Rowell Report: Inevitably, results cost Paolo his job

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist

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WHAT is it about the Sunderland manager’s job that makes it such a poison chalice for so many?

Huge names in football like Roy Keane, Martin O’Neill, Steve Bruce and now Paolo Di Canio managed our club and it always ends in tears with no real tangible success to talk about.

A club with so much potential, a passionate and loyal fanbase that averages more than 40,000, even for annual relegation battles, seems to be too difficult to manage and success proves to be so elusive.

Di Canio is the latest manager to fail on Wearside, where his career was ended late on Sunday night.

When it comes to analysing his time at Sunderland, so much happened that it’s incredible to think he was only manager for 13 games.

He came in like a whirlwind in a media storm and it ended with him on the pitch after the defeat at West Brom apologising for the performance.

In between, there was a famous derby win, a successful but nervy battle against the drop, a manic buying spree in the summer with 14 new recruits and a dismal and alarming start to the new season.

Ellis Short has proved in the past that he is ruthless and he has decided our bad start to the season was not going to be turned around by Di Canio.

There has been a lot of talk that the players were behind his dismissal.

And it is pretty clear that he fell out with many in the dressing room with his obsession with discipline, autocratic rule and public criticism of players – the latter being something no footballer would be happy with.

The main reason for his sacking though is what it always is with any manager – bad results.

If Di Canio had won his first five games instead of losing nearly all of them, he would still be in a job, even if all his players disliked him.

Player unrest is never a positive at any football club, but it is not necessarily fatal for a manager.

Consistently bad results are.