Sunderland Sack Paulo Di Canio


Sunderland have sacked manager Paolo Di Canio after the controversial manager was involved in a spat with his players following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Brom.

The Wearsiders sit bottom of the Barclay’s Premier League and clearly felt a change was needed. Paolo, himself, was in charge for all of seven months. Sunderland released a statement to the press notifying them of Di Canio’s sacking on Sunday evening. In the statement came also the news that Kevin Ball will take charge of the first team affairs until a new manager comes in.

“Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night’s Capital One (League) Cup game against Peterborough United and an announcement will be made in due course regarding a permanent successor,” the statement said.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future,” the club added as Di Canio became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season.

Sunderland’s defeat at the Hawthorns was compounded by the fact West Brom’s opening goal was scored by Stephane Sessegnon, a player sold to the Midlands club by Di Canio amid some bitterness on transfer deadline day.

Afterwards, Di Canio said he would be pushed out if Sunderland kept losing but insisted he didn’t expect to be on his way any time soon.

“The team, not intentionally, have not gelled together yet but that is normal,” the 45-year-old said.

“It is a natural process and it is difficult.

“We have made many changes, we have 14 new players from many countries.

“It is obvious one day if we keep going lose, lose, lose there will be a natural consequences, not only for Paolo Di Canio.

“I don’t think they will want to keep Paolo Di Canio, they will probably want to change. But I don’t think that now,” he added.

Sunderland’s American owner Ellis Short brought former Swindon Town manager Di Canio to Wearside after calling time on Martin O’Neill’s stint in charge.

The former West Ham striker was an inexperienced choice as his only previous stint in the dugout came at lower league Swindon, where he oversaw their promotion into English football’s third tier.

But the most controversial aspect of his appointment concerned his alleged fascist leanings, with Britain’s former foreign secretary David Miliband, then a local MP, resigning as vice-chairman of Sunderland because of the former Lazio and Celtic forward’s “past political statements”.

Di Canio took over with just seven matches of the 2012/13 season remaining and with relegation a distinct possibility.

A 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in his first game in charge was followed by a 3-0 north-east derby victory at Newcastle in his second, with the outspoken Di Canio’s knee-sliding victory celebration endearing him to Sunderland supporters.

Then came a 1-0 win at Everton before Sunderland suffered the embarrassment of a 6-1 thrashing by fellow strugglers Aston Villa.

However, the Black Cats only just did enough to avoid the drop by finishing in 17th place.

After Saturday’s loss to West Brom, a defiant Di Canio said: “One game, one win, will clean all the players’ brains from the problems they have now.”

Short, however, had seen enough and decided Di Canio, who won just two of his 12 Premier League games in charge, was no longer the man for the job — a move that has left Sunderland looking for their sixth permanent manager in fewer than five years.

Chelsea’s Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo is the early favourite to succeed his fellow Italian.

Twitter was quick to react to the sacking of Di Canio with many divided as to whether the time was right.

A view from the ‘other side’ (Newcastle supporter) :

@KevCullen9 Di Canio being sacked was inevitable too controversial and he’s a bad manager.

One fan reacted very badly:
@PaoloDiStout Absolutely disgraceful decision to sack Di Canio , I’m hurting right now utterly fed up with Sunderland Football Club.

I then pipped the question to my followers (@Alex_Murray17) and wondered did Twitter think the sacking was justified. Here’s some of the answers I got:

One says yes:

@GavD_Rovers More than justified. They were brutal last season as well. Biggest mistake was letting him make all them signings.

Other says no:

@MartLaa92 Note even slightly , 12 games here , 5 games into a new season after a massive overhaul. Embarrassing from SAFC.


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