With the relentless attacks on the new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio, a solid, sharp start was imperative and the Italian has certainly delivered. 

With six points out of nine, including an incredible 3-0 win away at their arch rivals Newcastle, the skepticism on his fascist political views seem to have disappeared, so we analyse where exactly his side have improved.

Stephane Sessegnon

The Benin international's ability has never been under question, but his form and goal threat has and under Di Canio, this has not been a problem. Sessegnon has bagged 2 goals thus far under the Italian's management including the winner in a 1-0 triumph over on form Everton. 

As well as goal scoring, Sessegnon's clever, innovative footwork has managed to both beat his opponent, and bring his fellow teammates into play. If Sunderland are to stay up, then Sessegnon continuing in this vein of form will be a high contributing factor as to how they do.


Although his behaviour is sometimes considered irrational, his heart and appetite for the game is absolutely unquestionable. Di Canio's extravagant celebrations portray the kind of heart and desire to succeed that is vital for any club languishing dangerously down towards the bottom of the league. 

As well as shrewd signings and management, his motivation worked wonders on Swindon as he managed to rejuvenate them from a club in decline struggling to guarantee Football League survival, to a club challenging the big boys to get into the Championship.


Towards the end of Martin O'neil's managerial reign, Sunderland were lacking fitness and struggling to make it up and down the pitch. 

Because of this, they were unable to really challenge opponents later in the match and this problem seems to have disappeared. Many people are stating that the desperately poor fitness levels are the reasons for their many injuries, and various top players like Adam Johnson performing to an unsatisfactory standard.

Now however, Johnson is showing light glimpses that he could re-create the form of his Manchester City days, but only time will tell.

So, the future does look bright for Sunderland and for me, it is refreshing to have seen somebody performing astutely at the lower levels to be given a job of such high importance.

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