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'He's gutless' West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio famously slapped the man being lined up as new Tottenham boss

The man being lined up to take over at Tottenham Hotspur was famously slapped during a game by West Ham United legend Paolo Di Canio.

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There is no love lost between West Ham and Tottenham.

So West Ham and Tottenham fans will be interested to know that one of the Hammers’s best ever players, Di Canio, had a very public spat with Simone Inzaghi – the new favourite to be the next Spurs boss.

According to the likes of Football London and The Daily Star, Tottenham want Lazio boss Inzaghi – who was also linked with the West Ham job in recent years (The Guardian) – as Jose Mourinho’s replacement.


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Simone is the lesser known of the Inzaghi brothers with his brother Filippo a goalscoring legend who won the 2006 World Cup with Italy.

But what many may not know is that another Italian, West Ham hero Di Canio, famously slapped Simone and called him ‘gutless’ when the pair were playing up front together.

It came after Di Canio had eventually returned to Lazio following his West Ham departure.

If Inzaghi does take over at Spurs he may be in for some stick from West Ham fans when supporters return in full next season.

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Hammers legend Di Canio famously slapped man being lined up for Tottenham job and called him ‘gutless’

Because when he and Di Canio were teammates in Rome following the West Ham legend’s return to his beloved Lazio, they clashed over a penalty during a game.

Di Canio slapped Inzaghi and branded him ‘selfish’ and ‘gutless’ after the game.

“With Inzaghi, it was my first game after 16 years away from Lazio, my Lazio, with the score 0-0 and a penalty awarded – you need a brain the size of a peanut to think that I wouldn’t take it,” Di Canio told Four Four Two back in 2006.

“Inzaghi is selfish. He prefers to lose 4-3 and score a hat-trick than win 3-0 without scoring – the complete opposite of me.

Di Canio with former strike partner Inzaghi at Lazio. Photo by New Press Getty Images

‘You’d have to have the brain the size of a pea’

“Inzaghi had missed a penalty a year before because he’d tried to chip the ball and he thought he had the right to break my balls at my Lazio?

“Do you know what he told me in the dressing room? Nothing. He had no guts.”

That was a long time ago now of course. And Inzaghi may be a completely different character as a manager.

But knowing West Ham fans they will undoubtedly have a chant lined up to welcome Inzaghi next season if he does take over at their bitter rivals Tottenham.

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