Sacking Paolo Di Canio after just five games is as crazy a decision as it was to give him the job in the first place.
People say he ‘saved’ Sunderland at the end of last season. In fact he simply kept up the one point per game ratio they already had under Martin O’Neill, give or take a point at any given week.
Having been taken in by the media claims that the club were ‘saved’ by Di Canio, they allowed him to bring in 14 players over the summer.
Sunderland bottom of the table
After five games the new players have failed to gel and Sunderland are bottom of the table with just one point and have even lost to relegation certainties, Crystal Palace.
However, this hardly means that they won’t work out over the course of the season and then flourish in the years to come. Now any new manager will be lumbered with 14 players with new contracts that he might not want.
It is a virtually impossible job that only Di Canio could have realistically done. He was the one with the vision to bring these players together, a new man might not know what he was thinking.
It is unlikely Sunderland will be saved. The job has become a poison chalice with a trigger happy chairman and an under performing group of players that can’t be shifted.
Who would want to tarnish their reputation by taking on a job where they are destined to fail? Only a desperate manager would consider even consider it. Somebody who has no reputation to lose.
Perhaps it is an ideal opportunity for Steve Kean or Steve McClaren to stink out the Premier League once again.
It goes to highlight the crazy decision the club took last season when they sacked O’Neill, a manager of proven Premier League quality. The club weren’t even in the relegation zone when they let him go, and he himself had ‘saved’ the club the year before.
Di Canio was unproven at the top level although he had done well at Swindon. To think he might be a better man for the job than O’Neill wasn’t just a ‘gamble’ as the media said, it was totally illogical.
O’Neill now looks set to be offered the Republic of Ireland job while his predecessor Steve Bruce is doing great work at Hull.
Their respective successes elsewhere suggest that Sunderland’s problems might not be down to the person managing the team.
The fans have high expectations of the team, too high. The board don’t seem be able to appoint a boss and trust him to get on with the job which means they will keep throwing money away in compensation.
If they gave the manager more time, the team would benefit from the stability his continued presence would bring. They would also have extra money to spend on top players wages as the won’t have had to pay a huge compensation settlement.
The question now is who will come in and gel the Sunderland new boys together in the way that Di Canio envisaged.
More importantly, what caliber of manager would even want to?