Saturday 21 October 2017

Off the Ball: Black Cats freed from Di Canio's reign of terror

Sunderland manager Paulo Di Canio gestures to the Sunderland fans after his team's 3-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland manager Paulo Di Canio gestures to the Sunderland fans after his team's 3-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion

Donny Mahoney - Off the Ball

And so ends Paolo di Canio's contentious and highly entertaining reign at Sunderland.

Managers come and go in the Premier League, but it'll be a long time before we find a gaffer who, in five months, can unite and mobilise the Left in protest, create the gold standard for managerial goal celebrations and redefine micromanagement by banning ice cubes.

Di Canio was ultimately overturned by a player revolt. Notably, one of the central criticisms against the Italian is that he behaved like a dictator.

But it wasn't just the Sunderland players who suffered under Di Canio's authoritarian style.

Colin Young covers football in the north of England for the 'Daily Mail' and told the show on Monday that members of Sunderland staff were afraid they'd be sacked for interacting or even making eye contact with members of the club's first team.

One assumes the words of Martin Luther King are ringing out around the Stadium of Light this week – "Free at last, thank God almighty, we're free at last".

DM

Irish Independent

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