Where Did It Go Wrong For The Mad Mackem?
I'll be honest, I was one of the now very foolish looking people who thought it could work out for Paolo Di Canio on Mackemland, after that shock 3-0 win at St James' Park.
It was a match that was difficult to take because the Mackems had a greater will to win than the side Alan Pardew put out.
It was 90 minutes when Di Canio got everything right - and Pardew made an arse of himself and got tactics sadly wrong.
So where did it go wrong for Di Canio?
Well respected in this country, successful in the lower leagues, and, obviously, extremely passionate and driven to succeed ... but it didn't last.
Ellis Short, chairman of Sunderland, decided that Di Canio was the man for the job, but he should have looked at the incidents which included outspoken criticism of fans, board members and players at Swindon.
He wasn't going to change overnight, and when he said after the WBA thrashing "I won't change" ... it was obvious he wouldn't!
At SWindon Di Canio got away with pulling off keeper Wes Fotheringham after 20 minutes because of one mistake, and physically confronting Leon Clarke on the pitch after his home debut, because they’re League One players and he’s an international superstar.
It was never going to work in the Premier League, where some players – admittedly not many at Sunderland – could justifiably turn around and ask the boss how he would have done it better.
It was a training ground revolt that did for Di Canio, in the style of Brian Clough’s insurrection after 44 days at Leeds United.
But whilst Clough’s tenure was doomed from the start because of his acrimonious relationship with the club and outspoken hatred of club legend Don Revie, Di Canio had much more of a chance, with genuine fan excitement and financial support to back him up.
But he failed to adapt, charging in like an Italian bull in a red and white china shop, publicly criticising players and goading fans, which he may have been justified in doing in theory, but in practice was only going to work in the short term.
14 players were signed for over £20million, with only Giaccherini looking anything like Premier League standard (admittedly after only five games), and their best two players of last season, Mignolet and Sessegnon, being allowed to leave.
So what now for the Black Cats (and never has an English club had such an ill-fitting nickname)?
Short and co seemed to have backed themselves into a corner by allowing Di Canio to completely take over the joint in his six months.
It's a mess, and long may it continue.
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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