Sunderland have wasted very little time and have named Paolo Di Canio as their new manager for the rest of the season, replacing Martin O’Neill who was sacked on Saturday after the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.
According to Sky Sports, the fiery Italian has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light with his main objective being saving the club from relegation. The Black Cats have struggled all season and are just one point away from the drop zone having picked up just three points from their last eight games. With just seven games remaining in the Premier League this season, Sunderland seemingly have a real fight on their hands to survive in the top flight.
Chairman Ellis Short told the Sunderland’s official website:
“Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him. He is passionate, driven and raring to get started. The sole focus of everyone for the next seven games will be to ensure we gain enough points to maintain our top-flight status. I think that the chances of that are greatly increased with Paolo joining us.
Our fans have shown tremendous patience and understanding this season. They have continued to back the team in huge numbers, both home and away, and that is something that continues to inspire all of us in our drive to give them the successful club they deserve. That remains our primary aim.”
Is Di Canio the right man for the job?
With the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur still to play, the Black Cats face an uphill task to stay alive – which makes Di Canio the perfect man for the job.
The Italian led Swindon Town to League Two success last year and left them well placed in League One, but he has no experience at all of managing in the top two divisions. However, he does have the experience of playing the Premier League with the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United and Charlton Athletic. He also has in him the passion and energy to fire up Sunderland to perform well in the remaining seven games and get the best out of the players who have underperformed all season.
Di Canio’s enthusiasm could well play a huge part for a change at the Stadium of Light – which could well be the difference between staying up or going down at the end of the season. Even if, Sunderland fail to avoid the drop and go down to the Championship, Di Canio would be a great manager to have there. His experience in the lower leagues will be very important to club, and he could win them promotion to the top flight in very next season.
The Italian will meet the players and start his work from today. His first game in charge will be against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Arpil 7.