I realise that my support for Paulo di Canio as the man who should be managing West Ham does not please anyone. There is the win at any cost, we love Fat Sam brigade. And there are those who say that he needs another couple of years of lower league soccer before he can be assessed fairly. Losing 4-1 away at hopeless Preston on Sunday does not help the race for a back on back promotion to the Championship but I still reckon Swindon will go up. And there are those who say that his eccentric political views are unacceptable. So what? Judge the man as a football manager, he is not running for elected office.
The latest chapter in the Paulo tale was his decision to substitute an underperforming goalkeeper just 21 minutes into the game against Preston. The goalie stormed off in a huff. He may even demand to leave Swindon. But Paulo is standing firm demanding that they guy apologises to the whole team for being so useless but more importantly for his reaction to being taken off. Well done di Canio.
It is par for the course these days for managers to offer support and justify the actions – however errant – of prima donna players. Perhaps that is why some of them become ever more wayward and inept on the pitch. If the guy was having a shocker, take him off. If a club does badly it is always the manager who gets the bullet and so it is the manager who gets to call who starts a game and who is taken off and brought on. If a squad is to act as an effective unit you cannot allow any one player to boss and publically over-rule the manager. And it is not as if di Canio was a Roeder or a Grant who has heaped ignominy on his club. He has transformed Swindon.
Paulo stick to your guns. No-one will have any sympathy for yet another prima donna soccer player who wants it all his own way whatever he does. To hear the great PDC discuss the incident check out the video below