Paolo Di Canio is refusing to change his style as top flight boss of Sunderland, insisting he will continue to criticise players in public if he feels it’s justified.
A lot was made of the Italian’s appointment when he first came to Sunderland with initial optimism mixed in with a tide of scepticism over how Di Canio would manage to draw out a successful career with the club.
Well any Sunderland fans who may have been hoping he’d calm down just a little bit as the club tries to avoid getting drawn into another relegation battle will be disappointed.
“Maybe after three or four games a player will moan about the gaffer and say, "Oh, it's tough. But my relationship with my players is closer than you think. It means that I can point the finger straight away and say, 'For your level, it is rubbish'” he said.
Di Canio has a very straight forward way of looking at things but it’s important for any top level coach to be able to show versatility and change a style of leadership to suit different players.
On the one hand, it’s positive that Di Canio seemingly sees all players in his squad as equal but on the other hand, players react to direct criticism in different ways, some more so than others.
The danger is that if Sunderland’s poor start to the season is prolonged, Di Canio needs to change his style to try and collectively get the squad to drag the club out of the problem and whether that’s something he can do is debatable.
The ‘hard man’ mentality won’t always work, especially with the more experienced players at the club who have been through it all and seen it all before from various managers.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sais two of the most under used words in English football are ‘well done’ and sometimes a little bit of encouragement is all a player needs to stop doubting himself.
Di Canio needs to earn the respect of his entire squad through his skill and ability as a football coach, not just because of an apparent fear culture which has been created through him hanging players out to dry in the British media.
Di Canio insists he’s a top level coach, well it’s time for him to prove it in all aspects of his job.
Do you think Di Canio will ever change his style? Is it dangerous for Sunderland?
image: © Hilton Teper