Paolo Di Canio’s honeymoon period at Sunderland came to an abrupt end with their 6-1 trouncing at the hands of relegation threatened Aston Villa on Monday.
After a very successful start Sunderland’s bubble was well and truly burst. Their supporters must now realise that the task ahead of Di Canio is still a very challenging one.
Di Canio’s instant impact at Sunderland with their impressive victory at St James’ Park only masked the fact that he is very new to management and especially Premier League management.
Sunderland supporters will have been given a false sense of hope and Di Canio will have been elevated to hero status on the back of this success. I have no doubt that he can be a good manager but it will unlikely occur overnight and people must not get carried away.
Next season will be the true test for Di Canio. He will have a summer where he will have money to spend and where he can shape the team to his liking. Can he attract the kind of players that Sunderland need to progress?
If he does then Sunderland will expect Di Canio to deliver results and not be part of another relegation dogfight. If this was to happen then football can be a very unforgiving environment.
At the moment Sunderland have been through the new manager syndrome where Di Canio has improved results with his own unique style. The players have obviously taken to the Italian but how long before the Italian’s passion and fiery character starts to turn players against him.
Di Canio is not afraid to discipline his players in many ways but will the millionaire players egos take this on the chin?
There are a lot of unknowns still with Di Canio. He will definitely be an entertaining addition to the Premier League but this will not be enough for Sunderland and their supporters. They expect results.
Despite all the good things that have happened since Di Canio’s arrival I would advise Sunderland to be cautiously optimistic for the immediate future.
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