Certainly a real split in the press.
It seems that the local press who dealt with Martin O’Neill and also talk to the players + watch Villa matches have a very different opinion to some in the national media who only look at the broad strokes and don’t really seem to get the fact that the club did not sack MON, MON walked. They also seem to be missing the point that MON walked just five days before the start of the new season. That was unfair on us the fans and the club + players wasn’t it?
Tom Ross said in his Birmingham Mail column: Martin O`Neill walking out on Villa just five days before the Premier League kick-off was nothing short of disgraceful. It showed no respect for the fans who have adored him for the last four years. There are those who would say that he has been a man of principle – leaving because the situation at Villa Park was untenable for him with the apparent financial restrictions imposed. However, spending close to a £100 million and building a squad that was bought to play Martin`s way should have been reason enough to stay and see the job through.
Full article: Click Here
Again in the Birmingham Mail Mat Kendrick explains the sharp and rude exit.
MARTIN O`Neill took just moments to walk out on Aston Villa Football Club and failed to speak to chairman Randy Lerner at all during his bitter exit, the Birmingham Mail can reveal. Villa spent yesterday picking up the pieces following O`Neill`s shock resignation on Monday with Lerner jetting back from America for crisis talks at Bodymoor Heath.
Strange timing wasn’t it? MON would have known Randy was flying back to the USA and once gone, the resignation was made. Hmmm?
Matt says The owner and his trusty lieutenant Paul Faulkner were left stunned by the timing of O`Neill`s departure just days before the new season – and the abrupt way he broke the news. O`Neill marched into an office at the training ground to see Faulkner after demanding to speak to the chief executive and read out his pre-prepared letter of resignation. He then put his notice on a desk and stormed back out – and has not made any contact with Lerner since his last game in charge against Valencia on Friday.
Full article: Birmingham Mail
Paul Haywards Guardian Blog says It was a febrile day at Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground and you could feel a rift coming. In the aftermath of his team’s 7-1 hammering at Chelsea, Martin O’Neill was trying to pull off the hard PR trick of affirming passion for the job while also using a large media gathering to warn the club’s owner his fidelity to the claret and blue was finite.
Full article: Guardian Blog
Henry Winter on the other hand says: What a waste. Over the past few years, everything seemed increasingly in place at Aston Villa: heavyweight manager, good fans, redeveloped ground, impressive training facilities, decent squad, improving form, Wembley appearances. And now this, a devastating setback.
Full article: www.telegraph.co.uk