Less than a week after literally kicking his players up the backside and pulling off the upset of the Capital One Cup second round with a 4-3 extra-time win over Stoke, Paolo Di Canio and Swindon Town returned to League One play and lost 4-1 to Preston North End. Preston scored twice in the first 10 minutes, with the first goal coming off a goalkeeper error, prompting Di Canio to take 21-year-old goalkeeper Wes Foderingham off in just the 21st minute.
Foderingham was just as angry as Di Canio when he came off (which is no small feat) and kicked a water bottle before heading to the bench. Luckily for the keeper, Di Canio reacted by berating him to the press instead of running him over with a lawnmower.
From the Swindon Advertiser:
When asked why he withdrew Foderingham so early, the Town boss said: "Because he was one of the worst players I have ever seen in a football match. He is a player like the others. "Why can't we change the goalkeeper? Is the goalkeeper is an element who plays on with another team because he has a different colour on his shirt? I know my players, I know Wes — he was the crappy player even against Stoke.
"Today what he did, it's not only the mistake that can happen to everyone. The arrogance later, when he started moaning to the others, that was the worst thing for me because it let me realise that a player doesn't recognise his mistakes that was clear miles away, that was a rubbish mistake.
"I said to him 'now calm because we have to keep going', we give the ball straight away to them and then start again moaning to the others.
"Today he started behaving as the worst professional; arrogant, ignorant in some way — not as a person, as an athlete — I have ever seen.
"If he doesn't come out and say sorry to the fans, for the professionalism in general, he is out from my team. I don't want any argument from the fans 'we play Oxford, we have a season' - no."
Di Canio also said that he's going to sign a new goalkeeper if Foderingham's apology doesn't "come from the stomach and from the heart." So good luck to Wes Foderingham in figuring out how one apologizes from the stomach. He probably shouldn't do this by saying "I'm sorry" and then vomiting on Paolo Di Canio.
UPDATE: Foderingham has apologized to Di Canio and apparently the Italian felt it really was from the stomach and from the heart. Di Canio told Town's official website:
"Wes has apologised. The situation is now clear and we will move on and work together. He is a genuine guy and a strong character."
Foderingham also apologized to the fans via the site:
"Having already spoken to the manager and my teammates following Sunday's game at Preston, I would like to apologise to the Swindon supporters for my actions.
"I was frustrated with myself in the heat of the moment and the disappointment of being substituted so early in the game."
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- Sports & Recreation
- Paolo Di Canio
- Wes Foderingham