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O'Neill v Sven/Allardyce/Curbs

O'Neill v Sven/Allardyce/Curbs

Up until quite recently I was prepared to give Martin O'Neill at least a couple of seasons to prove himself at Villa. The man had a plan and it seemed childish to cut his legs off before seeing how that plan developed, but recent events have I believe have moved the goal posts. Direct comparisons with our nearest rivals are inevitable and none more so than with Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Swede's extraordinary spending spree since he became manager sort of makes O'Neill's 5-yr plan seem a little idealistic to put it mildly. The speed of Eriksson's transformation at City has been breathtaking - and this from a man who seemed to lack any imagination or audacity whilst in charge of England. This stands in direct contrast to Martin's let us say, more leisurely, measured pace. In fact MON has shown all the urgency of a glacier. Both men have put their ass on the line this season for the opposite of reasons - one manager has spent a fortune, the other has refused to spend one. Martin O'Neill's reluctance not to get involved in a bidding war is one thing, but his apparent reluctance to get involved in any sort of confrontation with another club frankly smacks of timidly.

Apparently Sven hadn't even seen some of his signings play before they turned up in Manchester, on the face of it his recruitment-by-video policy looks suicidal - how does he expect them to play as a team so quickly? to acclimatise to the Premier League? to communicate with each other? Maybe he is playing the percentages, out of the nine or ten signings he's made maybe he'll get a couple of great players, three or four reasonable ones and this will be enough to make City into a decent side. From what we saw on Saturday against Wham he may well have more than a couple of great players, I didn't see a single dud. It might all go pear-shaped for him as the season progresses (here's hoping!) but imagine if it doesn't.

Just imagine if Man City has a great season and finish above Villa next May. Eriksson will have effectively turned around a club and put together a whole new team in a matter of weeks. The consequences for MON will be clear. O'Neill's precious 5-yr plan will be rendered meaningless if Eriksson can propel City into Europe this season. And if he achieves this at the expense of Aston Villa, well, this must surely mean Martin O'Neill's resignation or sacking.

Of course we will be able to make comparisons with others such as Sam Alladyce (Newcastle) and Alan Curbishley (West Ham), both of whom have been in their jobs for shorter periods than Martin. No excuses now of time or money or opportunity. No excuses of any kind. Never before in his managerial career will MON have been subject to this kind of intense direct head-to-head competition. I'm afraid in my opinion he has already committed one sackable offence in going into the new season without an adequate defence - even if he buys a couple of players this week it takes time and preparation for defenders and goalkeeper to start working as an effective unit, by the time this happens it may already be too late, we'll be chasing the pack and losing confidence (which according to MON we have lost already).

It's certainly going to be an exciting and very revealing season. A make or break season for a number of managers - and sorry Mart, your 5-yr plan will count for nothing if Svennis kicks your butt - you only have nine months and the countdown has already started.

By Saurat

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Monday August 13 2007
Time: 6:52PM


Sorry, forgot to change the writer part, this was posted by Saurat in the forum. Makes for an interesting read I think!
The Fear
13/08/2007 18:56:00
It's started - the "sack O'Neill" protestations. For Christ's sake Martin please put an end to all this. After 25 years under Ellis I'd hoped for more harmony and the Club would have 99% of the fans onside. We're all totally confused and I'm afraid you're starting to lose us. You're an educated man, surely you can understand the fans concerns. Please don't let us down - be positive, think big and if necessary spend big - we'll all be with you if you go for it!
13/08/2007 19:26:00
This article is ridiculous. How can you judge what Sven has achieved after just one game? We played a Liverpool side who have spent millions of pounds adding to already an world class squad. A Liverpool side who were Champions League finalists last season. Man City played against a disjointed and disorganised West Ham still recovering from a relegation scrap and the Tevez saga. Yes Sven's team were an improvement on Pearce's shambles last year, but that isn't exactly difficult. And after seeing the results of these two matches, the first game of the season, you have already started to slate O'Neill. I know he hasn't spent as freely (or as recklessly) as Sven, but wait until the transfer window is closed and then judge both sides after 38 games. Wait and see how Geovanni and Elano fancy playing in the snow up at Boro and Sunderland in January after no Christmas break. I hope MON doesn't read what some people say on these forums because I am embarrassed at how fickle some Villa fans can be.
13/08/2007 19:41:00
Well said rooneyo. I know everyone is entiled to there opinion and all that, but shocking, just shocking article. I know, lets be done with it and sack him now. Its much better to be a club thats just sacks there managers willy nilly. Joke. Sauret, did you boo at half time on Saturday by any chance? You reackon Villa got a chance of winning the next world cup? You think Luke Moore is as good as Rooney?
13/08/2007 19:56:00
el_rooneyo, I'm glad there's still a bit of sense left on this website. 1 game. That's all that's been played, 1 game. Sunderland have beaten spurs, does that mean that spurs have no chance of europe, and sunderland are certs for a uefa spot? Does ManU's draw mean that they're a mid-table side all of a sudden? Everybody agrees that we need more players, but I for one am certain we don't need more djembas and baros's. Both were big names, both cost us a good few quid, and both of svens men mentioned above could turn out to be the same level, a level where we were, not where we want to be. I'd happily take only 2 more top class signings over 5 mediocre ones.
13/08/2007 19:58:00
Two MORE top class? Are you suggesting there have already been top class signings?
13/08/2007 20:08:00
Confused is right. I think most of us WANT to like MON and support him but he is making it so difficult for that to happen.
13/08/2007 20:19:00
PBAVFC -Sorry pal I'll answer for Saurat. "did you boo at half time on Saturday by any chance? ' NO "You reackon Villa got a chance of winning the next world cup? Silly question. "You think Luke Moore is as good as Rooney? Again silly qyestion, of course he is, but Luke's just a little "bit before his time". But seriously, I studiously read over 90% of the posts on this site and if you seriously believe that Martin O'Neill has served the Club well during this transfer window, I can assure you that you are in a very, very small minority. I think most are very surprised how Martin has "dithered" when other managers seem to have been much more positive and bold. Nevertheless I accept we can't all view the situation in the same way although I'm sure we all hope "he'll come up trumps" and prove us doubters wrong. UP THE VILLA
13/08/2007 20:26:00
saurat, what a waste of my time. any avfc48 basher should enjoy this one.
13/08/2007 20:32:00
Awful, yes he has made a few bad decisions - and gets paid alot to get it right but at lease give it until the end of Aug before passing judgement. If by the end of August we have a smaller squad than last year then we can pass judgement. If we are not careful we are going to add so much pressure on to MON that he will think is all this critism worth it? Fickle boys. After 1 game you are passing judgement that SGE has got it right, but remember how up in the air Westham were this closed season. I have given up about worrying who we are going to sign, getting behind Villa 100% is the only way to move forward. Then in 4 years time when we have 5/6 England Internationals in their mid-twenties and Man City are on the brink of bankruptcy/relegation, all will then become quite clear.
13/08/2007 20:52:00
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