The first axe has fallen in the relatively new Premier League season, and it has fallen on Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio’s head. The firebrand Italian, respected for his coaching intelligence and ideas, but reviled for his harsh man management techniques, is out of a job. The question remains, what will this mean for our two Korean players there, Ki Sung-Yueng and Ji Dong-Won?
In short, I have no idea. It will of course, largely depend on who steps into the role. For now, that is youth development supervisor Kevin Ball (who served as caretaker manager previously). Other early names on the list are Roberto Di Matteo, famous for leading Chelsea to their Champions League triumph, Gus Poyet, and Steve McClaren. Reports from The Guardian are that both Di Matteo and Poyet are hesitant to take the job, which leaves McClaren as a possible successor. McClaren was a good manager at Middlesbrough and FC Twente, but had a disastrous time when leading the English national team.
It seems likely that Ki will retain his spot in the team, but the future will be much more open for Ji, who seems to vary widely in how highly managers regard him. Ji had certainly fallen out of Di Canio’s graces, but a new face could bring renewed hope for him. Watch this space.