Former Sunderland Boss Paolo Di Canio Hits out at Black Cats After Dismissal
The former Swindon Town manager was sacked after winning just three of his 13 matches since taking charge of the Black Cats back in March.
There had been reports of player unrest during Di Canio’s reign in charge, but the Italian has hit out at what he calls “wholly untrue” allegations.
In a statement released to Sky Sports, Di Canio said:
There was no training ground bust up as some are reporting and many of the players have since sent me messages thanking me for my time as their manager.
We could see that results had not gone as well as any of us had hoped, but I felt as a team we could turn things around.
Di Canio brought in 14 new players during the summer transfer window, and Sunderland’s early form suggested that the squad was struggling to gel together.
A 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham on the opening day of the season was a sign of things to come. A point away to Southampton put Sunderland on the board, but then came further losses against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Wets Bromwich Albion.
They had picked up just one point from their opening five matches and they sat bottom of the table when Di Canio was let go, although he was quick to point out that the team wasn't in much better shape before he got there, according to the Sky Sports report:
I walked into a challenging situation but achieved what I was asked to do, the highlight of which was the fantastic performance and win against Newcastle, which is something I will always remember.
The controversial figure drew criticism from Sunderland fans for his scathing public criticism of his team and for letting go of proven Premier League players such as Stephane Sessegnon, who scored for West Bromwich Albion against his old team last weekend.
The Italian defended many of his actions, and his team's slow start, according to the Sky Sports report.
When you bring in 14 new players, many from overseas and very few with Premiership experience it is going to take time for them to adapt to the English game and to gel as a team. I love English football and I feel that my time at the club has been unfairly cut short.
It had been widely reported that Di Canio, who liked to refer to himself in the third person, enforced strict restrictions on his team including monitoring what his players ate. In the end, according to the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel, Di Canio told his unhappy players to approach the board if they wanted him to leave, and that is exactly what they did.
Di Canio's future is unclear at this point, as he hasn't been offered a new job as of yet.
However, he's still seen as a talented potential manager, even if he's not quite ready to run a Premiership club at this point. He lost seven of 12 Premier League games at Sunderland, but there's still potential for him to help another club.
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