in his first game managing in the Premier League, as his side travel to the capital to face Chelsea on Sunday.