MOST Sunderland fans think Paolo Di Canio will still be their manager at the end of next season.
But the results of Echo Survey 2013 suggests there are plenty of supporters who wouldn’t be surprised if the volatile Italian (right)does not last a year at the Stadium of Light – something which would mean the club having to appoint a fourth boss in three years.
Of those who expressed an opinion in our survey, 82 per cent thought he would complete the whole of the 2013-14 season in charge.
But a significant number of supporters – 18 per cent – had their doubts whether he would see the season through.
There were a wide variety of reasons put forward for those who voted ‘No’ but chief among them seemed to be the Italian’s perceived unpredictability.
“It might be another Roy Keane saga,” said Phil Defty of Newton Hall, Durham.
“Too volatile,” said Philip Fenwick, of Sacriston.
Paul Cairns of Trimdon, warned more ominously: “I can’t see this regime lasting. I may be wrong but my instincts tell me we are heading for catastrophe.”
John Maoudis of Bishop Auckland said: “We are in need of stability and leadership but I have grave concerns that his confrontational style of management will prove his undoing.
“I agree with his hard line policies and discipline but fear that he could alienate himself from elements of his squad by adopting this approach.”
Despite those notes of caution and concern, the bulk of Sunderland fans were optimistic.
Dominic Oliver of Low Fell in Gateshead said: “I believe he’ll make the right signings and clear out the dead wood, creating a side that, if not reaching the top 10, will certainly be pushing for it.
“He needs time though – as I’m sure Ellis Short will understand – the growth must be sustainable, as opposed to the experience Newcastle United have had.”
Richard Jackson of Hollycarside in Sunderland said: “He’s exactly what we needed. I think he’ll get us top 10 finish.”
Martin Barwick of Bassingham in Lincolnshire, said: “Unless his disciplinary regime loses the squad or we have a disaster, I think we should stick with him. Paolo Di Canio is a shrewd, clever young manager with some commendable ideas.
“I think he is going to be a success.”
Michael Smith of Ryhope said: “I would like to think he will at least see out his contract.”
While perhaps the most optimistic note was struck by Desi Valdes of Fulwell in Sunderland who said: “Given the time and the financial backing there is no reason why Paolo Di Canio can’t be a 10 year-plus manager for Sunderland Football Club.”