James Nursey has an article in The Mirror stating that Martin O'Neill resigned after losing the dressing room.
This is certainly the rumbles that those who know players and staff have been getting for a while so although the timing is no doubt awful, maybe the fact that things were going so stale makes this departure a crucial one?
I had thought MON was set for a fifth season and couldn't argue on the top six finish and two Wembley appearances that he had earnt the right to go into that season if he so chose. However there were major worries amidst the well educated and well sourced rumours circulating with players unhappy with the manager wanting out.
Never nice when a manager leaves and I know amongst some fans he was/is a very popular figure, so I feel gutted for them, however if the next appointment is right, we could see even more progress as the foundations are there for everyone to see but obviously there were also the frailties with the lack of subbing, tactics getting predictable, no squad rotation and players on the fringes being sidelined in more ways than one.
Nice thread in our forum (by a MON fan by the way) looking for the positives: Always look on the bright side (forum contains adult language)
Anyway, where were we?
Oh yes, the Mirror report. James says the dressing room was lost and many players were delighted and popping champagne corks at the managers departure. Trust me, a reporter wouldn't say this about MON if it wasn't true as they know he can be litigious! My information is even the peace keepers in the dressing room had given up.
Just last week O`Neill, who had a huge bust-up with Nigel Reo-Coker last term, told a group of Villa players at training that they looked like they "hated" him.
The questions will continue, but I think all can understand the frustration of players brought in on high wages and then sidelined or played out of position?
THE key now is who we bring in to replace MON who certainly helped greatly in the transition from David O'Leary and Doug Ellis.
Another Mirror report talks about the cutbacks. I have to admit, I'm not convinced by this 'sell to buy', it is being over played. I did an article not long back, having got the right information from the right people, saying that there is money there, but that - as we were all told at the time - there wasn't a bottomless pit of money and massive investment has taken place. (Villa A Selling Club? Figures Would Argue Against)
Henry Winter at TheTelegraph says what a waste.
The Charming Dictator in Paul Hayward's Guardian blog
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