Paolo Di Canio, Mad man? Or Genius?

With the politics surrounding the appointment at The Stadium of Light drumming up media for the wrong reasons, it poses the question whether or not Paolo truly is the man to keep Sunderland in the Premier League.

When the axe surprisingly came down on Martin O’Neil last Saturday, it’s safe to say, despite the current run they were on, it was a little surprising and possible suicidal in terms of safety, to axe him with only seven games left of Sunderland’s season. O’Neil was something of a coup for the club when he took over from Steve Bruce back in December 2011, O’Neil back from a break from the game decided it was a good time to take over the club he supported as a boy and all seemed rosy when in his first game in charge they came back to beat Blackburn 2-1 in front of a home crowd. In that summer they made two solid signings in Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson and all seemed to be right at Sunderland come the start of the season, that being said, it has been a long, hard and underwhelming season for the northern club, they’ve been flirting with relegation instead of mid table safety for as long as this seasons gone on, but again that being said there didn’t seem to be any panic from O’Neil, media, pundits or fans, obviously the grain grew bigger with every passing game, but there was always a sense a manager like Martin O’Neil could pull them to safety, I personally think he would of but again the knee jerk decisions of owners and chairman’s have thrown doubt and uncertainty over a club so near the end of its season.

That uncertainty becomes chaos when the man replacing O’Neil is non-other than Paolo Di Canio a hero for his antics on the pitch, a lot footballing brilliance but others for footballing madness, his inconsistency for hot headedness has landed him in hot water during his playing career and his bold personality has spilled over into his managerial career to, highlights been, attempting to fight one of his own players and subbing a goalkeeper early in a game for lack of effort. In a nut shell he’s a loose cannon, whether he can control a bunch of highly paid ego’s teetering on the edge of safety for the time being is another question, I personally think he is a fantastic choice for the managerial position at Sunderland and it’s nice to finally see some managers get the chance to jump up to the Premier League after homing their skills in the lower leagues. That’s a sign of a good manager and as a person, regardless of what irrelevant political stance he has, this is football, something Paolo Di Canio has never had is a sense of entitlement some ex-players have, he chose to start from the bottom and prove himself, which he did fantastically at Swindon, winning the league in his first season and leaving them in a good position this season and also a league cup trophy final appearance was achieved, but they eventually lost to Chesterfield 2-0. Evidently the man has a talent for managing so why not offer him a top in the top flight now? Although the Sunderland fans are split on his appointment, I think they’re more aggrieved over the sacking of one of their own in Martin O’Neil. Di Canio will keep Sunderland up, but it will be dramatic everything that man touches is. All the wrong questions are being asked about Paolo taking over, forget political stance in football it’s regardless, what we really should be asking is why on earth top managers are getting sacked left, right and centre, if Martin O’Neil can’t keep the faith, who can? The panic of owners and Chairmen are ruining and frankly embarrassing football this season, knee jerk decisions give anything but stability and in Sunderland’s case to sack a manager with seven games to go, in the position they find themselves in, is ludicrous.

By Michael King