Sunderland’s appointment of Paolo Di Canio as manager has been heavily criticised but there is method to their apparent madness.
Paolo Di Canio was always going to whip up a bit of a storm when he took his next job and it’s been a surprise to many that he’s landed a Premier League gig so soon after leaving Swindown.
Something wasn’t working at Sunderland. Martin O’Neill is not a bad manager but something had to change and this is an appointment which could be just as effective over the next seven games as it can be over the next two years.
What Di Canio guarantees is almost fear within the current squad, but in a positive way. He has the ability to go into the club and shake things up, send a rocket up certain players which should get them playing like headless chickens in terms of speed and movement in their final games.
Yes there were plenty of incidents of players who didn’t get on with the Italian at Swindon but this is Premier League level, where he can justify throwing his weight around a little more and using the stick as a clear method over the carrot.
He goes into the job with limited experience but he has been successful throughout that spell of limited experience. Swindon won the League Two title with him in charge and then quickly consolidated as contenders for promotion to the Championship.
That proves that whatever methods he is using, whatever man management skills and whatever core set of football ideas he brings to the table at Sunderland, they will all be entirely geared towards moving the club forward.
Tactically he’s not a bad manager and he’s not been afraid during his short managerial career to make changes, as soon as he sees things he doesn’t like developing in a game.
That is significant for Sunderland because their Premier League survival could come down to a fine tipping point, some incident or decision on the part of Di Canio, which turns things in their favour.
It should also stamp out any issue of heads dropping or complacency from players who may think that their squad place is secure. Di Cano once subbed a goalkeeper after the opening burst of a match because he said he lacked professionalism.
It will certainly be interesting to see how it develops, especially as Sunderland are locked in that battle to stay up. Whether he has the experience to pull it off isn’t the issue, it’s his personality and ego as a manager and how that will interact against the club’s players.
It’s a massive gamble for the Black Cats but it’s one they take with some measured logic and if it comes off and if the club is a Premier League side for the 2013/2014 season, very few will look back and call it a mistake.
Sunderland fans, what do you make of the appointment?
image: © infollatus