05 October 2006

O'Neill Has 'Til Christmas - Wind Up

Update

OK, OK I admit it. The posting below is a wind-up. I was just waiting until I got 10 comments before owning up. Thanks to Bob Piper and Peter Smallbone for the back up. In reality, I am delighted to have O'Neill who is the finest British manager on the circuit at present (yes, better than Ferguson). Us football fans are always accused of being negative and I admit it was a relief to get rid of O'Leary. O'Neill can stay for as long as he likes.

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Wind Up

For any Villa fan the Premiership table makes depressing reading. Villa lie sixth only ahead of newcomers Reading on goal difference. Just as worrying is Villa's failure to win away from home. Time will tell whether manager Martin O'Neill's statement "I can't do anything about expectations, but eventually we will find our level" will alleviate the pressure he is under to move Villa up the table.

Villa fans are known for their patience, but it must be an onimous sign that new owner Randy Lerner has given O'Neill the dreaded vote of confidence. Lerner said "Martin O'Neill has got the record and the history..." but this praise for O Neill's previous record came with a thinly-veiled warning. "I want to focus on Martin now. Even although I am just getting to know him Martin is great."

When O'Neill was appointed, I wasn't the only fan to express my concern over his managerial style which oscillates from manic to grouchy and the fact that he had been away from the coalface for an extended period, but I was willing to give him a chance. Seeing Birmingham City doing so well just adds salt in the wound. Personally, I'm prepared to give him until Christmas to turn our season around. Here's a picture from happier times.

11 comments:

Chris Black said...

Come on, he dederves more of a chance than that...

Bob Piper said...

It's hardly his fault. No sooner does he get the job than his mentor gets the bloody push and some Yank pushes his bleedin' size nines through the door... and how much has he spent? Sod all, thats what, two sodding free transfers.
Lerner out!

Samwise said...

Must agree. O'Leary was a tactical genius and a firm fans favourite. Can't believe you got rid of him for another O'Something. Dispence with his services and do all in your power to lure Motivator Robson to Villa Park. Mind you it wont be easy ...

Maestro speaks:

"I'm really keen to get straight back into the game," he told BBC Sport.

"I have had loads of offers from clubs in Europe that I am going to consider this time around."

"With my track record at Middlesbrough and West Brom, if people want to get in touch then I will listen."


The mind boggles.

Sam

Praguetory said...

Sam - With Robbo being in such great demand maybe we can't wait until Christmas.

Peter Smallbone said...

As a (fairly) regular visitor to Villa Park, it's quite clear that our ambitious club feels totally let down by Martin O'Neill's managerial style of winning matches all the time.

Relying on the thrill of relegation battles, or the delicious prospect of finishing tenth are the only things that ensure the Villa faithful attend week in, week out.

Substituting that with the prospect of European competition will doubtless make people feel alienated and disillusioned.

Super League said...

My word! All I can say is that I'm really surprised to have heard this point of view from you (Praguetory, Pete). Almost all Villa fans I've spoken to have expressed their relief at O'Drearys departure and that MON can do no wrong.

You speak of "turning it around by Christmas" and "not having won away". I'll remind you that you are at your highest position in the League for a long time, you are unbeaten in the league having travelled to Arsenal AND Champions Chelsea and that the managerial appointment was made days before the closure of the Transfer window, which closed whilst Ellis was still in charge and before Lerner had jumped on board. Add to the fact you are 6th with a team that finished 16th last year and I'd say you could do a LOT worse mate!

I'll point you to this thread on the BBC 606 boards that I frequent from time to time . . .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/F5103522?thread=3488817

. . . and subsequently got flamed by a Villa fan who mis-interpretated (sic) me. (Gotta love those Bush-isms)

Oh and I'm glad to hear you say "Seeing Birmingham City doing so well just adds salt in the wound." because you've obviously not seen much of us this season! Playing badly but getting results. There are more nails being chewed down at St Andrews this season than there were at the end of last season. We're getting results, sure, but boy are we making things difficult for ourselves in the process. I'm not saying we should walk this league, far from it, but we should be putting in more consistent and reliable performances than we are.

The cut and thrust of it all is that sadly Midlands Football is in a state of emergency right now. One Premiership team currently, a wealth of underachievement over the last 20 years with (I believe) just two FA/League Cup wins for Villa and Coventry in this time.

The dominance of the North and the South is stronger than ever and this needs to be turned around in all honesty.

C4' said...

Why are you camplaining about Villa being SIXTH? I could understand your complaint if you were a Man Utd fan and the reds were in sixth, but this Villa we are talking about.

It seems to me that O'Neil has already turned the club around.

Oh and as for Bobby Piper's anti-American comments, if it weren't for America (and Thatcher), this country would be a third-world Soviet satellite site (but then again you would like that, wouldn't you?).

Praguetory said...

I agree the Piper's comments could be construed as anti-American. Bloody hell, Superleague that was a long post - are you sure you're not just disagreeing with us because we are Villa fans?

Croydonian said...

Just be grateful you don't follow the other team in claret & blue.

Anonymous said...

I'm with superleague on this. O'Leary got lucky at Leeds. O'Neill is in my view streets ahead of him. Also it helps a great deal now that Ellis is pretty much out of the picture.
Villa deserve better than they've had in the recent past few seasons and I believe that O'Neil will help to tbring that about

Matt said...

I despair. You got 10 comments on a post about football.

It is only forgiveable because Worcester's ground is flooded to a depth of 5ft.

Oh, and Birmingham is the South, not the Midlands.