He was a fierce dictator, determined to impose his will on a group of cowed subjects.
Now I wonder where Paolo got his management ideas from?
That tabloid favourite “player power” is now blamed for Di Canio’s demise after the squad complained to Sunderland’s owners about their manager’s dictatorial style.
This paints a picture of a band of bullied and broken professional footballers appealing to the owners to protect them.
But from what? A manager who demanded peak fitness and total commitment to the cause.
Not too much to ask I’d say for twenty grand plus a week and all the adulation you can handle.
Of course Di Canio is a maverick and broke the first rule of football that you slag people off in the dressing room, not outside it.
But to many he has been a breath of fresh air – shaking-up a cosy world of pampered players who have no idea what hard graft is or what a real bollocking sounds like.
Sunderland knew exactly what they were getting with Di Canio – he hardly hid his more eccentric character traits.
He was a hero for saving them last season but is now a bullying loose cannon for losing four out of his first five league games this year.
Mussolini was murdered and hung by his feet.
Di Canio was simply hung out to dry by players not fit to lace his boots.
Enough tortuous links between Italian history and sacked managers, let’s get on with the important business of making some money this weekend.
And I can see things getting even tougher for Sunderland as they host Liverpool complete with Luis Suarez champing at the bit to get back into Premier League action.
Let’s chance a treble on Liverpool, Fulham to beat Cardiff and Southampton to take care of Crystal Palace.
Those three pay 4/1 and that looks a good punt to get us back into the black for the season.
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Running Total for all bets this season to a £10 stake: £-26.00