I don’t know if I am alone in my thinking on this one but I will make this prediction. Paolo Di Canio will be out of a job before the end of the season.
Having been dramatically and successfully parachuted in to save the club from relegation last season his impact looks now like nothing more than the traditional new manager syndrome. The effort that got the club through those final few games is not enough over a 38 game season.
In response to that Paolo has gone out and drafted in an entire new first eleven. Including the likes of Ki Sung Yeung and Fabio Borini. I have to admit I was shocked that Ki was allowed to leave Swansea on loan and his may well prove to be a shrewd addition to the squad but that is about the only one.
The greatest indicator of the managers ineptitude for me shows in the fact that he allowed Simon Mignolet to leave for £9 million, and has replaced him with Vito Mannone. A hapless Arsenal number 3 who famously forgot that he could use his hands in the penalty area against Olympiakos. The worst thing about it is that he actually paid money for him. Chelsea signed Mark Schwarzer for £0, Shay Given looks to be available, Julio Cesar is available for transfer, I dare say Alex McCarthy could have been prised away from Reading for a price as well. All of whom would walk into the first team at Sunderland.
Of the other signings Paolo has made do any of them have experience of the premiership? Yes but only Jozy Altidore, the striker who scored a single goal in an ill fated loan spell at Hull, he may well prove to be a success but in a time when Sunderland need a goalscorer I cant see him challenging Steven Fletcher for a starting place too often.
The rest of the signings Di Canio has made have come from abroad, Arsene Wenger (who I am in no way prone to agree with) made the point that adding 3 players or more can be a risk to any squad. But adding 12 or 13 players of whom the majority probably don’t speak great English, and have never experienced English football to a squad of players who narrowly avoided the drop last season looks an extremely dangerous move for me.
This combined with his rules on mobile phones at the training ground or carbonated drinks as well as criticising his players strongly in the press after a defeat says to me that this could be a very long and ultimately disastrous season for the black cats. I would be surprised if the Italian boss is still in charge come the end of January.