Bramble first out the door in Di Canio clear-out (video)

Titus Bramble’s career has been a rollercoaster – one that began with the promise of full England honours as he was touted as one of the most talented young centre-backs of his generation. So why does he find himself without a club at the still relatively young age of 31?

Paolo Di Canio rode into Wearside as Sunderland manager in March bringing a storm of publicity, but quickly he realised that massive rebuilding was required. Sunderland only avoided relegation on the penultimate weekend of the season, despite two wins in the Italian’s opening three games. Bramble did not feature at all in the final seven games of the season – Di Canio clearly already having made up his mind. As an obviously keen viewer of English football, he has had plenty to go on.

Sir Bobby Robson, as Newcastle manager, saw enough potential in Bramble back in 2002 to give him the opportunity to establish himself, paying Ipswich £6m for his services. However, several high-profile errors and injury problems meant he never reached his potential. The arrival of Sam Allardyce as manager in the summer of 2007 coincided with his departure on a free transfer, and few mourned his exit.

Steve Bruce took a chance on him at Wigan, and again rock-solid performances were mixed with key mistakes. Despite this, when he was on form he was an indispensable member of the side that managed comfortable mid-table finishes under Bruce, earning the player of the year award in the 2008-9 season.

Bramble had earned the trust of Bruce enough for the Geordie to take him to Sunderland, but after Bruce’s departure things started to go downhill rapidly, with the Bramble family earning headlines for their exploits in hotels, specifically the rape allegations that to a temporary suspension, more often than their on-pitch form.

Coming from Newcastle, it would have taken some titanic performances for him ever to be accepted at the Stadium of Light, and it seems that the new man in charge was not impressed, as he attempts to instil a solid work-ethic with no off-field distractions.

Had Di Canio not yet made up his mind, a quick glance at the following video may have helped influence him.