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Martin O'Neill - behind the times?

Martin O'Neill - behind the times?

Martin O'Neill has scoffed at suggestions that he is behind the time and out of his depth.

Accusations have been levelled at the Villa boss that his absence since being boss of Leicester City (remember them, whatever did happen to the Walker Crisp people?) has left him out of his depth as they say the Premiership has moved on.

O'Neill countered the argument saying:

'The point was made to me recently that some people thought I had been out of the Premiership for too long, and that thought had never crossed my mind before. It is not that I have been out for 'too' long.'

'The Premiership is evolving but it is not that much different to when I was at Leicester City at the end of the day, it really isn't.' Adding, 'Things change in the game but I have been managing (at Celtic). If you have been out of the game for five years I can understand it.'

So has the Premiership moved on? Is Martin O'Neill playing catch up? Does that explain this season or are we just waiting for the new season to start with 'his' team in place and ready to fight for honours?

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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 8 2007
Time: 11:02AM

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If you look at the season to date, we started well, hit a very bad patch and now seem to be improving. What is happening is, of course, a matter of opinion. However you could see it this way: MON came in, lifted a poor team and did well. Then we hit injuries and had those 3 games against United. That poor spell created a loss of confidence that the stupid fixture list with all of its gaps made worse as they could not get regular football. Now we are beginning to see what they can do again with the added benefit of some new signings. View it like that and everything looks different. that feels more likely to me, but one question: why no Steve Davis? That I cannot work out.
08/04/2007 11:31:00
I think he is a little out of touch - but he is a clever bloke - and I am sure he can adapt. This season reiminds of when GT got us promoted - then almost got us relegated - but he had a rethink in the summer and got it sorted.
08/04/2007 11:32:00
Well, so many people have said it will take time. Our club has been in decline since gregory left – let's face it and with the buying average short term players policy by our managers thereafter, you can see really why we have found ourselves in this position.
08/04/2007 13:55:00
I think part of this is PR by other clubs trying to put some doubt into players who may be thinking about moving to Villa in the summer. I don't think many will buy into it but some may and it may sway a player one way or the other. In the long run though its just crap. MON has done ok with the hand delt and will do better in the upcomming summer and season.
08/04/2007 14:08:00
MON out of touch has been one of the most ridiculous accusations thrown his way since his arrival at Brum B6. Its not as if he'd been out of the game five years. The detractors though will direct anything and everything his way throughout this period of obvious transition. That some expected him to turn around years of neglect and decline in six short months is laughable in the extreme.
08/04/2007 15:46:00
Back on that fateful day in August, MON's exact words were 'I have a fair idea of what the premiership is about' and he's said the same things again. I really think that we all forget how little time he's had with the team in a 2 week pre-season, and it's only now people have started to realise how bad Villa truly had become over the last 3 years. But instead of knocking him why haven't we heard praise for the way MON has handled Partrick Berger, or the parise he's been given by players both in and out of the team? I think his way of dealing with various fringe players has been nothing short of exceptional. Even the players who are seemingly on their way out of Villa Park haven't said anything bad against O'Neill and look as though they'd like another chance.
08/04/2007 16:47:00
May I first say who am I to question MON. If I was a better manager than him I wouldn't be doing the job I was doing right now. Having said that I'm pretty good on Champ manager and that's as real as it gets. We don't see the training ground stuff and attitudes but some of his tactics and team picks have surprised me. Why has he persevered with Gabby on the wing when he would be an excellent foil for Carew. The prolonged midfield paring of McCann and Petrov? Why Gardner over Davis?? One thing's for sure is that the summer will be another massive posting fest as we're linked to every player going. Bring it on!!
08/04/2007 18:33:00
Biggest load of cobblers ever printed, MON may have been away from the Premiership but was his team playing Champions Leahue Football two years ago? Like Jordan Martin will always have his Knockers.
08/04/2007 20:05:00
Thegreatdando are you for real !!! "But instead of knocking him why haven't we heard praise for the way MON has handled Partrick Berger" he has held him at arms length as long as poss.. "I think his way of dealing with various fringe players has been nothing short of exceptional." oh and hows that then bye playing them in the reses' and forgetting about them... Surely the last two results will show MON who and how the team like to play and where they play the best !!!! i'm sure he will learn how to get the best of the he has got and use it the best ! even though theres only a short time left.......
08/04/2007 20:39:00
All that's changed is the game is played at a faster pace, with all the obvious implications requiring much greater skill, awareness. intelligence and fitness. MON's geatest asset is his ability to get the best out of everyone around him. I think they call that "leadership"; and he's certainly got that in abundance, certainly as much as any other manager in the Premiership. He's also brutally honest, which in today's game is very refreshing. Just give him time and you'll see what he can do for our beloved Villa. Everyone seems to be having a "knock" at him lately, but all the pieces I've read just make me laugh, I just hope Martin finds them equally as funny.
08/04/2007 21:45:00
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