The musing of a passionate man

Until the Swindon v Southampton match report and reactions to ‘Clarkegate’ are posted later today (as trust me to be away after such events), here’s something to read over your Cornflakes. Swindon fan and BBC Radio commentator Andrew Hawes has his say about ‘Project Di Canio’.

One of the few things I can remember from school physics lessons, apart from dull experiments with springs, was the Newtonian law. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

You would have to say the contrast between Paul Hart, a man who eyes a camera with instinctive discomfort and the talkative, charismatic Paolo Di Canio is about equal and opposite – but also alarmingly extreme.From mono-syllabic to out-going, outlandish, bold, bursting with energy and ‘passion’.

The summer has also been nothing but frenzied – the scouting system and the squad also got torn up. Farewell the low key Ken Ryder – in-come high profile tweeting ‘scouting consultants’, agents and a raft of mysterious foreign trialists.

Plenty of them have been handed contracts as well, and curate’s egg contracts as well. Two-year deals. If they are no good, we’re stuck with them for the full-term. If they are any good, chances are they might well be off by the end of one season.  Even at this stage, some are being shipped out, others accused of lacking “passion” – half a dozen games into their two year deals. It’s all from one extreme to the other, once more.

Early results have given mixed signals. There have been some good things, but plenty of worries about the new players and some set piece defending which has cost us dear.  This is one area where a manager should be able to make a difference. Is it a lack of passion that makes Joe Devera, for example, get the wrong side of his man?

I’ve tried re-drafting and thinking about this article to work out what the main thrust is I am trying to make. Paolo Di Canio is an ‘extreme’ appointment – politics and all – and he’s been given nothing but support from those who decided to give him a chance in the first place. Extreme failure in this division is not an option, as the lot from up the A420 know.  At the moment, demonstrations of passion are not enough. The national media will lap up Di Canio’s vibrance and eccentricities, so it’s up to the locals and the blogs to try and analyse what he’s doing with a more level head.

The general consensus was, on his appointment, was “settleback and enjoy the ride”.  It’s hard not to feel a little queasy because there is quite simply no back-up plan if Di Canio’s “passion” makes him just unsuitable for the job. We have nothing left but fans as faith – and our passion. At least that lasts – no matter how testing things become.

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