Date: 8th April 2007 at 11:03am
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Martin O’Neill has scoffed at suggestions that he is behind the time and out of his depth.

Accusations have been levelled at the Villa boss that his absence since being boss of Leicester City (remember them, whatever did happen to the Walker Crisp people?) has left him out of his depth as they say the Premiership has moved on.

O’Neill countered the argument saying:

‘The point was made to me recently that some people thought I had been out of the Premiership for too long, and that thought had never crossed my mind before. It is not that I have been out for ‘too’ long.’

‘The Premiership is evolving but it is not that much different to when I was at Leicester City at the end of the day, it really isn’t.’ Adding, ‘Things change in the game but I have been managing (at Celtic). If you have been out of the game for five years I can understand it.’

So has the Premiership moved on? Is Martin O’Neill playing catch up? Does that explain this season or are we just waiting for the new season to start with ‘his’ team in place and ready to fight for honours?


16 Replies to “Martin O’Neill – behind the times?”

  • If you look at the season to date, we started well, hit a very bad patch and now seem to be improving. What is happening is, of course, a matter of opinion. However you could see it this way: MON came in, lifted a poor team and did well. Then we hit injuries and had those 3 games against United. That poor spell created a loss of confidence that the stupid fixture list with all of its gaps made worse as they could not get regular football. Now we are beginning to see what they can do again with the added benefit of some new signings. View it like that and everything looks different. that feels more likely to me, but one question: why no Steve Davis? That I cannot work out.

  • I think he is a little out of touch – but he is a clever bloke – and I am sure he can adapt. This season reiminds of when GT got us promoted – then almost got us relegated – but he had a rethink in the summer and got it sorted.

  • Well, so many people have said it will take time. Our club has been in decline since gregory left ? let’s face it and with the buying average short term players policy by our managers thereafter, you can see really why we have found ourselves in this position.

  • I think part of this is PR by other clubs trying to put some doubt into players who may be thinking about moving to Villa in the summer. I don’t think many will buy into it but some may and it may sway a player one way or the other. In the long run though its just crap. MON has done ok with the hand delt and will do better in the upcomming summer and season.

  • MON out of touch has been one of the most ridiculous accusations thrown his way since his arrival at Brum B6. Its not as if he’d been out of the game five years. The detractors though will direct anything and everything his way throughout this period of obvious transition. That some expected him to turn around years of neglect and decline in six short months is laughable in the extreme.

  • Back on that fateful day in August, MON’s exact words were ‘I have a fair idea of what the premiership is about’ and he’s said the same things again. I really think that we all forget how little time he’s had with the team in a 2 week pre-season, and it’s only now people have started to realise how bad Villa truly had become over the last 3 years. But instead of knocking him why haven’t we heard praise for the way MON has handled Partrick Berger, or the parise he’s been given by players both in and out of the team? I think his way of dealing with various fringe players has been nothing short of exceptional. Even the players who are seemingly on their way out of Villa Park haven’t said anything bad against O’Neill and look as though they’d like another chance.

  • May I first say who am I to question MON. If I was a better manager than him I wouldn’t be doing the job I was doing right now. Having said that I’m pretty good on Champ manager and that’s as real as it gets. We don’t see the training ground stuff and attitudes but some of his tactics and team picks have surprised me. Why has he persevered with Gabby on the wing when he would be an excellent foil for Carew. The prolonged midfield paring of McCann and Petrov? Why Gardner over Davis?? One thing’s for sure is that the summer will be another massive posting fest as we’re linked to every player going. Bring it on!!

  • Biggest load of cobblers ever printed, MON may have been away from the Premiership but was his team playing Champions Leahue Football two years ago? Like Jordan Martin will always have his Knockers.

  • Thegreatdando are you for real !!! “But instead of knocking him why haven’t we heard praise for the way MON has handled Partrick Berger” he has held him at arms length as long as poss..
    “I think his way of dealing with various fringe players has been nothing short of exceptional.”
    oh and hows that then bye playing them in the reses’ and forgetting about them…
    Surely the last two results will show MON who and how the team like to play and where they play the best !!!! i’m sure he will learn how to get the best of the he has got and use it the best ! even though theres only a short time left…….

  • All that’s changed is the game is played at a faster pace, with all the obvious implications requiring much greater skill, awareness. intelligence and fitness. MON’s geatest asset is his ability to get the best out of everyone around him. I think they call that “leadership”; and he’s certainly got that in abundance, certainly as much as any other manager in the Premiership. He’s also brutally honest, which in today’s game is very refreshing. Just give him time and you’ll see what he can do for our beloved Villa.
    Everyone seems to be having a “knock” at him lately, but all the pieces I’ve read just make me laugh, I just hope Martin finds them equally as funny.

  • Keep you’re hair on Mutt_Man, it’s all about opinions and i’ve got mine and you’ve got yours, which is fair enough. I think he’s the right man for the job, and apart from Samuel’s little diatribe, everyone involved in the game, or with the team always talks about O’Neill as being very honest and I think that’s what we need. Held Berger at arms length??? He shipped him out of the team and gave him a 2nd chance, how is that holding him at arm’s length?

  • Media drivel. Ever since the transfer window was restricted, they come up with **** like this. MON has been super, things will only get better.

  • As the leader of our team we should get behind the man and support the team. The media has always bagged us – even when we were the champions of England and Europe. So I say uck’em and come on you lions. MON is the best thing we have had since Saunders and we should develop a siege mentality when refering to the press and so called experts…Andy Gray et al.

  • Strange one,up until Chelsea away in Prem i thought we had the messiah,since Leicester away i have seriously doubted the blokes abilities and in the last week he has made me start believing again – no doubt about it,this season has confused MON as he often can`t find an answer,he went from jumping frog to throwing lucozade bottles,please get safe and then the summer will bring us all our answers.

  • While some of MON’s moves seem strange now, could it be that he is building the team for the future? Even the most optimistic Villa fan knew that we weren’t going to be any better than mid-table this year. Maybe MON has been playing Gabby wide to get him to play better with the ball at his feet? I like to think that his time as a winger will help make him a more complete striker.

  • MON has done his job overall but have been worried about the tactics and the play especially after Liverpool and 1st half of Everton. Then at half time someone figured something out and we have been a changed team since. His purchased have been good, I think we over paid for Petrov, Young and I see why he paid for Maloney (but think we could have waited), Carew for Baros will become legendry. But overall a good 1st season, he kept us up and bought quality players in. I would like to see Berger kept over McCann and more player bought but next year I think we will challenge for Europe. But give him time, any new position in any industry takes a while to settle and get the best from yourself.

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