Date:Friday October 19 2007
Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has admitted that he would not stand in the way of Martin O’Neill, should he be asked to replace the woeful Steve McClaren as England Manager.
Following the 2-1 defeat against Russia on the plastic pitch in Moscow, McClaren has come in for the usual volley of abuse that plagues everyone who dares step into the shoes of national team manager and despite an FA vote of confidence; it appears likely that the former Middlesbrough bosses days are numbered.
Amongst the Mourinho’s, Hiddink’s and Scolari’s of this world that are touted as possible replacements, Villa boss O’Neill has popped up again, despite the fact that the FA turned him down as they looked for a replacement for Sven-Göran Eriksson. Should O’Neill be asked, and he wants to go, Lerner would be prepared to let the former Celtic boss take up the role without objection.
Regarding the subject, Lerner said: 'I would not stand in his way.
'Obviously, they would be interested in Martin because of the way he has handled himself at Aston Villa.'
When considering that there was a 5-year plan put in place to drive Aston Villa forward to become a football heavyweight once more, it’d obviously be a severe dent along the way, something that Lerner would have to deal with, and quickly: 'Martin is integral to our plans for Villa. If he left, it would leave us needing to get to work pretty quickly I suppose - but it is something I have never speculated upon.
'It is not unthinkable but is something you do not want to spend too much time on because it's not something you can prepare for. It would have to be dealt with if and when it happened.'
I guess when you consider even Stalin had problems with his 5-year plans, losing Martin O’Neill could pail into insignificance, especially as many a voice has been heard of late accusing him of being out of date, making bad signings and continuing with tactics that aren’t getting consistent results (O’Neill that is, not Stalin, he’s dead!)
Date:Friday October 19 2007
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