ANOTHER week, another off the cuff outburst, another batch of conflicting opinions – just another seven days in Swindon Town La La Land.

Paolo Di Canio was in fine form in midweek. His 20-minute soliloquy that packed a powerful punch had the assembled local journalists awestruck.

That’s an impressive achievement for a man who has compared his players to dogs and winning titles to sex with Madonna.

Let’s make it clear, this was a rant. It was unprompted. It was passionate and angry, Di Canio even admitted as much as he made his closing remarks.

Until you have heard one of these interviews in full it’s nigh-on impossible to fully comprehend what exactly happens.

These half-hour doses of surrealism have become the Italian’s trademark. He winds himself up and lets himself go, like a firework that lights its own fuse. That is how he is, and you love him or loathe him for it.

He is forthright and single-minded in his views. He says what he thinks. As the song goes, ‘he does what he wants’. There is little room for compromise, there is little room for consideration. 

Now, before the bloodthirsty amongst you put fingers to keyboards, I freely admit that these are qualities that can add another dimension to a manager and a team. But surely they have to be used responsibly?

For as long as the team are succeeding and playing good football Di Canio will, quite rightly from a footballing point of view, be revered.

He has revolutionised the way the first team functions, he has brought glory to a place where gloom had set in like a heavy frost.

But there is an unsettling backdrop to all this success. A fragility and bitter sentiment that is palpable when you scrape below the crust. What has caused it is up for debate, but airing dirty laundry to such a scale cannot help. It just can’t.

If the manager wants to revamp his youth department, no problem - I’m sure relevant negotiations could take place behind closed doors, in confidence, dealt with sensitively and appropriately. Why bring it all out in the open? Why lambast good men and women who do their best for the club? 

Of course the youth department were not a match for Liverpool, the Robins’ academy functions on a fraction of the cost of one of the Reds’ star players. You would hope and expect that a club operating on an annual budget around 25 times smaller than Town’s would be put to the slaughter if ever the two met.

And so it comes back to Thursday, that press conference and its aftermath - the anonymous posters who spit bile at the slightest mention of the truth.

People misunderstand what the local media reports. Goading and coaxing, sensationalising and winding-up? No chance. No need. The manager does that all himself.

And what would you, the reader, rather we did? Wipe it under the carpet and pretend it never happened?

Now that would be amateur journalism.


WHILE I can disagree plenty with the way Paolo Di Canio uses the public forum to bring his gripes to light it is impossible this week not to recognise his own personal sacrifice for the sake of the club.

The Di Canio brand is a multi-million pound entity, it circumnavigates Planet Football.

Di Canio could set himself up for life flogging his name around the consumer world, piling up endorsements and personal sponsorships, so to see him give away his image rights for free to enable his players to receive world class treatment at the Villa Stuart facility in Rome is fantastic to see.

I don’t think I will ever personally accept his unorthodox man-management techniques, but in this instance he showed a devotion to the success of the team which doesn’t generally happen in the modern game.

His humility in keeping it all under wraps until he found it imperative to share with Swindon Town fans was another glowing character reference.

The Italian may be passionate and unpredictable, but that can work two ways.

In this instance he exhibited the best sides of those two qualities.