Will controversial ex-Sunderland boss get another chance?

Paolo Di Canio At Upton Park

Is Paolo di Canio too hot to handle or a breath of fresh air?

As Sunderland consider legal action against Paolo Di Canio, following last week’s outburst to the media about his troubled tenure at the club, many remain split on the Italian’s approach to management.

It has been claimed that Paolo Di Canio’s man management skills leave a lot to be desired. A string of reported player/manager disputes going back to his time at Swindon Town, have left the 45-year-old facing a tricky task in finding a new employer.

But is his approach to management that unorthodox?

With the evolution of football has come masses of money and players can now earn ludicrous sums for just sitting on a bench for 90 minutes a week. So it is of no surprise to hear of the egotistical and arrogant traits that run through the personalities of some of these individuals.

Paolo Di Canio’s inclination to regularly voice his opinions to the media would appear unprofessional to say the least, but does this represent a flaw in his management style or just a frustration at the rebellious behaviour of his players?

He launched a scathing attack on Sunderland players Phil Bardsley and Lee Cattermole last week, complaints about in their attitude is fair comment as a boss, but you can see his perspective.

In Cattermole you have a player who was given a 3-year pub ban across an entire borough for disorder, was cautioned for deliberately damaging cars in Newcastle and has picked up a total of 7 Premier League red cards in his career as a footballer.

Phil Bardsley was photographed last year lying on the floor with a pile of £50 notes on a visit to a casino, shortly after new manager, Di Canio had installed a drinking ban on his players. And Steven Fletcher was last year accused of spitting on the back of a rickshaw driver in London.

There are arguments for both parties; in one corner you have a manager who has a reputation of eccentricity and in the other corner a small group players with chequered history. So with this in mind, it’s hardly inconceivable that they may have been difficult to stamp authority on. Yet it’s also difficult to imagine Di Canio building a relationship with too many of them either.

Another claim by Di Canio last week was that it was his ‘destiny’ to manage West Ham United at one point in his career. But would current chairmen, David Gold and David Sullivan ever take a punt at Di Canio?

Regardless of whether the Hammers stay up or not this season, Sam Allardyce’s position will still remain in the balance given not only his hostile relationship with the fans but also the team’s abject performances this season.

Whatever the outcome, it is not impossible to imagine the position opening up in the summer.

There’s no doubting the passion that Di Canio would bring to the role, but the chairmen would be reluctant to allow a situation resembling the Sunderland debacle to occur at West Ham.


image: © Hilton Teper

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch