Jake's Italian job

Jake’s Italian job

John McCormick writes: I wondered when we’d get a message from our chief coach as, at ten past five, when I was putting the finishing touches to Pete’s “seven”, the TV showed PDC standing on the pitch at the Hawthorns talking to the fans. What did he say? I don’t know. But here’s what he sent to our leader not an hour later:

Dear Colin,

We dominated the game for 20 minutes but then West Brom scored from their first real attack and from there we lost our belief.

The Premier League is a very tough league and very unforgiving, we were punished today and it is tough to take.

When we did create a chance to get back into the game but luck was against us. Steven Fletcher got injured and we could now be without him for a few weeks.

Jake: What are we gonna do?

Jake: What are we gonna do?


I couldn’t have imagined this start, I knew it would be difficult but we have to keep going.

I will never give up, we have to remain professional and keep working hard.

I need to see fighting spirit from my players.

Tuesday’s game is crucial, we need a lift ahead of the game with Liverpool and we want to progress in the cup.

It’s a Champions League final for us – we need to get a boost and build our confidence up.

All the best,

Paolo Di Canio



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23 Responses to “Le Parole di Paolo: West Brom 3 Sunderland 0: ‘I will never give up’” Subscribe

  1. vince September 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    It’s hard to hit a man when he is down.What can we say?I would.nt even know where to start.

    Peterbrough will be licking their lips…..2nd today…I can’t even bear to think about it right now!

  2. Red Frog September 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Kick a man when he is down. Standing there watching the headless chickens flap about. I feel well and truly kicked. If in doubt ask my wallet for a second opinion. Oh! Sorry you didnt mean the morons who traveled to see that.
    The highlight of the day had to be listening to the radio and Paulo De Cannylad stated ‘He will not give up’ Einstein had the answer to that Paulo..”Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So what do I do if PDC isnt going to change. Guess its either keep banging my head against the SOL or not turn up.

    • William C September 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      He might not give up, but I suspect the fans will [ I think the players have already ] and when that happens, it will be out of his hands.

  3. Ian Oklahoma September 22, 2013 at 12:45 am #

    At the moment we are not even a good championship team,no midfield and our cental defenders are very poor,,,its down we go and as for Di Canio,what can I say,only GO before you destroy our team forever…..

  4. Jeremy September 22, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    We have a player in Diakite who swapped shirts with Anelka in the tunnel at half time. That was a new one on me but sums up at least part of the problem.

    Off you go Paolo. Lots of rhetoric, terrible selections and tactics, horrible, horrible record of results and a lot of hot air. Dare we dream of a shot at goal, let alone a draw or victory. The 15 points season seems like a wet dream tonight. Absolute and total garbage.

    You tried something different Ellis and I will not knock you for that but man, this is just crap.

  5. malcolm September 22, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    I’m probably going to get loads of thumbs down for this but am I the only person who does not think Ellis Short is a saint? I don’t dispute the fact that he has put a lot of money into the club, that he has kept a low profile, paid for drinks for supporters and eaten curry with them but is it anything other than a business opportunity he saw when he came to the club?

    His marginalisation and subsequent loss of Quinny, his taking sole control of the club, the way he got rid of MON and appointed PDC would suggest to me that our current state of affairs is down to him. I’m not saying that Steve Bruce or MON should still be our manager and Di Canio did enough in the short term to keep us up but already it looks like we are heading for the championship.

    Personally I think the current squad should be good enough to keep us up, but if they aren’t who brought in the men who brought in the new players? In such a short space of time there have been too many errors of judgement by PDC on and off the pitch to give me the confidence to believe his gung-ho statements that thing will get better. I fear, not just for the season, but for the future of SAFC and the buck stops with Short. I hope I’m wrong but things look grim this morning and most likely will be even grimmer after the visit of Rooney and co.

    • Red Frog September 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      Whilst the sentiment is fine in this piece. He is a businessman, when all is said and done everyone who owns a club anywhere wants the Cash or Prestige. Okay I admit one or two are in it for the love of the game. But come on you dont plow millions into a business unless you gain something. Short’s problem would appear to be his advisers, which ever one suggested PDC is probably drawing the dole as I write.
      Give it a couple more games and Short will have no option but to get a manager with a proven record, unless PDC falls upon his sword first, I again suspect that will not be the case.
      I believe that even the players he brought in are not happy with his regime, there seems no heart in the team no fight and once a goal down their heads drop. the team wasnt up to par last season but now its decimated, time is needed to gel, but again can they gel into a team able to retain Premiership status or is it free fall for us.
      Time will tell

      • malcolm September 22, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

        Of course he’s a businessman RF and in it for business reasons but there could easily come a time where he decides to cut his losses and run. My worry is that he could walk away leaving the club in desperate straits.

  6. Goldy September 22, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    Di Canio needs to stop saying the side need to gel and then change the starting eleven. Bring back Jozy to partner Borini now that Fletcher is out, bring in Catts to play alongside Ki and leave it alone. Stop bringing people off at half time. These are genuine discussion points but it’s the done thing to claim he’s falling out with players and focus on that.

    • malcolm September 22, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      Agreed Goldy but a big part of the problem seems to be that he doesn’t know what his best starting 11 is. The bulk of the squad has been with him since July. We had hardly any pre season. He keeps Ji, picks him again after a shocker, starts with Cabral who has a good game then tells him he is 4th choice, picks Vaughan instead, replaces him at half time, refuses to sign a left back because of a minor injury which would have kept him out for a couple of weeks then a month later signs an injured left back who can’t play for even longer. Every game he seems even more clueless.

      Normally I would take Neil’s stance and say get behind the manager and give him time but we appear to be in freefall. Prove me wrong Paolo.

      • Eric012 September 22, 2013 at 10:22 am #

        Where were Larsson, Wickham, Roberge and Karllson yesterday? Surely they were at least good enough for the bench? As you rightly say, Malcolm, pick your best XI (injuries permitting), play them and allow them to gel/bond. As I said before MK Dons, he must put out his strongest team on Tuesday (rotation sucks). If they’re having problems playing together then only games will solve this problem. Peterboring are flying and a defeat would be not be a major shock. The papers are speculating he may only have two games to save his job (and our season), but I suspect a defeat on Tuesday will see him banking his severance pay.

  7. Derek Scott September 22, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    It appears Paolo has “changed everything” ; in March we were “sleepwalking” towards relegation, now we are hurtling uncontrollably towards the Championship

  8. Neil September 22, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Just watched “Hang em High”. Only solution for every crime was hanging. With Safc the only solution these days seems to be sack the manager. I didn’t want MON to go. Then again I didn’t want Bruce to go. The turnover of managers is now part of the problem. It’s time to stick with someone through thick and thin. Why would a new manager improve things? The grass is a rarely greener. We have 30 games to accrue 39 points. Simples

    • Joan September 22, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      I agree with you to a point. I’d have given Bruce more time though sadly thought MoN had to go as we were heading only one way. As di Canio has brought in so many players, and an entire backroom staff, it would be very difficult to bring in a new manager now. He keeps saying that part of the problem is communication….. I can only understand about 50% of his interviews so I don’t know how the players whose first language isn’t English are managing … I suspect that a lot of them don’t know what they’re meant to be doing. Money may be better spent on bringing in interpreters at the training ground!

      • William C September 22, 2013 at 11:36 am #

        I concur Joan, and would add that the 50% I do understand dosen’t make an atom of sense
        .
        Good teams [ in any sphere ] come about by evolution, not revolution. It is clear to me that DiCanio is on some sort of ego trip, and fails to recognise that he alone cannot win football matches – that has to be a team effort.

        His job is to instill confidence and tactical guidance – a task which appears to be completely beyond him.

      • Drummer September 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

        The sales of Bent and Gyan as well as the signing of Wickham did for Bruce. If the Bent and Gyan sales were out if he’s control then I feel he was hard done by. O’Neill’s mind and body were somewhere else when he was here and it was right to let him go . To replace him with Di Canio,who in their right mind would have predicted that? It happened, we stopped up and in my mind he earned the right to ” manage” us this season. The fact is though he is not a manager but a head coach and he is out of he’s depth at the moment . Could a wise old head like Venables not be brought in alongside him to show him the ropes for a season or two? Or would Di Canio’s gargantuan ego not stand for it?

    • CSB September 22, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Whilst I don’t diagree with your sentiments Neil, the reality is that so far PDC has made a lot of errore both on and off the pitch. The midfield problem persisits and he does not appear to know what to do other than try the same formation with slightly diffrent personnel, same result.

      We have now shipped a rediculous number of goals (fair enough two yesterday were when we were down to 10 men) but the defence is left wide open as long as we continue to play with two wingers who are not helping out defensively. Sess was one of two ‘Luxury’ items, Jonhson being the other, if they don’t pull their weight then we are in effect down to ten men.

      Dowd didn’t help yesterday either, allowing two early reckless tackles without producing a card then giving us two for fairly innocuous challenges, least Catts didn’t get booked!

      PDC has to change the formation as it is not working, no attempts on target yesterday according to the BBC, but Johnson’s effort was when it left his boot. Just not good enough, he needs to adapt to survive or he won’t survive well in advance of Christmas.

      Think I’ll go off to watch the Wizard of Oz, this has some resonance with our precarious situation!

      • CSB September 22, 2013 at 10:50 am #

        Tag line for next sason……….”Well Paulo, we sure as hell ain’t in the premier League anymore”

  9. Davey September 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    A couple of years ago I regularly contributed in defence of steve \Bruce – think at the time there were only 1 or 2 others anywhere near agreement with me p Everyone wanted MON

    Birflatt Boy even went as far as getting up personal and nasty

    Now the chickens have well and truly come home to roost

    • CSB September 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      No, I think we have just gone full circle. Bruce would have taken us down, MON would have taken us down, PDC will take us down on our current trajectory.

      I wanted Bruce, MON and PDC to succeed, however was not blind to their woeful shortcomings in management. A large part of the current playing squad is that accummulated by Bruce, so players not performing is no suprise as they didn’t do it for Bruce and they are not doing it for PDC.

      God knows how we get ourselves out of this malaise Davey and for once I find myself in complete agreement with you (gasp) despite our opposite views regarding SB.
      But I gave you two thumbs down, one for old times sake and one for voting for yourself!

  10. Davey September 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Yes it was me that gave me a thumbs up !!!!

  11. Ian_SAfc September 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    When Roberto Di Mateo was mentioned I was very encouraged. I think he’ll do a better job than PDC.

    But at the same time I am a little sad. PDC’s passion and work ethic is amazing and I think he connects to every fan on that level. He wants 100% and professionalism with the right mentality. Each fan can agree with that wholeheartedly.

    I blame the players. They have simply not given 100% or performed well enough. I lay the blame at their door. They are just not as passionate as him.

    Having said that, I think PDC has made a few team selection errors and criticised his players in public. A player might not give 100% for a manager like that. Yes, we’re shipping goals, but thats becuase PDC is playing with more attacking tactics than, say, MON who was so defensive that it was like watching pain dry. The only think we had under MON was a decent goal difference.

    So for me, the players have not bought into PDC’s passion and work ethic and not given 100%.

    RDM will do a better job because he’s got more experience and is possibly a better man-manager. I think PDC will go, but a part of me is sad about it.

  12. Keith Hutton Africa September 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Out played, outclassed, out thought out fought and out of touch. Who were we playing Real Madrid, Barcelona, no WBA. I couldn’t anothet season of us being tailed off at the bottom but if something doesn’t change soon that is where we will be out of sight. Will a change of manager help, I doubt it but we need to put a plan in motion before it is too late as Southampton did last year, someone who can unite the players and get yhem fighting for each other we are disjointed and badly led. We need leadership and ideas and we need them NOW!!!!!!!

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