Date: 21st April 2010 at 9:30am
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Neil Moxley of the Daily Mail has a long interview with Martin O’Neill today.

Makes for interesting reading with the Villa boss saying he has earnt the right to stay and finish the job. The full article can be seen here: www.dailymail.co.uk

He is asked if he is leaving this summer or if he wants to stay:

‘You have asked me a question about whether I’ll be here next season. I would really hope to be. I think I’ve earned that right. As far as I’m concerned it’s straightforward.

He does concede that it isn’t just down to him, he had hinted otherwise a few weeks back and added in this report that it is also up to fans and the chairman as well as himself. If you remember he said he’d think about his options in the summer as he rightly pointed out, it is his life! This is what set off all the rumours. MON said a few weeks back: ‘If this season has turned out pretty well, great. If it hasn’t, I will sit and assess things then with my employer, the chairman.’

Neil Moxley says in his report when asked about this During yesterday’s press briefing, it was as if that incident had never happened. Quite what has altered the O’Neill mindset is unclear.

MON also spent time telling the press that Villa do not intend to sell their star players like James Milner and Ashley Young (see numerous press articles on them being linked with all and sundry)

Neil then goes into the following questions:

WHAT IS RANDY LERNER’S RELATIONSHIP LIKE WITH MARTIN O’NEILL?

His opinion: Certainly cooler than it was four years ago. It’s been documented that the pair had a major falling out during January when the manager asked for the funds to add another two players to his squad. Since then, they have made up.

WHAT WAS BEHIND O’NEIL’S OUTBURST IN WHICH HE SAID HE COULD QUIT THIS SUMMER?

The media would like to take credit for their forensic examination of the manager after the seven-goal rout by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The truth is that O’Neill offered up that whole justification of his previous four years in charge without prompting.

WHY ARE THE FANS SPLIT OVER WHETHER OR NOT O’NEILL HA S DONE A GOOD JOB?

Where Neil says the fans and message boards are divided on the Villa boss. I must admit I don’t think this is any different to any of our previous managers. Some loved John Gregory for instance, others were dead set against him. Not everyone – including some players – loved Ron Saunders, the point is you don’t actually have to like them do you!??! It is an interesting debate with MON. I agree with Neil that the Moscow incident did ‘upset a core support’ but then there are those who were able to ‘defend’ and more than justify why he’d done it. There are all sorts of rumours about MON also, that maybe doesn’t help, nor does his comments directed to fans sometimes (if he made it clear he was talking about a minority, again, that might sold the problem?!)

More questions covered in the report:

WHY WAS EMILE HESKEY SIGNED?
WHY DOES THE MANAGER NOT HAVE ANY FAITH IN HIS FRINGE PLAYERS?

And the million dollar question:

IF O’NEILL GOES, WHO IS LIKELY TO COME IN?

Tongues have wagged recently, particularly as Hughes’s former No 2, Mark Bowen, watched the Everton game at Villa Park.

Certainly the reaction to the links to Hughes recently didn’t go down that well in comments I read. Only thing I’d say is I don’t care who is linked as a replacement when we already have a manager in place. Why worry about something that is probably not happening?!?!

Thing is, if he wants to stay and is settled and thinks he can take Villa forward, why won’t / can’t he commit his future properly with more than just a rolling contract? Surely a 12 month rolling deal leaves his future wide open to speculation every season?

The full article: www.dailymail.co.uk

Stay or go, whatever, I just hope the discussions with Randy Lerner are done VERY quickly at the end of the season (before holidays and other delays) and that it is communicated straight away to us fans, we pay the money and deserve the respect to be informed clearly who the manager is next season surely? The ‘will he – won’t he’ does no good at all, especially in trying to keep players at Villa Park and hopefully attract new ones in.


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