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Paolo Di Canio rages that the players he signed can’t speak English

Sep 13, 2013, 8:38 PM EDT

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-SUNDERLAND Getty Images

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio hasn’t disappointed this season so far – at least, not in press conferences.

Despite having a large say in bringing in the 13 players the Black Cats signed this offseason, he’s apparently furious that a number of them can’t speak the languague he would like them to.

‘It’s driving me crazy” said the Italian. “At the moment we are a group of players who can only gel together more, speak more English, communicate more, then we are going to be OK. What we miss now is only to avoid a few mistakes that most of the time came from not communicating.”

You’d have thought if he wanted players who could speak English, he would have signed players who…you know…could speak English.  Apparently the language barrier is becoming a major issue in training and during matches.

“That was the problem that we knew before with so many foreigners can be a problem. They can be shy, not sure about talking English because their pronunciation the others might make fun of. We need to improve on this because this can be the biggest problem.”

So now Di Canio is looking for English-speaking players, such as U.S. striker Jozy Altidore, to step up and engage those who don’t know the language in conversation and make sure they’re not ostracized from the social scene between players.

“Who’s got the character to get close to the others? To explain, to help us to do this. On the field, in training sessions, in the shower, in the bed, wherever they want. This can be the worst problem.”

In the bed? Didn’t realize the team was that close.

In all, this summer Di Canio signed 4 Italian, 3 French, 1 Czech, 1 Greek, and 1 Korean player(s).

  1. hildezero - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I do find that weird. If he really that bad wants players to speak english, then why not sign players that can speak it? His impatience is showing with this situation. Eventually they’ll learn it anyways, but the accent doesn’t really matter. At least Jozy is off the hook. He speaks english.

  2. wfjackson3 - Sep 13, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    And 1 American….

  3. danielofthedale - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    My pick to win the sack race is looking better and better! Haha

  4. drewvt6 - Sep 14, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Jozy with his understanding of Haitian creole should be able to have a passable conversation with the French players as well.

  5. hildezero - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    He also speaks spanish. So he would probably have a good relationship with the spanish speaking soccer players as well.

  6. capsfan19 - Sep 14, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    The american to bring the peoples of the world together! Im down with that!
    Di canio sounds like a crazy italian dude, over dramatic and very passionate.

  7. SD1 Timbers Special Forces - Sep 14, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    A club in the top league in the world doesn’t have a program to teach players English? The mighty EPL has clubs that are so “traditional” that having classes for speaking the same language as your co-workers is too modern?

    The lowly and amateurish MLS teams have programs designed specifically to teach players English, so they can, you know, maybe work together? And maybe do that weird thing called win?

    Yeah, Europe is the bar to which MLS is measured. Totally ahead of America. So advanced and world class they want their players to learn through osmosis from the best possible teachers, other Soocer players. Or in bed which is maybe how Di Canio learned his English.

    Of course that’s really the most intelligent way to learn another language. No internal program, no professional courses, no professional teachers just professional athletes. Totally normal EPL, totally normal.

    Thanks “tradition” for keeping world class Europe ahead of the MLS. But then again, the same is true for S. America and Mexico. Everyone except MLS is much better and advanced and really setting a world class example. Minus the world part.

    Which is what MLS is already doing, including English classes for those who don’t speak it. DUH!

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