Paolo Di Canio is referee Paul Alcock in a 1-0 win over Arsenal in 1998 ended the Italian striker’s relationship with Sheffield Wednesday.
Di Canio and the thrust into history with referee Alcock
In the match against the Gunners at home on September 16, 1998, within the first leg of the English Premier League 1998/99, the former Italian player received a red card for fighting with Martin Keown. After referee Alcock raised a red card and pointed Paolo Di Canio into the tunnel, he went to push the black-shirt king down and headed straight to the airport for Italy to avoid criticism.
This is considered one of the most controversial and costly scandals in the Premier League to date. After an 11-match ban and a fine of 15,000 euros, Di Canio did not want to return and Sheffield Wednesday also needed money to balance the budget. Paolo Di Canio was sold to West Ham for as little as 2 million euros. At West Ham, he continued to shine with 48 goals in 118 matches and was voted the best player of the 1999/00 season by Hammers fans.
Not only that, but Paolo Di Canio also received a fair-play award from FIFA in 2001 for stopping the ball, although he was having the opportunity to score, injured by Everton goalkeeper. Shortly after Di Canio broke up with Sheffield Wed, his teammate and compatriot Benito Carbone also refused to extend his contract with the Hillsborough team and went to Aston Villa in 1999. They were also the last Italians. Dressed in Sheffield Wednesday.
Di Canio & Carbone: People who spread Calcio in the land of fog
In the early 1996/97 season, Inter coach Roy Hodgson received a call from England. He answered a few brief sentences and hung up. David Pleat, the coach of Sheffield Wednesday, had to call for Hodgson when he wanted to buy a talented player playing in the 10th position. After being instructed by Hodgson, Pleat made a trip to Italy to see the 24-year-old man’s legs. The transfer for £ 3 million, a record in the history of Sheffield Wednesday, was completed with Benito Carbone.
In the first season, Carbone scored 6 goals, not bad, but because of his shy personality, he did not fit in with the team. By the next season, Pleat set a goal of “finding friends” for Carbone, and looked again at another Italian boy, then playing for Celtic. Paolo Di Canio was recruited for another record price: £ 4.2 million. And the revolution began.
Former striker Andy Booth recalled: “It was impossible to separate them. They often go to the training ground together on Carbone’s Porche. Di Canio helped Benny integrate better. At Christmas, they visit people’s homes and take part in joint activities. Paolo is cleverer but Benny also knows how to make jokes. ”
But the most impressive thing about Booth is the professionalism of the two Italian guys. “Every day, they come to the court early to practice kicking. Before leaving, they lingered in the gym, took a shower and ate dinner together. Now looking back, we are really ashamed to never work so hard. ”
The professionalism of the Premier League player was not as high now. Training sessions last for only a few short hours, rehearsal, and at night they often have a drink. Paolo Di Canio and Carbone refuse to attend every party. Di Canio had his own fitness coach, something strange at the time, and he used to practice running to maintain endurance. He is always the person with the most standard body, the most supple physical team. Carbone with a long hair artist then likes to cultivate his more skillful legs.
Old teammate Steve Nicol said: “We are like a clubhouse until they come and impose a new standard. They may not be happy if the rest doesn’t make any effort. Paolo came, saying that he wanted to lose about 4 more pounds, but at that time I saw his body was very compact. In practice sessions, they run around the yard to each other, making everyone feel more motivated. We all want to play for them. ”
Paolo Di Canio scored 12 goals in the Premier League that year, while Carbone also had 9 goals. Booth is the highest player in attack, with Di Canio and Carbone assisting below. Booth scored 7 goals. But the team has only played better since November 1997, when Ron Atkinson took over David Pleat’s chair was dismissed. Sheffield Wednesday ranked 16th overall in the Premier League team that year, two places ahead of the relegation zone. It would be a disaster without the Italians here.
Paolo Di Canio and Carbone’s time for Sheffield Wednesday lasted until 1999, the year Di Canio joined West Ham and Carbone to Aston Villa. The disintegration is largely due to Di Canio’s impatience, which the 1998 referee’s push to the limit was limited. Atkinson left at the end of the 1997/98 season, later confessing: “Managing Di Canio is like trying to seal a volcano.”
Still a legend in Sheffield Wednesday
Twenty years on, Sheffield Wednesday is currently playing in the English First Division, still unable to find the duo that inspired them as much as Di Canio and Carbone. This team is relegated to the 1999/00 season, which means there is no Italian duo in the first season. They even dropped down to the Third Division before ascending to the First Division. Before the global pandemic break, Sheffield Wednesday ranked 15th in the First Division.
32 – In the two football seasons together, Paolo Di Canio and Carbone scored a total of 32 goals in the Premier League. Di Canio scored 15 goals and Carbone got 17 goals.
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