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Di Canio: "Cabral Couldn't Adapt"

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Paolo Di Canio has attempted to lift the lid on Cabral's mysterious spell on Wearside - by insisting it isn't all that mysterious at all.

Victor Fraile

A failure to adapt to the dynamism of English football was the reason behind mystery-man Cabral's Sunderland failure, according to former-Cats coach Paolo Di Canio.

The midfielder only arrived from Basel a matter of months ago, and a very strong showing in the Asia Trophy during the summer raised hopes that he could be a big player for Sunderland in the coming season. An eye-catching display on the opening day of the Premier League season only fueled that further.

He barely featured after that and almost became something of a cult figure on Wearside due to his enigmatic absence before joining Serie A outfit Genoa on loan earlier this month.

However, speaking in Italy, Di Canio has insisted there was no real mystery to it at all. Cabral simply suffered the same fabled fate of many before him.

[Cabral] failed to adapt to dynamism of English football. You need time to adapt but I believe that in Italy he can have more chances given the pace of the game.

Wait to judge him. You can't do that before you have waited for a while.

Whether that explanation will satisfy Sunderland fans is another question entirely. The obvious question seems to be how could he be expected to adapt unless he was given the opportunity? In the one Premier League game he did start he looked reasonably comfortable with the pace.

Considering three managers have trained him this season and all three have pretty much discounted him, you really do suspect there is a lot more to it than Di Canio is letting on here.

The mystery endures!