Football - Paper Round: Di Canio's jumper more exciting than Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio's first match in charge quite understandably generates plenty of column inches in Monday morning's papers, with the Daily Mirror doing its best to stir up the whole fascism thing by using a photo of Di Canio raising an arm in salute.

Football - Paper Round: Di Canio's jumper more exciting than Di Canio

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Paolo Di Canio and the lovely jumper

Sadly for the paper, it looks more like he's waving across the road to a friend than showing support for extreme right wing policies - though surely it needed only very minimal Photoshop work to alter the angle of his hand slightly and thereby make it more incriminating.

The Daily Star goes even further to try and smear Di Canio's character: they picture him embracing John Terry after the match.

The Daily Telegraph picked up on that cuddle with the controversial JT, calling it "perhaps not the wisest PR move".

Most of the rest of the paper's analysis looks at his clothing ("the jumper he wore under his suit had to be seen to be believed") and demeanour ("there were flickers of passion but they were increasingly forced"), adding towards the end a brief line about the tactical decisions he made.

Frankly, you can feel the sense of disappointment running through the Telegraph's piece, and indeed everywhere else. Where was the Di Canio who was supposed to shove referees to the turf? The one who was meant to start punch-ups with fans, lob water bombs into the opposing dugout and lead his men out onto the pitch while goose-stepping in an SS uniform? When the man's jumper is more exciting than the man itself, you know something has gone wrong.

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No wonder that The Daily Mail and The Times lead with something else, namely Harry Redknapp's reaction to QPR conceding a last-minute equaliser against Wigan, a draw which leaves the London club deep in the relegation mire.

"Worst I've ever felt" runs the headline, based on Redknapp's quotes. That's some statement considering what's happened to him in the past year or so alone: he's been on trial for tax fraud, got fired from his job as manager of one of Britain's best teams, and gone from being a certainty to be next England manager to a man who'll clearly never hold the job, and ended up in the sort of relegation scrap that is normally reserved for angry young managers trying to make a mark.

The Guardian also leads its sports coverage with manager news, but they look instead at Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini. A lengthy report confirms what has already been suggested in the press, namely that Mancini faces a performance review at the end of the season that could potentially result in his sacking.

The story says that club chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain are keen to stamp their authority on City: "Mancini is confident he will remain in place. Yet with Begiristain and Soriano forming a new power base, there is a desire to ensure their first summer in charge of transfer policy involves the right manager."

Maybe; but Paper Round can't help thinking that a big result one way or the other in Monday night's derby would be enough to either extend or cut short Mancini's tenure.

The day's only solid bit of transfer news is in the Daily Mirror, which reports that Swansea have agreed a pre-contract deal with Real Betis's Jose Canas that will see him come to South Wales in the summer.

And finally, the Daily Telegraph reveals that Manchester United have signed a £180 million sponsorship with current shirt sponsors AON to have their branding on their training kit and, bizarrely, their training centre. Carrington will now be known as the Aon Training Complex.

You heard that right: that's £22.5m a year for eight years in order to have the company logo printed on tracksuits and rename a building that doesn't even host matches. Paper Round isn't an AON shareholder, but if it were then it would not be very happy at all at such madness.

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