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O'Neill In It For The Long Haul

O'Neill In It For The Long Haul

Aston Villa chairman and owner Randy Lerner says he will do everything he can to make sure Martin O'Neill never wants to leave Villa.

His comments appear to be prompted by the fact England could once again be looking for a new manager in the not too distant future - having turned Martin O'Neill down once (happily for us) - and he admits he wouldn't stand in O'Neill's way if the call came but that he wants to make it so good at Villa that he won't want to depart.

Lerner said: 'I could not think of better fortune than working with Martin O'Neill and I think that you never get in anyone's way. Martin and I talked this morning. He called and asked if I was okay. I said 'yeah'. He asked if I had any questions. I said 'yeah, just one'. Basically, in answer to my question (about his future) he said that he is managing Aston Villa for the long haul. He said that we have got a job to do and we are going to see it through.'

'Did England make a mistake in not appointing Martin O'Neill? I am not qualified to answer that question. But I have to rely on my relationship with Martin. I don't think, in Martin's way of thinking, that contracts are terribly important. I think he is going to be where he feels is right for him. The way to keep Martin O'Neill is to be respectful, to support him, and to let him do his thing - and he will do it.'

Adding if England did approach: 'I would acknowledge, I wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Perhaps jump on him and put my arms around him. I don't think, when you're talking about Martin O'Neill and these celebrated jobs, it should involve me. I just want to create a compelling opportunity at Villa, otherwise I would create obstacles, which would not be good business.'

'I want to create an environment where Martin O'Neill would never want to leave Aston Villa.'

'He wants to win the Premier League and the European Cup. He has done it before as a player with a great manager (Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest) and wants to do the same as a manager.'

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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Friday February 9 2007
Time: 11:47AM


randy you are an absolute god already in my eyes,what a man you are! UTV
Belfast Villain
09/02/2007 14:56:00
Love that guy.
09/02/2007 15:24:00
Well so far RL has done what it said on the tin. No one can have a single complaint about the way the management at Aston Villa conduct their business.
09/02/2007 15:38:00
I think I'm filling up....... gotta go, got something in my eye.....
09/02/2007 17:14:00
such religious ferver is quite disturbing according to some, next thing you know we will suffer from blind faith and actualy start believing in our team, sod it, count me in. nice one Randy you're a star.
09/02/2007 17:49:00
Comments that its safe to say, we all wanted to hear. We are actually told things by the clubs hierarchy nowadays, and the tendency is to believe it, and take it at face value. Such a refreshing change from the past twenty-five years or so.
09/02/2007 19:47:00
Get use to MO'N being linked with Man United and England - the media will always perceive the Big 4 as the “be all and end all” and will assume that MO'N is priming himself for a bigger job. However, they fail to see that it doesn't get much bigger than to manage Aston Villa!.... it's the toughest challenge for a football manager - just ask all of Ron Saunders' (bar Tony Barton of course) predecessors! Randy knows he's got "The Special One" at the helm to manage team affairs, and expects papers reports such as the one's we've heard since England's shambolic display on Weds night. But the way Randy dismisses the speculation, with irony and wit, intellectually and with grace; is just absolutely majestic! Randy my lord, keep creating the environment where Martin will never want to leave the Villa, make us flock to the Trinity, we bow down to you in the Holte, make Villa Park a Mecca and lead us to the promised land of the Premiership crown and Champions League glory!! Amen…….
09/02/2007 21:22:00
There is no bigger challenge than the Villa. Ferguson, Wenger and Moanarinihio have created environments that will be an absolute nightmare for anybody following their footsteps. Liverpool have recently won the Champions League so there is no challenge there. England will always require a manager and M'ON can do that as his final swansong. He knows that putting Villa back amongst the elite is the real challenge.
09/02/2007 21:33:00
These two guys are the best thing that's happened to Villa since we won the European Supercup. Here'sm hoping for a good result today :o)
10/02/2007 10:38:00
Lot of work still to be done though we looked a bit raw against a well organised Reading team. McCann & Cahill need dropped they offer nothing.
10/02/2007 15:18:00
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