KNOW IT ALL: Titus Bramble, left, has criticised Paolo Di Canio's managerial ability
SUNDERLAND CENTRE-BACK Titus Bramble has launched a scathing attack on boss Paolo Di Canio for not handling players in a professional way.
The Italian manager landed the Black Cats job in April; he was specifically briefed to avoid relegation from the Premier League - a feat he achieved.
However, his 31-year-old defender, whose contract runs out at the end of this month, appears to have burnt bridges with him, calling the ex-Swindon manager a know it all, among other things.
Bramble told the Daily Telegraph: “I've never played under anyone like him and I've played for some of the best managers around. Steve Bruce, Roberto Martínez and Sir Bobby Robson.
“He thinks he knows everything, but he has got a lot to learn.
“He's got a long, long way to go before he gets anywhere near as good as Sir Bobby Robson. He's a young manager trying to stamp his mark on things, but he's making some big mistakes.”
The former Newcastle player was particularly critical about how Di Canio has treated younger team-mates and his tendency to dish out fines for seemingly innocuous behavioural lapses.
“He’s targeted the easy players, the ones who are leaving anyway, trying to show he's the boss,” explained the ex-Ipswich centre-half.
Getting more personal, he added: “I was fined for not going to a weights session. Everyone else at the club thought it was ridiculous, but he's trying to be tough.
“He comes out in the media and hammers players and he hasn't said a word to them. He's never said anything like that to [Connor Wickham's] face. He's 19 and the manager is battering him in the media.”
Di Canio had described Wickham to the press as a “playboy model” and labelled other players in his squad “ignorant and arrogant” – adjectives many would throw back at Di Canio himself.
The Italian, who played for West Ham and Lazio, was under significant media scrutiny when he took the reigns at Sunderland because of past statements he had made about politics and his apparent self-declaration of being a “fascist”.
Yet Bramble did not mention his politics as posing a problem, it was only Di Canio’s attitude to players that irked him and others in the team.
The departing defender, who has had made past headlines with allegations of sex offences levelled at him, added: “He's a good coach on the training pitch.
“Everything is so detailed. He's one of the best I've played for in that respect, but his man-management skills need a lot of work.”