Unless I receive a seriously compelling request to publish another set of thoughts on the demise of the brief and explosive Paolo Di Canio regime, it is my considered view that the time has come to move on and concentrate on the battle for survival, whoever is at the helm.
But for the sake of completeness – and, with any luck, closure – here is the parade of articles, starting from Malcolm Dawson’s timely posting of the raw fact of PDC’s dismissal on Sunday night:
* Sept 22: Fans who were singing yesterday about Paolo Di Canio’s imminent sacking were correct. It’s official: http://salutsunderland.com/2013/09/goodbye-paulo-safc-announces-the-parting-of-the-ways/
* Sept 23 Sixer has his say: a href=”http://salutsunderland.com/2013/09/paolo-di-canios-sacking-1-another-bites-the-dust-but-no-pulis-please/
My feeling was that a change needed to be made sooner rather than later and that Di Canio was out of his depth. Players either need a detailed game plan a la American Football or they need to be trusted to make their own decisions. This Sunderland team had neither game plan nor trust and it appears the players had little time for the constant barrage of criticism that came from the head coach.
* Sept 23: Monsieur Salut had been required by ESPN to stay up late: http://salutsunderland.com/2013/09/pdcs-sacking-2-the-short-sharp-shock-safc-needed-or-short-fused-chaos/
He had serious bad luck when the fixtures list was compiled, but the awful truth is that the bad run that list produced has barely begun; of the first five games, producing all of one point, only Arsenal could be considered a big club. To lose to Fulham at home and, heavily, to Crystal Palace and WBA away, picking up that solitary point while looking second best at Southampton, is all the more demoralising when it is remembered that the coming home games feature Liverpool, both Manchesters, Newcastle, Chelsea and Spurs.
* Sept 23 John McCormick had this interesting take: http://salutsunderland.com/2013/09/paolo-di-canios-sacking-3-culture-club-or-the-animals/
We appeared to have arrived at a very healthy situation, which probably did not exist previously, where we finally had everything in place, including a potentially very good team, for a serious crack at the top half of the table. Was the only thing we need a period of stability to provide the current chief coach and his staff with space so the culture embedded and the team took off? Results, team selections (I don’t know about coaching) and other statements and decisions led me to doubt Di Canio’s judgment and now he’s gone we’ll never know if time would have let him get there.
* Sept 24: Gareth Barker came up with the piece Pete Sixsmith judged the best he’d read on the sacking: http://salutsunderland.com/2013/09/pdcs-sacking-4-a-wise-man-says-good-riddance/
It’s been stated that many of these players have survived three managers. That is very true. However, why did PDC decide to rotate the so called “rubbish” players who had let so many other managers down? Why pick Cabral all pre-season, first game of the season, then bomb him out completely? Not because he’s too slow, but because he answered his phone on the team bus (reputedly why he was dropped for the Southampton game)! None of the things PDC said were consistent with his actions.
* Then there was Bill Taylor’s latest valedictory: http://salutsunderland.com/2013/09/pdcs-sacking-5-hes-gone-but-im-not-coming-back/
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck …
Turns out Paulo Di Canio WAS a fascist all along. On and off the field. And while his off-the-field credo wasn’t enough to keep him from defaming the Stadium of Light, his self-proclaimed team “regime” – a fascist word if ever there was one – did him in.
* Plus an anonymous exile’s openish letter to Ellis Short: http://salutsunderland.com/2013/09/a-semi-open-letter-to-ellis-short-life-after-the-little-maverick/
I had desperately hoped your brave gamble – his appointment – would pay off. You probably had more to lose than most of us, but emotionally we have far more to lose than you. Trust me we do.
* And finally, my own piece at ESPN today: http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/2125?cc=5739
I broadly approved when PDC attempted to impose discipline and a more rigorous training regime on players who are much more handsomely rewarded than their efforts and abilities truly merit. But there is a fine line between firm management and bullying, and PDC appeared to cross it. Bone-headed bosses, whatever the walk of life, usually find that most staff respond poorly to intimidation and aggression … he overstepped the acceptable mark in his treatment of players without the saving grace of seeming capable of lifting their game and the team.