Sixer: 'you missed a great opportunity to keep your mouth closed, PDC'

Sixer: ‘you missed a great opportunity to keep your mouth closed, PDC’

Pete Sixsmith would like to think Paolo Di Canio’s outburst will cost him hard in the pocket – and also herald the start of a period of silence …


Before setting out
for the snooze fest on Saturday, I tuned into Football Focus on BBC 1. It is a long time since I watched this particular programme – indeed, the last time may have been when Scots hack Sam Leitch was the host back in the days when football coverage was considerably less than it is now.

Sam, a pugnacious and thoughtful journalist of the old school, has long departed to that great pressroom in the sky, and the presenter now is some 12 year old called Dan Lewis, a clone of Jake Humphreys and various other young men who seem to believe that all football started in 1992 and that the only clubs worth talking about are Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

However, for this programme, they decided to slum it with “minnows” Sunderland (we were described as that in at least one paper/web site after putting Manchester United out of the League Cup which shows what the current press gang wants to know about history, ethos and passion) as they had an interview with former manager Paolo Di Canio.

Interview or monologue? Difficult to tell the way it was presented, but I got the distinct feeling that there was a fair amount of film left on the cutting room floor, as one thing everyone agrees on is that Di Canio can talk for Italy, the rest of the European Union and the entire solar system.

And talk he did. The gist of his TV piece was that it was everybody else’s fault but his. The players had snitched on him to the Chairman and Chief Executive. The Director of Football had brought in the wrong players. He had wanted British players and Di Fanti had given him anything but. Certain players were trouble makers etc. etc.

Not once did he say “Well, I might just have handled things better.” Not once did he say “Maybe I went in a bit too hard. I will know better next time. It has been a learning experience for me”.

The next day, The Sun on Sunday, whose daily stable mate had called Di Canio a Fascist and castigated Sunderland for employing him, published an interview with the Italian which was far more forthright than the TV appearance.

Now I have to say that I have not read it, not being in the habit of subscribing to the profits of the reprehensible Murdoch regime, but the interview was paraphrased in all the other rags that I read and once again, everyone else was at fault but him.

John O’Shea was two faced and wouldn’t look into his eyes when he spoke to him, spread tittle tattle about O’Neill and the other players and he wouldn’t make any complaints to me. Hmmm, wonder why not?

Cattermole and Bardsley were dreadful people who he wanted out of the club asap and they didn’t wear the right clothes or brush their hair properly and they smelt a little bit and never did their homework on time.

Fletcher was so used to relegation that he didn’t work hard. That particular fox was shot last Wednesday

Any residual sympathy that he might have had on Wearside for guiding us to those two wins in April disappeared in an orgy of whingeing that far exceeded anything that Steve Bruce came out with. I half expected him to reveal that he had been born in Walker or Gosforth and that he had been dismissed for having Geordie roots.

He left us in September with a side so lacking in confidence and belief that a repeat of the 15 point season looked on. Established players were so appalled by his behaviour and attitude that they quite rightly went to the owner and told him how low morale was. The new players who had come in must have thought that they had entered a mad house.

Compare his style of management with that of his successor. Where the Italian used the stick and the mailed gauntlet, his Uruguayan successor has opted for the carrot and the silk glove. And look where it has got us; in with a chance of avoiding relegation, in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup and the final of the League Cup.

The one positive that Di Canio’s regime has given us is the fact that the players are fit. He did say that we would see the benefits of his pre-season later in the year when players needed to draw on their reserves of strength. The extra time games against Chelsea and Manchester United showed that. The players did not complain about that or the lack of ketchup and mayonnaise. What they objected to was the sheer unpredictability of a man who said one thing and then did the other.

We seem to have in Poyet, a head coach who will trust players when he has to and who will crack down when it is needed. His comments after Saturday were sharp and clear and he knew that some of his squad were not good enough. By keeping his thoughts to himself, any comments he makes to individuals later, counts for far more. I suspect that had Di Canio been in charge, it would have all been about him and what he did when he played and how the players were lazy, disobedient etc. etc.

The club have made it very clear today that he has broken a deal that he made when he left not to blab to the press. By making his mouth go, he has probably lost a fair bit of his pay off. Good. The club should use that to help supporters travel to away games in what is becoming a very expensive period for us.

As for Paolo Di Canio, I hope that is the last we hear of him – although I suspect it won’t be.

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

6 Responses to “Sixer Says: Di Canio just cannot keep his mouth shut” Subscribe

  1. KenG January 28, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    A pity that the same confidentiality clauses didn’t apply to Bardsley and O’Shea who have both had a pop at Di Canio.Has there been an apology from Phil yet? Despite his good form ,his earlier misdemeanours have been airbrushed out of history.I dont wish to go over old ground again, but I can see why Di Canio wants his threepenn’oth.

  2. Sobs January 28, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Yes, there has been an apology from Bardsley, and his earlier misdemeanours haven’t been airbrushed out of history

    • Joan January 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

      I’d also add that Bardsley’s performances, and his attitude on the pitch, speak for themselves.

  3. CSB January 28, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Nobody is ever happy when they lose their job (believe me I know what I’m talking about I’m not in the middle east for the pleasure) its just natural. Normally it leads to a reflective period, could/ should you have done better etc etc. Next comes either deep resentment or a F*#k you attitude, Ill show what you have lost.

    I remember poor old Mick McCarthy being put in a no win situation and paying the price. Mick made mistakes but so did the Club, but he went with dignity which did no harm to his overall achievements at the Club or for future opportunities.

    Bruce was the first to start this pathetic attitude of its everybody else’s fault but mine! His pathetic whining and his sad sons interjections only besmirched what he had achieved at the Club and left a very bad taste in the mouth of the majority of Sunderland fans. His reputation on Wearside damaged beyond repair.

    Di Canio’s outbursts are now even exceeding Bruce’s and continue this pathetic navel gazing (I accept that it is highly unlikely the SB has seen his navel for some years, it just a saying) that seems to affect some of the younger managers.

    How would these self same managers feel, if for example, the Chairman gave interviews in which they castigated their previous managers for being hopeless, out of their depths, tactically naïve, desperate, grumpy, boring and sad.

    Sometimes things just don’t work out or were never meant to be or the old cliché ‘he’s taken the club as far as he can’.

    That was certainly true of SB, but I can’t imagine anyone touching Di Canio with a barge pole now as he has proved with all this that he is well and truly beyond the pale, probably it was always going to end this way with a character like Di canio, but I am just grateful that we saw fit to make the change when we did and that we got Gus, if Di Canio was necessary to allow this to happen then so be it. Yesterdays news, life’s too short, get over it Paolo.

    • Robin January 28, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      And Mick McCarthy was hung out to dry by Wolves too. Fat lot of good it did them.

      At least we seem to have the right man at the helm now, at LONG last I may add.

  4. Joan January 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    No doubt he’s trying to salvage his career. Whether clubs abroad would be inclined to employ him remains to be seen – his career in the UK looks over. To be still criticising the players and the club at this stage is doing him more harm than us, however much the press want to create a story. He needs to stop digging. While I’ll always remember the fabulous win against Newcastle, the relief when he went was immense. What I wasn’t prepared for was how well Poyet would do. Can’t speak too highly of him. From the ridiculous to the sublime in one season

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