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Sunderland Fire Di Canio

SunderlandPaolo Di Canio’s 13-match reign as Sunderland manager is over after the club fired him a little more than 24 hours after a 3-0 defeat at West Brom left them at the bottom of the English Premier League table.

“Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo Di Canio this evening,” a statement said.

“[Reserve team coach] Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup game against Peterborough United,” the statement continued. “An announcement will be made in due course regarding a permanent successor.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future.”

You could this one coming. Sunderland have been awful this season, losing four of the opening five games of the Premier League campaign.

I have to wonder what the philosophy is at Sunderland. They went from Martin O’Neill to Di Canio and while that move kept them up last season, it always seemed to be more about Di Canio than the club.

Sunderland are one of the few Premier League clubs that have a director of football. Roberto De Fanti occupies that position at the Stadium of Light so hopefully he had a playing style and approach in mind when he oversaw an extensive summer spending spree that included the signing of 14 new players including USA forward Jozy Altidore.

No word on who will replace Di Canio but who ever does is in for a tough time as Sunderland host Liverpool on Sunday and Manchester United on 5 October, with the Wear-Tyne derby against Newcastle on 27 October.