Vito Mannone claims Paolo Di Canio was ‘strange’ and ‘overboard’ after once dropping him because he didn’t smile enough
Vito Mannone has labeled Paolo Di Canio as ‘strange’ and ‘overboard’ after he admitted the former Sunderland boss once dropped him for failing to smile in training.
The ex-Arsenal goalkeeper signed for Di Canio’s Sunderland in 2013 and spent two years on Wearside before moving on to Reading for a £2m fee two years later but is still highly thought of by fans.
The former Hull man is best remembered for his Capital One semi-final penalty shoot-out heroics against Manchester United at Old Trafford - helping to seal Sunderland’s passage to a memorable Wembley final against Manchester City.
Speaking to Graham McMillan-Mason on the Roker Report Podcast, Manonne made an admission about his former manager: “Everything is strange with him but he’s a man who really wanted to win and would do anything to win.
“Sometimes his behaviours were a little bit overboard, over the line but I can say he was a good coach.”
Manonne, a seven-time Italy U21 international, then recalled a bizarre incident in which he was dropped from the first team for his body language.
“A day or two before the beginning of the season I was going to start the game and he called me in the office and told me that I wasn’t going to play because I didn’t smile enough!
“I said ‘this is not possible’ and he said that ‘I looked very angry in training and looked like I didn’t want to lose any games,’” he concluded.