Sunderland's decision to part company with their Italian manager Paolo Di Canio, after just five league games in charge this season, has left the club in a sad state of affairs.
Since Di Canio's appointment in March Sunderland have won only three of the 13 matches he has been in charge for. Saturday's defeat at West Bromwich Albion was one of the most inept displays during his tenure where the team seemed disjointed, lacking in passion and seemingly not playing for their manager. This has clearly led to Sunderland chairman Ellis Short's decision to wield the axe so early.
In hindsight Di Canio's appointment was a mistake. His only achievements in football management has been with lowly Swindon Town and to be given a Premier League managerial role at such an early stage in his career, and at a crucial stage of the season, could have seriously backfired on the Black Cats. However, Sunderland survived in the Premier League by finishing just one place above the relegation zone despite three successive defeats in the final three games of the season.
From the very start Di Canio's appointment was greeted with controversy. Not least his supposed links with Facism and the controversy that has followed him throughout his playing and now managerial career due to his eccentric ways.
Di Canio had however endeared himself to the Sunderland supporters by beating arch-rivals Newcastle 3-0 at St James' park in only his second game. However, this only gave the club and its supporters false hope culminating in the turmoil that the club finds itself in today.
I have no doubt that Sunderland's hierarchy actually thought Di Canio was going to be a good long-term manager for them. Why else would they have given the Italian so much money to spend during the summer and the freedom to overhaul the playing and back-room staff like he has done?
Unfortunately the risk they have taken has misfired badly and they now find themselves searching for a new manager at a time when the list is very short.
Did Di Canio make too many signings in his short spell at the club? Or was he a victim of his own character deficiencies? With the rumours abound that there may be more reasons for his departure it will be interesting to listen to statements from the club, the players and Di Canio himself over the coming days.
The Di Canio situation is another sign of how modern day football and particularly modern day Chairmen have very little patience in the pursuit of success. However, Sunderland now need to buck this trend and stabilise their club. Although Sunderland is a highly thought of club I don’t believe managers will be queuing up to take the job which is a shame for their huge band of supporters who deserve success.
Who would Sunderland fans like to see as their manager? Who is capable of turning their fortunes around this season and provide the stability that they are sadly lacking at present? Please let me know your comments below.
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