Why Is O'Neill Still Learning?
Martin O'Neill has reacted to the embarrassing home Carling Cup exit to Leicester City.
He told the official site 'It was desperately disappointing. This was a game we were hoping to win as we looked to progress in the competition. I'm very disappointed for the people who turned up to the game tonight.' (Only 25 956 of them)
Adding, 'I made a couple of changes, but that was not enough to disturb the flow or the pattern of the side - at least that's what I hoped. We should still have been good enough. But we should do better. We never got a proper tempo to the game in the first-half and I thought any second balls were picked up by Leicester.'
'This is a competition we wanted to do well in. I know I changed the side around a little bit and maybe I'll learn from that. This was a good opportunity for us and it turned out to be an opportunity spurned. We should do much better.'
I'm not quite sure why we have a manager still needing to learn? It might be controversial but doesn't a million quid a year bring experience and someone who knows exactly what he is doing?
He said to the press after the game, 'Sometimes in the past I've changed the side around, and it has cost me,' he said. 'Maybe people should just deserve to be in the side - or be in the side when someone gets injured. I still wanted some players to play. But I think you have to earn the right to be in the team - and that's a big lesson.'
And this bit mystifies me in truth, 'It reminds me of when I was at Celtic. We had beaten Liverpool on the Thursday in the quarter-final of the UEFA Cup. We went to Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup; I made nine or 10 changes - and we lost the game.' Adding, 'That sat uncomfortably with me for a long, long time - and this would be the same,' he said. 'I am disappointed - but we should still have been good enough to win it and we should still have the same desire. That's the disappointing aspect.'
Ok, this was a cup game, anything can and does often happen in the cup but that result is not good enough, this was our best chance of Europe this season, especially when you consider we don't have the squad big enough to realistically challenge for the top six in the Premiership this season. I bet the few real quality players we have are gutted that we are having yet another wasted season after so many promises in the summer? How long, for example, can we keep Gareth Barry happy. This is a player in his prime who wants to be competing at the top level with quality players - I don't think the likes of Stiliyan Petrov or Marlon Harewood qualify as that do they?
It also seemed totally obvious that we didn't have enough fire power in the team, so the inactivity on the transfer front was naive to say the least.
Must admit, I'm worried. You?
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