Details of Paolo di Canio's final game in charge at Sunderland are emerging.
The Telegraph says having incensed many supporters with his chin-up gesture after the final whistle at West Bromwich Albion, Di Canio marched into the away dressing room and launched into an all-too-regular attack on his players.
The stunned players were greeted to an explosion of rage from Di Canio as he began a verbal assault on former club captain Lee Cattermole, blaming him for West Brom’s third goal.
Cattermole, who had come on as a substitute midway through the second half, asked why he was being picked out for blame for the defeat and was quickly backed by team-mates.
What followed has been described by one witness as “all hell breaking loose” as several players went nose to nose with Di Canio and refused to back down when he challenged them.
Significantly, this did not just include players Di Canio had inherited like Cattermole and Carlos Cuéllar, but also several he had brought to the club over the summer.
One of the players who felt the most aggrieved about the way he had been treated was Italy international winger Emanuele Giaccherini, who had been hauled off at half-time against West Brom. The former Juventus player was one of Sunderland’s star signings, but felt he had no support or received any sort of encouragement from Di Canio.
The row was brought to a tense conclusion when one player commented: “All you have done since you got here is criticise us and the old manager [Martin O’Neill]. The difference is we liked him and would run through walls for him. Nobody likes you here. Nobody wants you here.”