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Why Is O'Neill Still Learning?

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?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday September 27 2007
Time: 9:49AM


The lack of quality throughout the squad is there for all to see and your correct in saying how long can we keep Barry happy when he is looking to cement a spot in the england squad with sub par players around him. Its up to the rest to step up a gear or we're gonna have another transfer window expecting quality players to come in. But we're out the carpet cup and must look ahead to the next game. UTV
27/09/2007 10:10:00
MON is not the tactician we may of thought. I love the guy, but in the right mind, what fan would of ever dared putting this formation together: -Osbourne to the Right? -Petrov in attacking Central when Maloney is on the Left? -Barry at left back when O'Halloran was raring to go? -Harewood playing ahead of Gabi?! WTF?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
27/09/2007 10:14:00
As my mate said last night, he does not want to see MON experimenting in a competition that would have seen us with our best chance of any realistic silverware - Could not agree more
27/09/2007 10:15:00
He wanted to try something different and experiment against what was percieved as weaker opposition and give some of the fringe players their chance. Now he can say I won't try that again and the players that get dropped for the next match can't complain. He learnt something about them and what they can't do.
27/09/2007 10:37:00
Superman, training is for experimenting, not a competitive match.
27/09/2007 10:48:00
Maybe it worked well in training and he thought he would try it. The man is trying to get us to the next level which has been unchartered for a long time for him as a manager and us as a team. We won't achieve it by keep doing the same things, unfortunately we won't by playing like this either but he knows it now.
27/09/2007 10:50:00
I agree, but i think the point being made was the fact that so many players were played out of natural positions and that the players brought in didn't perform. They didn't perform because of ability, form, confidence or quality? But having said that man utd got knocked out too, it happens all too often where the lower league teams have good days against the top teams in the cup. I just don't know if MON should have played such a radical change. At least it wasn't a quarter final.
27/09/2007 10:54:00
I think if it was a quarter final we would have played what is acknowledged and now possibly proved is our strongest side. i think O'Neill wanted to say who was capable fo playing where in case we get lots of injuries and he got the wrong answer from the players he tried. I think it means we will sign someone in January and he has learnt that. I also think people would be asking why we didn't experiment if we had won comfortably (although obviously in hind sight I would have preferred that)
27/09/2007 11:03:00
Yet again a massive over reaction by the villa faithful. Get a grip for gods sake.
27/09/2007 11:05:00
i've been looking back at the comments made when O'Leary's side lost AWAY from home, times certainly have changed, in the fans forums, if not on the pitch. Its should be interesting to fans that a manager of such experience, of such alleged talent and ability, has openly admitted he's still not up to speed, even after a season back in the Premiership. It should make fans realise those who have queries about his choices and lack of transfer acumen, may not be just making negative points as they call it, but offering decent points of discussion. For a manager so successful and so confident of a long run in this competition, against a struggling side at the bottom of the Championship,last nights performance was a huge failure, one previous managers would have been slated. At least we know that the number of games the limited squad now needs to play has been reduced, even if the man in charge, is still learning what it is to manage in the 21st century. Such results happen whether the manager is called O'Neill, Taylor or O'Leary, hopefully the players will learn from it. Ultimately, the manager picks the side and when it contains all but 2 of your prize signings and performs that poorly, maybe,just maybe, a few more will see the facts behind the flim flam.
27/09/2007 11:08:00
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