Paolo Di Canio advises Antonio Conte about Chelsea job

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West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio has warned former teammate Antonio Conte to avoid making the same mistakes he did as a manager should the Italian take the reins at Chelsea next season.

Italy boss Conte is the frontrunner to replace Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge this summer and although Di Canio believes his compatriot can steer Chelsea back towards the upper ranks of the Premier League table, he insists it will be no easy task.

The former Swindon Town and Sunderland manager might not boast decades of experience in the dugout, but that has not stopped him from offering a few tips regarding how to succeed in the English game.


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"I tell him: 'Be careful of the media', because if you start talking like me, they say, 'ah he's Italian, he's too theatrical, too much, he's screaming’," Di Canio said, as quoted by The Evening Standard.

"I am joking! But I say be careful, try to learn the English mentality straight away. Sometimes words put into a sentence come out differently.

"Sometimes you can have the stamp of the donkey because you say something you didn't intend. So try to learn [the language] and put next to you a good guy, an English guy, with good experience that can help you…

The 47-year-old, who enjoyed a number of spells playing in England and Scotland with Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton, is yet to taste the success of his playing career as a manager.

Di Canio guided Swindon to promotion from League Two in 2011-12 before resigning once the club descended into financial turmoil during early 2013. His spell in charge of Sunderland was far less successful, spanning just 13 matches prior to facing the axe in September 2013.

The legendary forward has emphasised the significance of getting to grips with English football not only in terms of what happens on the pitch, but also in the dressing room and training ground.

"It's important to have a member of the club who understands everything of English football. Not only in the way you deliver your methodology or your tactics, but also in the way you need to deliver the words at the end of the game, before the game, the message during the week.

"Don't do it like Di Canio!" he added.

The Italian is confident Conte has all the necessary qualities to make a smooth transition to London, albeit at a time when the Blues are in dire need of a new leader on the touchline.

"I think he would be good for English football. A manager with the right mentality, with the right worth ethic that can help Chelsea change the direction.”

Di Canio, who scored a famous left-foot volley from 30-yards at Stamford Bridge in 2002, is shocked by the reigning Premier League champions’ feeble attempt to defend their crown.

"This year is incredible if you think what Chelsea did last year. For the first three to four months it was clear the squad did not have the same mentality, energy or desire.

"That is incredible but this is the magic of football.”

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