Villa View: Martin O'Neill's Now Tainted
Media mogul and all round good egg Jonny Gould has blogged on the MON situation. I'm trying to convince him to blog on Vital Villa a little more at the moment!
I thought I'd be less angry with Martin O'Neill a day after he quit Aston Villa but to walk out five days before the start of a new season marks him out as nothing more than a saloon bar firebrand.
When the story emerges as to why he's quit, it'd better not be about lack of funds. He's spent a mindnumbing £120million at Villa Park over four years!
His decision shows scant regard for anyone else but himself. What about his backroom team? the players he nurtured, the fans, the board, the owner? Honestly, if we knew back then how his tenure would end, would we have bothered with him in the first place?
At the news conference when he arrived, he talked on a grandiose scale - even dreaming of European glory. We thought we had a strategist, a clear thinker, someone who would use guile and experience to build from bottom up. With John Robertson at his side, even a sprinkling of the Clough and Taylor magic.
What a huge disappointment he's turned out then.
It's the end of his orchestrated attempt to leave Villa Park because he knew full well he didn't have it in him to keep up with the rest. That he chooses to leave five days before the start of a new season seems designed to cause the club maximum damage.
In this interview I did with him at pre-season exactly a year ago, it's so current you'd think this was a few days back. It proves he knew about the club's finances even then: Click Here (... half way down the page )
Set to one aside the volatile behaviour of a man with the capacity to walk out of a multi-million pound a year job and the responsibility that goes with it: who will come in as replacement with five days to go?
Let's face it; part of a football manager's multi million pound salary is paid on the basis that every job threatens to ruin reputation and career.
A big name at a big club with a lesser financial punch must roll with the punches, manage within his means - and keep his malcontent strictly in house. If this is really about selling James Milner and Ashley Young, okay it's frustrating. But so are three successive sixth placed finishes when we looked like making the Champions League each Christmas.
He started destabilising the club last season with public talk of a lack of funds, precipitating dressing room disquiet, so building a queue of clubs to turn the heads of our best players.
It's entirely O'Neill's fault that Milner and Young are transfer targets. If he'd shown a modicum of personal stability, we'd be the team to watch this season.
Chairmen of other clubs beware: if you really have a long-term plan to put in place, don't choose O'Neill to manage your football club.
Mr G's blog: jonnygould.blogspot.com
About Jonny: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonny_Gould