Aston Villa - O'Neill Remains Open Minded
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O'Neill Remains Open Minded

Martin O'Neill has said he will remain open minded on the subject, well joke, that we should play one 'league' match abroad.

We've had everyone from Gold, to Scudamore ommenting on this matter, in fact Scudamore said they could've suggested something far more stupid I believe.

However, Martin believes that it is a 'semi exciting' idea and from his comments seems to be prepared to encourage the debate in the hopes that the end result may be something workable, and in everyone's best interests.



He remains on the fence about the 'International Round' as it's been dubbed.

Speaking on SSN he said:

'I heard about it yesterday for the first time. I had no notion about it until then and even now, given a bit of time to digest it, I still have a wee open mind about it.

'There were certain things I thought 'that is interesting' and other aspects where I thought 'you need to give this a lot of consideration'.'

This consideration appears to be his long held belief about the usefulness of an Winter Break and his pet hate, pointless International friendlies in the middle of the season.

'For example, I am a club manager and international friendlies are a bit of a bind. If you said they will disappear and we can use the extra time for a Premier League game somewhere else, then it is worth considering.

'I am a great advocate of a January break. As I know from my time at Celtic, you felt refreshed and ready to go for the second half of the season even though the games might be condensed after that.

'This is an extra fixture so you haven't lost one of your home games.

'But while I have an open mind, this extra game at a neutral venue could leave you feeling a bit peeved if a club next to you in the league might get an easier game than yourselves. It might have a big say at the end of the season.'

So presumably it may gain O'Neill's support if it's thought out far better than the current suggestion. Not really sure fans will consider it more whilst it remains based on a draw that favours certain teams, especially if it remains as a live league game but again, at least he acknowledges this:

'You have to pay attention to the fans. There might be some who pride themselves on never missing a game and find they cannot afford to travel to wherever for the extra game.

'I just think at this stage it needs thinking about and I have an open mind.

'The other side of it is there is something novel and semi-exciting about it.'

I'm still not sure what is wrong with my suggestion. Each Prem team cannot play a host team more than once in every 20 odd years. This forces all clubs to play both the best and worst of a given country.

Set up purely as an official friendly break and promote the Prem that way. There is no logic or sense in making it a live game, subject to league points.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 8 2008

Time: 8:22PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Much better.
Carlosio
Report Abuse
08/02/2008 20:25:00

'semi exciting' by flying halfway a round the world to play a friendly? An extra match the 39th fixture against who exactly? I think we are not geting the whole message from the FA infact FA is all we are getting.
col8
Report Abuse
09/02/2008 04:34:00

Nice to see he has clarified his position, I know there was a grilling about it yesterday in the press conference. To me it is just the straw that would break the camels back and I do pray this is kicked out but fear the money men have already decided.
The Fear
Report Abuse
09/02/2008 10:26:00

dont worry Villans...if Villa play here in Johannesburg....we'll make sure you're looked after.... also, the exchange rate is almost 15 for 1 pound....this will be heaven for you.... u can have a beer a curry and more for less than 3 pounds! as an overseas footie fan..even tho i see every Villa game live on telly...i support the idea....altho the extra fixture....i'm not sure of... i'd rather one of the 38 were played ....
reza
Report Abuse
09/02/2008 22:11:00

As of right now, from what I know, I hope this idea is kicked into touch before it gets off the ground. I suspect Col is quite right, theres a lot more to this little matter, than we the supporters are currently privvy to.
glensider
Report Abuse
11/02/2008 00:15:00

I bet they would have loved that Chelsea vs Loiverpool game in Shanghai!
DeanoVilla
Report Abuse
11/02/2008 09:44:00

 

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