The Supplement: If Sunderland want to survive then Paolo Di Canio has to go

Last Updated: 22/09/13 3:28pm

The Sunderland boss is under pressure after a 3-0 defeat at West Brom on Saturday and the Sunday papers are reporting that he has two games to save his job. Unfortunately for him those games are against Liverpool and Manchester United.

And while The Independent's Sam Wallace cannot see Di Canio surviving, he says that the whole club has gone through some big changes that have not quite worked.

"I think with Di Canio he is obviously a one-off as a manager - he is entertaining but I think it is fair to say that there are flaws there. It is difficult to step back from Di Canio because he is such a character but you need to look at the club itself. Sunderland is a club that has always had British or Irish managers. What they have done this summer is an enormous change.

"They have appointed a former Italian agent as their Director of Football, the chief scout is Italian as well - there is nothing wrong with that at all - it is just a huge change for them.

"They have signed 14 players, only one of them was English and very few of them are working out. There are various ways you can either survive or die in the Premier League. One way is the West Brom and Swansea model of signing known foreigners, good players. Then there is Aston Villa where I had great admiration for the way Paul Lambert put his faith in young players despite all the stick he got.

"Sunderland have put all their chips on these three Italians and it is not working. Cabral, who they made a great fanfare of getting, I don't think he has played since the first game of the season. They have signed Mannone from Arsenal and they played Keiren Westwood instead.

"I think in the end if they are going to get out of this then it will be the players who were there before they signed this huge collection of footballers who will get them out of it. But I think they are going down."

Roberto Di Matteo is apparently waiting in the wings to take over from Di Canio but Martin Lipton is not sure that is a good idea.

"There is one way to survive and that is get results, simple," said the Daily Mirror man.

"And they are not good enough. At the moment you seem to have a manager who is so determined to be out there and strong and take it on the chin that he is actually causing huge rifts within the squad.

"Having given Di Canio that much money to spend and opportunity to bring in his players, if they discard him now then what do they do? The new manager will come in with a squad that is just not good enough."

The Sun's Neil Custis agrees: "The problem is the bloke is scatty. I don't know what point he is trying to make by going over to the supporters. Is he trying to confront them? Is he trying to apologise to them? The point is that Sunderland are awful and it they stay with him then they are going down. If he was your boss would you be totally sure what was going to happen from one day to the next?

"There are a litany of things that would suggest to you that this is not going to be a stable situation and that is what you need at Sunderland."