Di Canio’s passion is what Swindon needs

Paolo Di Canio’s post match comments in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw against Bristol Rovers has certainly got everyone talking and asking the question; does he mean it or is it just an empty threat made in the heat of the moment?

For those who haven’t heard Di Canio’s comments, listen here to Paolo erupting like Mount Etna.

We all know that Di Canio has a fiery side, as evident in the ‘Clarke-Gate’ saga earlier this season. But we also know that Di Canio is extremely passionate about the club, you only have to watch him on the touchline to work that one out. Paolo’s comments have prompted some people to accuse Di Canio of trying to be bigger than the club but I seriously doubt that’s the case.

Anyone who was at the Memorial Stadium on that cold December afternoon will know that the performance, the second half in particular, lacked passion, desire and a willingness to fight to the end. This was not the case amongst all the players by any means, you only had to watch Simon Ferry’s performance to know he’s committed to the cause but certain players did display a poor attitude. Di Canio was simply pointing this out but yet some fans have jumped on him. Why? We as fans are allowed to voice our displeasure if players don’t live up to expectations so why can’t the manager?

Paolo has openly admitted that he has made mistakes in regards to his player recruitment over the summer, he knows too many players were brought in as a matter of haste. The flurry of recent loan signings have proved that he is trying to put things right. He also knows that some of his signings are simply not up to scratch, Mattia Lanzano and Alberto Comazzi spring to mind.

However, just look at some of the success Di Canio has had in the transfer market. Arguably the most successful has been Wes Foderingham who has been a revelation in goal since arriving on loan from Crystal Palace. Liam Ridehalgh has also impressed whilst his decision to pair Alan McCormack and Aden Flint together at the heart of the defence has been nothing short of the surprise success stories of the season so far.

Too many of the players just went through the motions on Saturday and did not show the passion that Paolo has demanded since day one, and let’s not forget, we were playing in a derby on Saturday where passion should come automatically! Di Canio’s reaction to the draw was further proof to me that we have an outstanding manager and we should all be encouraged by his enthuasim and passion for our club.

Saturday’s game was the perfect chance to grab another three points and kick on against a Rovers side that have been languishing in the bottom half of the table all season; a team we should be beating if we harbour any aspirations of gaining automatic promotion. Di Canio was only displaying the disappointment that was shared by everyone who went to the game, we should not be critical of that.

Paolo wants to bring in four or five players who he believes will have the passion to guide Swindon to automatic promotion, what’s wrong with that? He knows he will have to move players on in order to bring new one’s in which can only be a good thing as he can get rid of the players who clearly don’t have a future at the club, e.g. Cibocchi, Lanzano and Comazzi.

Di Canio’s comments should be taken as a breath of fresh air; do we really want to go back to last season where Danny Wilson lost the dressing room? And week in, week out we were subjected to abysmal performances by players who clearly did not want to play for the club? I didn’t think so.

“I’ve already asked the chairman for three players, now I want four or five otherwise I will discuss my contract. With this team, and this mentality, I can’t win the league”.

After studying the transcript of his post match interview and listening to his comments over and over again, it is clear that Di Canio’s ‘threats of resigning’ were made in the heat of the moment.

Paolo was very disappointed at the performance and at the attitude of some of his players. He’s is a very passionate person – to say the least – and derbies mean the world to him that is why he said what he did. He cannot stand to see players put minimal effort in for any game let alone a derby game. That’s why Di Canio was hurting after the game because the Bristol game marked the third derby game he has failed to win this season; he wanted a win so badly for the fans. That shows his love, commitment and passion for the club.

Jeremy Wray’s quick response to the situation shows what a close unit the football club is. The duo of Chairman and Manager have already discussed transfer targets for January which is further evidence that Di Canio is at Swindon for the long haul.

Di Canio’s honesty and passion for Swindon Town Football Club should be lauded, he wants to take this club all the way to the top and we should be grateful for that because he probably will.

Tomorrow on The Washbag, Alex Cooke analyses one of Di Canio’s ‘key signings’ Oliver Risser; asking whether Risser’s contribution to Swindon adds up?


  • I agree with the sentiment, I disagree with naming individuals in the media. It’s what Andy King used to do all the time with Ifil and Invincible and it wasn’t helpful for Jerel particularly. Good article though.


  • Absolutely agreed, Paolo is just what we need energy and drive to move us out of the plodding stalemate that has existed for the last few years. A brave and hopefully brilliant decision by J Wray to appoint him. Why should be settle for less – is this something to do with expectations as a Swindon fan we’re used to not getting the rub of the green. Paolo it appears will not be happy until he succeeds and he wants to be at the highest level, and I want to go with him, if he shouts now and then so what, rather that than the bland crap cliche that most managers spout


  • I agree with this up to a point and it comes as no surprise that he might react in this way however there were 2 teams out there on Saturday. Rovers were fired up by there recent Cup game and certainly looked to be playing with more purpose than us in the second half. Before the game I suspect most Swinfdon fans would have been happy with an away point. DiCanio needs to calm down on these occassions and save it for when we really need him to throw the toys out of the pram. I will be surprised if he is still with us at the end the season, hope I am wrong. Plus whilst he admits to making mistakes in choices of players he should accept some responsiblity of how they actually perform.


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