Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roeder Rejects Di Canio Bust-Up

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roeder Rejects Di Canio Bust-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER;LEO SPALL

fulham 0 west ham 1

GLENN ROEDER today played down a rift with Paolo Di Canio, who stormed off after being substituted in the second half at Craven Cottage.

The volatile Italian captain was clearly unhappy at the decision, but Roeder said: "Paolo was terrific on Saturday against Ipswich and worked his socks off for nearly 70 minutes against Fulham. I decided to make a tactical change then and that's all there was to it."

But Di Canio threw all his toys plus the captain's armband out of the pram when his number came up after 65 minutes of a London derby at Fulham and then walked sulkily around the perimeter of the Craven Cottage pitch as his team-mates battled on to a 1-0 victory without him.

Some of the West Ham travelling fans chanted Di Canio's name as he disappeared down the tunnel - in truth it was more than he deserved.

He may think he is god's gift to football, but hasn't anyone told Di Canio that football is a team game? Sometimes things need to be changed for the good of the team and the captain, above all, should accept that.

Di Canio's countryman, Gianfranco Zola, loves his football more than most and you can see how it hurts when he has frequently been substituted for Chelsea, although he hides it well.

Yes, being hauled off is a blow to pride and you're not expected to like it but Di Canio's tantrums at Craven Cottage were unworthy of him.

West Ham manager Glenn Roeder has largely resisted the temptation to substitute Di Canio in the past but it was exactly the right decision against Fulham.

The east London side, a goal up through Frederic Kanoute just before halftime, were anticipating some considerable Fulham pressure in the second and when Jean Tigana sent on strikers Steve Marlet and Luis Boa Morte after 59 minutes, Roeder knew he had to consolidate.

With Kanoute effective up front, he decided to sacrifice the increasingly ineffective Di Canio, replace him with John Moncur and employ a 4-5-1 formation. …

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