Many people have had plenty of bad things to say about the new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio.
But after Sunday’s 3-0 win against rivals Newcastle United, it could be said that Premier League fans are looking forward to seeing how this newfound position will work out for the Italian.
Three fantastic goals from Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan found the back of the net, from what had been a notoriously goal-shy Sunderland side, and with each of them Di Canio celebrated in a fashion that would make Jose Mourinho look subdued.
Running up the touchline, repeated fist pumps, knee slides; all would have endeared him to the traveling Black Cats fans, but it is very likely they would also have endeared him to the neutrals that merely wanted a slice of entertainment on a Sunday afternoon.
And one thing Di Canio is known for is entertainment, from his playing days, and into his job with Swindon Town, there have been few individuals as lively as the Italian.
There are several questions his management style poses: What do his players make of him? Do they excel with his constant gestures and orders from the touchline? Does he seize the limelight too much for a manager?
Sure he’s passionate, but is he tactically astute to be successful at the top level? These questions will be answered in time, but his Tyne-Wear heroics and record with Swindon promise theatre.
The final whistle saw Di Canio pointedly going up to every one of his players, full of sincere praise and, you can bet, words instilling belief for the next match.
Many fans can relate to the idea of such an animated and passionate manager, especially one that places so much emphasis on his and his team’s relationship with their fan base.
His political beliefs will be often debated, and for some, remain an unsurpassable sticking point, but if he keeps Sunderland in the top flight, and fuels them with his energy, the Premier League will have another reason to tune in.
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