It’s no surprise that Paulo Di Canio tops the Sky Bet Sack Race at 3/1 as favourite for the next Premiership Manager to leave his club. He would be our top bet too. Driven by emotion and a tendency to react verbally with no softening or disguising his feelings, I’m pretty sure he will lose the Sunderland dressing room soon if he hasn’t already.
Di Canio is completely unable to manage his state of mind
He’s intelligent enough to be a successful manager and he certainly knows football and how he wants his team to play. His English, although far from fluent, is good enough to communicate with and inspire his players which he does when he feels good. And this is his fatal flaw, he has to feel good to be good.
He is completely incapable of managing his state of mind. When he feels let down and disappointed his emotions spill out causing damage with very word. Following this defeat he gave a long and rambling post match interview to BBC Sport in which he described the goals conceded by his team as ‘poor, pathetic goals’. He expresses disappointment with many of his players, that they became passive and didn’t ‘play with a knife in their teeth’. He saves his most savage criticism for his captain for getting himself sent off.
And then not for the first time this season he delivers a message that players must interpret as the end of their careers under his leadership;
The problem is not in the way we play ‘cause we did much more than them close to their box … at the end it was the quality because when you play without fire, without desire, when you have the ball 3 yards from their goal line and my player, rather than push his neck out and score a goal, retreats his neck because he’s worried, what you have to do? I can’t change the heart of my players
He then seems to suggest that they way to deal with this is to find other players who will play with ‘heart’.
Players listening to this have just heard themselves being harshly criticised and the threat of being replaced with new transfers. His interpretation is that the players ‘heart’ is permanently missing. This is the impress Formula the wrong way around, so whatever the truth of the situation, that is now the reality while Di Canio is manager.
For a manager to coach, influence and inspire he needs respect and trust.
He feels good about Fletcher the goal scorer but it’s unlikely the player will be confident in his managers support. His will be only too aware that his first slip or mistake will result in another emotional outpouring.
For a manager to coach, influence and inspire his players he needs to have a connection with them. They don’t have to like each other but he needs their respect and trust. It’s hard to believe this remains intact now and if his players have cut the emotional tie with Di Canio they have cut with it his ability to lift their performance.
If the dressing room gone so is their season while Di Canio is in charge.
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— Mark Sheasby (@marksheasby) September 2, 2013
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