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

Latest Articles

Transfer news: A host of clubs are chasing Carlisle midfielder Brad Potts

Post comment

Sky Sports understands a number of clubs are tracking highly-rated Carlisle United midfielder Brad Potts.

Transfer news: Sheffield United to send Andy Butler back out on loan

Post comment

Sheffield United are planning to send Andy Butler back out on loan after seeing an agreement with Walsall collapse.

All Articles

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


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Champions League: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers rues defensive mistakes in Real Madrid defeat

Brendan Rodgers says he could have asked for no more from his side after seeing them taken apart by Real Madrid.

Champions League: Real Madrid ease past Liverpool with 3-0 win at Anfield

Real Madrid produced a first-half masterclass as they overpowered Liverpool 3-0 in the Champions League at Anfield.

Champions League: Late goals give Arsenal 2-1 victory at Anderlecht

Arsenal scored twice in the final two minutes to come from behind and secure a 2-1 Champions League win at Anderlecht.

Mail Box

Do Man City Have A 'Small Mentality'?

That's one claim in the mailbox after Vincent Kompany focused on a few hundred CSKA fans sneaking into the ground instead of City blowing a two-goal lead...

City: Like A Deer Caught In The Headlights

...while Chelsea just live for Champions League nights. That's one view in a mailbox that also includes several happy football fans and looks forward to Michael Carrick's return...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property