Paolo Di Canio was causing chaos at Swindon Town yet again at the weekend as he hauled off his goalkeeper Wes Foderingham after only 20 minutes. Di Canio then justified his decision by calling the shot-stopper ‘mad’ and ‘crazy’ for thinking as a 20-year-old in League One that he is ‘untouchable’!
It’s not the first time that the eccentric Italian has made the headlines at Swindon. Less than a week ago in the Capital One Cup his side managed to upset the odds and knock out Premier League side Stoke. Swindon star James Collins bagged a hat-trick and after his second goal Di Canio gave him a bit of motivation Bishop Brennan style.
And Paolo is no stranger to bust-ups with his players. In August last year he had a spat with new signing Leon Clarke after a 3-1 defeat to Southampton. The very public disagreement carried on down the tunnel where the pair had to be separated. Clarke never played for Swindon again.
The incidents come as no surprise in all fairness with the fiery Italian involved in plenty of talking points as a player. In September 1998 during a match between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal, Di Canio was sent off for having a scrap with Martin Keown. He famously pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground which resulted in an 11 match ban and a £10,000 fine.
Two years later he was awarded a FIFA Fair Play award for ‘a special act of good sportsmanship’ while at West Ham United. With the game against Everton at 1-1 Di Canio chose to catch the ball rather than score as keeper Paul Gerrard lay injured on the ground. The Italian received a standing ovation from the Goodison Park crowd.
With guaranteed fireworks on the touchline hopefully it won’t be too long before we see Paolo Di Canio managing in the top flight. Swindon are 6/1 to win League One and 2/1 to be promoted to the Championship this year.