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The Paolo Di Canio Column: "I won't even be assistant to Mourinho"
PAOLO on...ever becoming an assistant manager.“Di Matteo started at MK Dons, they didn’t finish top but he didn’t have a bad run there.
Then he moved to West Brom where he got them promoted from the Championship but was sacked in the Premier League after only a few months.
He took the opportunity to be the assistant manager to Andre Villas Boas and then he has taken his chance to become manager there.
To be honest, and though you can never say never, but after becoming a manager first like I have I will never be an assistant manager, even if it was to Jose Mourinho. I can’t be second to anyone.
It is obvious that one day I would like to be a manager in the Premier League but I continue to think why not with Swindon?
You never know what is going on. It can depend on whether the board kicks me out or on the plan which at the moment is very good.
But if you are to ask me would I consider in a few years time to work in the Premier League as an assistant then the answer is obvious – I couldn’t do this.
I dedicate myself completely to Swindon now and why cannot I achieve my goals with Swindon?
Maybe we don’t have a fantastic result against Bristol Rovers and maybe the board go mad think I am not good enough. I could do nothing about this, but at the moment I want to win with Swindon.”
Paolo on...West Ham fans chanting his name.
I am always asked about this, even one year ago when I worked on television in Italy, people would say that the West Ham fans sing my name.
I have a good relationship with the fans and that makes me very happy, but it is just like the fact Swindon fans sing my name, this also makes me happy. It means they recognise my product and my passion and that I work hard for the cause.
At the beginning of the season there were not many fans singing my name after five games of the season, but this is normal in football. You have to prove your quality first.
I am happy, because it makes you feel gratified and it is nice to hear them sing my name, but the same as hearing Swindon fans sing my name as well as it is better that than they blame you.
Watching West Ham I know some people say they do not play good football, but the most important thing is that they go up.
I know I say I prefer to be able to play our football and win but it is a fact that it is not always easy and maybe this is the case for West Ham.
It is not a criticism, it is a picture of the season. Maybe they could have played better football and maybe they could have won from the beginning but who knows this.
They have lost to Reading and Southampton, who are above them in the table, and maybe they have less individual quality players in total.
The 11 main players are quality and they have a system for an attacking mentality.
If I am not wrong, at the beginning they lost in the cup at Aldershot and so maybe there is not positive football.
But it is not the fault of the manager because at the end of the day they are third in the league and have a very good chance to go up.
Paolo on...Hoddle’s interest in England job.
“It is possibly a good idea but I don’t know how long he has been out of management. It is not easy to manage again just because you were a good manager in the past.
He has a good base of knowledge but even it would be difficult to come back into the game now and be able to handle the situation.
The last time he was England manager he was not afraid to make the big decisions, like dropping Paul Gascoigne for instance, so he is obviously a strong manager.
But there has been 14 years passed since then, so footballers now are a different generation. There is a different way now to approach the games and a different way to play football.
I think England need to be playing positive football, with a risk that you can lose but maintaining a winning mentality, that is what I am trying do here.
It is not easy to know him now and what he has done up to now so it is hard to say whether it would work.”
Paolo on...his family and friends' experience at Wembley.
“My brothers and lots of friends were there. Obviously how the day finished was sad but it was a fantastic experience for all of us, the fans and the players.
We did something very good still, to have reached the final, and for that I have to thank all of my players because they gave me the opportunity to go to Wembley.
It was a fantastic experience but next time we will obviously want to win.
After the final I went back to see my mum in Italy. It had been organised a while before because I wanted to go to see her and my two brothers who could not come for the game. I was there just one day and was back in Swindon on Tuesday morning.
My mum cannot watch on tv but she knew the result and she said to me ‘oh we lost, but it is okay we are still first in the league’ so she motivated me even more to keep going, just like my dad used to do.
She follows only because my brothers tell her the news about how we do, when we win or lose, but she was sad obviously and it was an extra lift for me.
It has made me want to work even harder and push to win the title.”
Paolo on...his coaching staff.
“This is the technical staff I want to work with for years to come. We are a team.
We keep in contact every day, even after the training session has finished. We discuss our individual views about the training session.
Even yesterday, after the training session had finished, I had spoken four times already with Fabrizio Piccareta and two times with Marco (Paranese) to discuss the situation with Paul Benson and Paul Caddis.
I also talked three times with Claudio to ask his thoughts on the training session and who needs to be in the gym in the afternoon.
We are always in communication and completely a team. The players are amazing but the techincal staff are very professional and have been very united, even through our worst moment at the beginning of the season.”
Paolo on...his green hat.
“It is special because there is a story about this hat.
I will not tell now why, maybe one day I will explain, but not now.”