Di Canio’s back on Saturday, but is it for good?

Paolo Di Canio is a special guest at West Ham’s clash with Wigan on Saturday, but there may be other reasons why he is back at Upton Park.

WEST HAM legend Paolo Di Canio has been linked with a coaching role at Upton Park and for the first time manager Avram Grant has hinted that he may consider the option.

The Italian, who will be a special guest at Upton Park for Saturday’s game with Wigan Athletic, applied for the manager’s role when Gianfranco Zola was appointed, but this could be his best chance to rejoin the club.

Di Canio’s name was mentioned by co-chairman David Gold two weeks ago as a possible coach to come in and help, but he is by no means the only one in the frame.

Former Brentford manager and Reading coach Wally Downes is apparently another who has spoken to Grant about coming in a specialist defensive coach, while ex-Hammers’ captain Steve Lomas could be drafted in to help out the midfield.


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Grant conceded for the first time on Saturday that he may need to bring some fresh coaching blood into the club, and that was even before the surprise departure of Zeljko Petrovic on Monday afternoon.

He commented after the dismal 3-0 defeat at Liverpool: “We have a good staff, but football is going towards defensive coaches and forward coaches.

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“We have been looking for this and we will try to do the best. When we didn’t score they said we needed a scoring coach, now we need a defensive coach,” he said.

Perhaps they need one of each, though whether a former player like Di Canio could pass on his footballing genius to lesser mortals without rocking the boat at Chadwell Heath or undermining the manager would be a matter of debate.

It has to be worth a try though and with the likes of Downes and Lomas also helping out, perhaps the board will come to the conclusion that they don’t need Grant either.

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