Di Canio Checks In At Swindon

by Mike Moore

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Swindon Town's New (and Controversial) Boss

You couldn’t ever accuse Swindon Town supporters of having little to talk about. The team has pogoed around the divisions in the last twenty years (they were present in the second ever Premier League season of 1993-4, and are at present the only former Premiership team to have been relegated to the lowest league tier). Last season, having dwelt in League One for a number of years, they were one game away from promotion back into Championship, but lost out to Millwall in the play-off final. Yet before this season started they were many bookies tip for relegation, and these theories were confirmed as they dropped down to League Two last week, the work of former Forest and Barnsley manager Paul Hart not enough to prevent the demotion.

The regeneration of the club was started yesterday, with the board’s appointment of a first-time, keen young manager by the name of Paolo di Canio. Yes, THE referee-shoving, nazi salute-giving, West Ham legend Paolo di Canio. The man who once stated “I am a fascist, not a racist”, has been given the nod out of a supposed shortlist of eight other candidates.

At first glance it seems odd for a club seemingly on a downward spiral should appoint a manager with little coaching experience, especially over more experienced candidates (former Town manager Danny Wilson and ex-Scotland boss George Burley were rumoured to be on the shortlist), yet it may not be a bad choice.

Former pro’s with relative managerial inexperience often get their first break at an unglamorous lower-league club looking for a bit of publicity. Paul Ince worked wonders at Macclesfield before landing a Premiership job at Blackburn. Gus Poyet has revived Brighton to Championship level. Dean Holdsworth brought Newport County through the divisions before switching to League football at Aldershot.

These men all have gained UEFA Pro licences; they have often played at the highest level, so they know how the game works. Di Canio will no doubt be a passionate, verbal presence in the dressing room and on the training ground, and the young guys who will doubtlessly get a break now Swindon are at a lower level will learn so much from him.

And this is not the first post Di Canio has been linked to. Having formerly stated it would be his dream to manage West Ham, he was rumoured to be being considered to replace Avram Grant. Interestingly though, Hammers co-owner David Sullivan immediately rejected the idea, saying, “The problem with Paolo is, although the fans would love it, I am being realistic and he has no experience whatsoever being a manager…If you look at first-season managers the failure rate is enormous.” Lower-league management is always a great way for prospective coaches to learn the tricks of the trade, to make mistakes and learn from them, and maybe Di Canio has just taken the first step on a notable career ladder.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    Strange appointment but the game needs characters, and he certainly has charisma unlike mr mcclaren who thinks he’s to good for everyone except the the top 6

  • Givere

    Mmm, I think Paolo’s appointment is brilliant for Swindon and brilliant for football. If we can forget that he is as mad as a box of frogs, he was a brilliant, if temperamental player. Of course I am bias but he has showed willing to prove himself in the lower leagues rather than jump straight in at a top club. (And I don’t mean West Ham!)

Previous post:

Next post: