Gary Neville: Di Canio a 'risk'

Gary Neville believes Sunderland's decision to appoint Paolo Di Canio as their new manager is a "risk".

Last Updated: 01/04/13 at 20:26 Post Comment

Gary Neville believes Sunderland's decision to appoint Paolo Di Canio as their new manager is a 'risk'.

The Stadium of Light club's owner, Ellis Short, decided to sack Martin O'Neill after a defeat by Manchester United earlier in the day left them in further Premier League relegation danger.

Di Canio was swiftly named as the new boss and the Italian's arrival has been seen as somewhat of a surprise given his only previous experience was the two years he spent with Swindon, who he guided to promotion to League One.

Neville believes there is an immense amount of uncertainty surrounding the arrival of Di Canio.

"I do not know what is going to happen," Neville said on Monday Night Football. "It is very un-Sunderland-like when you think of [previous managers] Peter Reid, Niall Quinn, Roy Keane, Steve Bruce and Martin O'Neill. You could argue it is very different from those appointments.

"It is a change of tact. Maybe that is something Ellis Short was very conscious of and wanted to do. It is a risk but life is about risks.

"We will only know in a few weeks' time. I have to say, the whole atmosphere on Saturday looked a little bit dejected. In some ways, Di Canio coming in will give Sunderland a massive lift and he did well at Swindon."

There have been 28 occasions when Premier League sides have changed their manager after Christmas and it has had mixed results, with 14 teams being relegated and 14 avoiding the drop.

No side outside the relegation zone have ever changed their manager after the festive period and then gone down, and Sunderland will hope that statistic continues.

But Neville also thinks boyhood Sunderland fan O'Neill was not offered enough time, having only taken over at the Stadium of Light in December 2011.

"I would never advocate a change being made," said Neville. "I would never sit here and think a manager who was appointed 15 or 16 months ago as a messiah goes to becoming the villain all of a sudden and is responsible for everything.

"He has spent some money at the start of the season but it is no time in the job. It is no time to build what he wanted to create up there.

"Ellis Short's decision, I think, is gut instinct. Maybe he has not liked things he has seen or heard in the past weeks. But, to me, he has thought, 'I'm going for it'. And has he gone for it!"


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho eyes Premier League title defence with new additions

Jose Mourinho will freshen up his Chelsea squad with new faces as the club look to defend their Premier League title next season.

Hull suffer Premier League relegation as Newcastle beat West Ham

Hull City suffered relegation on a goal-laden final day in the Premier League after Newcastle secured a 2-0 victory over West Ham.

Hull 0-0 Manchester United: Steve Bruce's men suffer final-day relegation

Hull City were relegated from the Premier League after they drew 0-0 with Manchester United, who had Marouane Fellaini sent off.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company