Vital Football

Latest Sheffield Wednesday News

Blast From The Past - 1998 - Paolo

Blast From The Past - 1998 - Paolo

Mercurial? Irritating? Volatile? Passionate? Whatever your views on the volcanic Italian playmaker Paolo Di Canio, you can't argue with the fact that when he was in the Wednesday side, life was never boring or mundane.

Signed from Celtic for a record £4.5 million, he gave us on-pitch commitment, a fiery temperament, sublime skills and memorable goals (developing a peculiar talent for the late winner), but unfortunately Paolo is remembered more for one controversial flash of madness than any of his fantastic footballing highlights.

In 1998, the Owls looked forward with hope to the new Premiership campaign with Danny Wilson at the helm. An inconsistent start, despite beating Spurs 3-0 in the second game of the season, led to the season's most shocking moment when Arsenal visited Hillsborough at the end of September.

There had been precious little to entertain the crowd during the first half, and the match was locked at 0-0 with defences dominating. With half-time looming, in a spiky exchange, Wim Jonk hauled back Patrick Viera by the shirt, Viera responded, and Jonk rather too dramatically went down. It kicked off: far too many players waded in and Di Canio, whose role in the ensuing scrap had been minimal at best, was given a red card by referee Paul Alcock.

Boom! Paolo shoved Alcock in the chest and the man in black executed his now-famous comedy stagger and fall, ending up in an undignified heap on the Hillsborough turf. Off raged Di Canio, to later receive a gross misconduct charge and 11 match ban. Keown was also dismissed: ten against ten, and neither of the players sent off had featured in the initial incident.

It was the beginning of the end for Di Canio and Wednesday. Ban served, the fragile trust between player and club broken (Wednesday had suspended him before the FA verdict), Di Canio departed for West Ham for £2 million. Tragic.

His 14 goals during the 1997-98 season included some absolute stunners: superb solo efforts against Everton and Southampton, a tremendous volley against Newcastle, a late winner against rivals Barnsley (his reaction to that can be seen in the picture above). My own favourite PDC moment, in a losing match against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park, was his second half consolation goal, having come on as substitute. The strike made a point to Danny Wilson: 'There, if I'd been on the pitch for the whole match, look what I could have done for you, we'd have won'.

Of course, no one particularly remembers the result of the 'Alcock match', but let me tell you, Lee Briscoe's terrific chip from the edge of the area over Alex Manninger was a goal worthy of winning any game. 1-0 to the Wednesday, it was.

My own reaction to the Alcock incident, watching the video after all these years? I still laugh, but not at the unfortunate referee. As Paolo storms off, Nigel Winterburn comes over to express his loudmouth opinion. Just for one fleeting moment, Paolo thinks about doing something which would put him in bigger trouble and half-turns back, and Winterburn flinches big time as he reckons he's about to get hit. Man, that's funny.

We miss you, Paolo.

Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman, Cobian, Thome, Walker, Hinchcliffe, Atherton, Jonk (Magilton 89), Rudi, Alexandersson (Briscoe 59), Di Canio, Booth (Humphreys 19). Substitutes not used: Barrett, Clarke.

Arsenal: Manninger, Vivas, Keown, Adams, Winterburn, Bergkamp, Vieira, Petit (Hughes 77), Overmars (Bould 45), Parlour (Ljungberg 77), Anelka. Substitutes not used: Garde, Taylor.

Attendance: 27949


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Auckland Owl
Date:Friday February 2 2007
Time: 12:00PM

Comments

0
Almost ten years ago, how time flies by. We certainly do miss him...
nickswfc
02/02/2007 12:08:00
0
So do Celtic D I CAN IO!! Hail Hail.
Caz1888
02/02/2007 12:56:00
0
What a great player he was, so sad how it all ended. He was greatly missed and still is......
Owlsmad
02/02/2007 13:33:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Articles

Vital Match Preview - Wednesday Vs Brentford

All you need to know ahead of Wednesday Vs Brentford this weekend

Best of the SWFC #AskLoovens Twitter Takeover!

Have a peak at the best questions and answers from the #swfc TitanBet and Glenn Loovens twitter takeover

Audio - Carlos Carvalhal Comments Ahead of Owls Vs Brentford

Comments and audio from Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal ahead of Brentford visit to S6 this weekend......

Predicting - Wednesday's Starting XI Vs Brentford

Who's in and Who's out as we take a look at the potential #swfc starting line-up against Brentford....

Archived Vital Wednesday Articles

Vital Wednesday articles from

Site Journalists

Ed Jepson
Profile
Josh Alex Caddick
Profile
Greg Pursehouse
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Outcome of Wednesday Vs Brentford?
Suggested By: Vital Wednesday
Wednesday Win63%
Draw12%
Brentford Win25%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Hull City 30 18 5 7 59 28
2 Middlesbrough 29 17 6 6 57 23
3 Burnley 31 15 11 5 56 22
4 Brighton 30 15 11 4 56 10
5 Sheff Wed 31 14 11 6 53 16
6 Derby County 31 13 12 6 51 13
7 Birmingham 31 13 9 9 48 8
8 Ipswich 31 13 9 9 48 1
9 Cardiff 31 11 13 7 46 5
10 Forest 31 10 12 9 42 4
11 Preston 31 10 12 9 42 0
12 Wolves 31 10 10 11 40 -2
13 Brentford 31 11 7 13 40 -6
14 Q.P.R. 31 9 12 10 39 -1
15 Reading 31 9 10 12 37 0
16 Leeds Utd 30 8 12 10 36 -5
17 Huddersfield 31 9 8 14 35 -2
18 Fulham 30 7 11 12 32 -3
19 Blackburn 29 6 13 10 31 -2
20 MK Dons 31 8 7 16 31 -17
21 Bristol City 31 7 10 14 31 -21
22 Rotherham 31 7 5 19 26 -19
23 Charlton 31 5 10 16 25 -30
24 Bolton 31 4 12 15 24 -22
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Sheffield Wednesday Fixtures (view all)

Feb 20 2016 3:00PM : Preston North End (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 23 2016 7:45PM : Queens Park Rangers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 26 2016 7:45PM : Hull City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 5 2016 3:00PM : Rotherham United (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 8 2016 7:45PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 12 2016 3:00PM : Nottingham Forest (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Recent Sheffield Wednesday Results (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.dooleys left leg3
2.DH Owl2
3.@mwoodjnr2
4.swfcjambo1