Premier League - Paper Round: 'Unique One' Di Canio and the fascist's funeral

If Sunderland's decision to appoint Paolo Di Canio as new manager was intended to generate some publicity (and let's face it, there are umpteen candidates with better qualifications if all they'd wanted was a manager), it must be hailed as a triumph.

Premier League - Paper Round: 'Unique One' Di Canio and the fascist's funeral

View photo

Papers 03 04 13

Three days on from the appointment and most of the papers are still leading their back pages with reaction and analysis to the appointment of the controversial Italian.

The Daily Star and The Times both use pictures of the Italian sneering while adjusting his tie in a manner so sinister that you're clearly being invited to imagine that he was wishing his shirt was black rather than white.

"Just Like Jose - Di Canio so cocky" is the Star's line, and the Times and Mail also use the same quotes from his Tuesday press conference in which he compared himself to Jose Mourinho, and suggested that he should be nicknamed "The Unique One".

With Di Canio (and Sunderland) both having refused to discuss Di Canio's self-confessed fascism, The Times also runs a piece giving the views of Charlton manager Chris Powell, whom Di Canio described as one of his "best friends" when he was a player.

And like a true friend, Powell gives it straight - even though it's not the view that Di Canio wants to hear: "I’m sure they knew what was coming. It’s remarkable really it never came up when he was manager of Swindon. But I feel that if he’s made statements about his political persuasion in the past, then he knows it will come up and he has to answer that."

Considering that Wednesday's Sun runs pictures of Di Canio attending the funeral of an Italian militant fascist suspected of perpetrating a terrorist bomb attack which killed 85 people, Paper Round thinks that Powell has a point. That funeral, which including a fascist salute guard-of-honour for the coffin, took place just three years ago; indeed, when taking that into account the Telegraph's suggestion that Sunderland may yet reconsider Di Canio's appointment begins to seem likely.

View gallery


The other big story dominating the back pages is about the only other manager ever to generate so many column inches: Mourinho, and his apparently ever-more-likely return to Chelsea.

Didier Drogba - speaking ahead of Galatasaray's Champions League match tonight - gave interviews to the Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Times in which he said that Mourinho has unfinished business with the Blues.

View gallery


"I think for the club it is the best solution to bring Jose back," Drogba told the Telegraph.

"I don’t think he has got over Chelsea, and they haven’t got over him."

Ain't that the truth - indeed, the whole of English football hasn't got over Mourinho. How many other foreign managers still get talked about on an almost daily basis six years after they left Britain?

A few bits of transfer gossip to round up: Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway wants to re-unite with Charlie Adam, the man who pulled the strings at the heart of his Blackpool side, according to the Daily Mirror; and The Sun talks up the prospect of Gareth Bale leaving for Real Madrid on the back of Zinedine Zidane's comments saying that Bale "isn't far off" being as good as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

View comments (149)