Rowell Report: Ex-Sunderland bosses O’Neill and Di Canio need to end spat

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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I CAN appreciate the fact Martin O’Neill and Paolo Di Canio will have strong and conflicting views about their times at Sunderland.

In some ways their managerial careers at the Stadium of Light were similar – both started well, both ended dismally and both will feel hurt that they could not bring long-term success to the club.

That kind of failure tends to rankle in a proud person – which both men are.

And just how much it rankled is now clear for all to see after the two ex-managers’ spat with each other last week which made headline news.

It’s always fascinating for supporters when two big public figures go head-to-head with each other like O’Neill and Di Canio did last week and you can understand why it made back pages and dominated broadcasts, even in international week.

But I can’t help feel neither emerged with any greater credit from having such a pop at each other.

I think both O’Neill and Di Canio had something they wanted to get off their chests and maybe they will feel better that it is out there now.

But I hope that that is the end of it now because it is an argument that will never really be resolved one way or the other.

It can’t be.

Martin O’Neill will always believe he would have kept Sunderland up had he not been sacked; Paolo Di Canio will always feel he performed a miracle in managing the Great Escape last season – and each point of view, necessarily has to contradict the other’s.

They’ve both had their say and I don’t think there is anything to gain for either man, or Sunderland Football Club, by dragging it on.