THE LAZIO LIP has been at it again in the past week but tomorrow (Friday) it is the turn of the Swindon Town players to do the talking on the pitch.
Ronnie Moore’s visiting Tranmere are the benchmark against which all in League One have to be judged. They have been at the top virtually all season, and have a much better goal difference than any of their rivals.
Swindon, despite a luckless run with injuries and the slight hiccup of the transfer embargo, are just five points behind Tranmere.
Many, many points have been squandered but I have seen nothing to dissuade me from the belief that we are potentially the best side in the league and that there will never be an easier chance to get into the Championship.
It will be a fascinating match-up with, statistically, the top side.
We know Paolo Di Canio is a top class manager because he keeps telling us it is so. The stats tend to back him up. A championship, along with a Wembley final, in his first season – handily poised to make it back-to-back promotions in his second term.
Like any of us, he reacts badly to criticism and two topics this week – the medical facilities at the club, along with the working atmosphere there – have prompted revealing Di Canio rants.
There is clearly dislike and mistrust between Di Canio and a faction in the club. He describes them as ‘snakes’. Can he mean the youth coaching set-up?
He prefers Italian technical staff for his inner sanctum.
Were Paolo to be at the County Ground for the long haul, you get the impression he would like to rebuild the youth section from scratch. Of the first team regulars, only Nathan Thompson is an in-house product and of the latest crop from the FA Youth Cup run, it is difficult to see any breaking into the first team any time soon.
Meanwhile, ex-captain Paul Caddis took an unnecessary swipe at Swindon’s medical back-up, comparing them unfavourably with his current club Birmingham.
That’s Birmingham, latterly of the Premiership. Of course, we can’t compete.
But it prompted the manager to reveal that he personally has done something pro-active to fill the void in our medical facilities and he shed light on his arrangement with the Villa Stuart Centre on the outskirts of Rome where many of our players have been treated.
Di Canio, it appears, has allowed his name to be used in promoting the clinic in return for heavily discounted treatment at this world-renowned centre.
Let’s leave the diplomacy to chairman Patey. What you get from Di Canio is a 24/7 work ethic, tremendously high standards of professionalism, results that no fan can quibble about – oh, and bags of entertainment.