Aston Villa - The Return Of O'Neill
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The Return Of O'Neill

The Sunderland clash takes on a new facet with it being the first return to Villa Park of Martin O'Neill since he walked out on us 5 days before the start of last season.

The current site poll asks simply:

How Will You Respond To MON Returning To Villa Park?

Cheer (hero)
Booo (Judas)
Turn My Back Like He Did But Not Boo
Nothing, not bothered

It's clear from the poll that O'Neill still has his supporters here, but it's a very good split down the middle of the fanbase with those who can't stand the man.

The Forum Thread reflects the poll to be honest. A clear split down the middle between love and hate.

But what will you do?

And please remember folks, let's not try and break the swear filter please :-)

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 17 2012

Time: 8:33PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
personally will never forgive the man for the state he left us in. No matter which way i look at it i just cant abide by the fact that he threw his toys out of the pram in the worst way possible after huge financial backing from the manager which he was quite happy to squander away on a bench full of questionable talent on multi millions. MON gave us great times short term but at what cost will his actions have long term. Im at the game sat and will either turn my back or boo.
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 20:55:00

All about the spiteful timing of the exit. He is and always will be a surrender monkey to me, too many White flags. Shame who we have had in since have not wiped the mon myth but re enforced it!
The fear
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17/04/2012 21:06:00

Amen to that. When he was here and we looked like we could challenge the top 4 places it was all gravy, then he got rid of 3 of our best young players, started paying transfer fees for players he never intended to play and used them out of their normal positions. Understandable at times, yes, but once I remember that Reo-Coker moved to right-back from midfield and Luke Young went over to left-back.........Shorey was on the bench!!!!!! The mind boggles. He might be the saviour of Sunderland at the moment but we'll soon see what happens in a few seasons' time. At least Heskey will be happy to see him!
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 21:07:00

I'd also like to see a banner on Saturday that says "O'Neill Out!!!!!"
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 21:10:00

Got no time for the spineless coward at all, but more. Agree with Fear about the spiteful timing of his exit, unforgivable.
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 21:13:00

Not sure how to react. He had 'lost' a lot of fans before he went, but we also know we wouldn't have struggled in the way we have if he had stayed. I hate that he went in such an acrimonious way, but we enjoyed some great days/nights whilst he was squandering the money that has left us in the brown stuff now. The 5 - 1 against Small Heath, semi final against Blackburn, the 3 0 victory over Sheffield Utd when the old European Cup team all turned up, beating Manure at Old Trafford, a record number of consecutive away wins. There were lows as well. Not sure I have the heart to give him stick, so will see how I feel on the day.
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 21:55:00

Lost of all my respect in the way he behaved when he left. Not all, but a considerable amount of blame lies with him for the situation and future we find ourselves in. I think its ironic he left us for a 'bigger' club, didn't get the Chelsea or Liverpool job, not even the Newcastle or Fulham one. He's ended up at a club where we recently bought their number 1 striker!!! I won't be at the game, but if I was, I'd turn my back, and maybe boo. UTV
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 22:14:00

Agree with most opinions, had some great times when he first arrived and he brought a sense of excitement and hope that we can only dream of right now (at least until McRelegator goes). But he soon split the fans, wasted an awful amount of money on rubbish, had us playing a lot of crappy hoofball and bought Heskey. Emile Heskey. Don't think he deserves too much stick, but he did leave us in a right mess that we've never really recovered from.
Stephen Jay Hawkings
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17/04/2012 22:26:00

he left us in a good state, if they had hired another top manager we would have had plenty of continuity. Cannot believe the animosity towards martin o`neill.
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 22:30:00

Grrrrr the man with a dog returns.
Green Villan
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17/04/2012 22:56:00

To be honest Fear I think the pole is inaccurate, I think most who voted MON as a hero are blue noses and opposition, granted there are a few Villans that class him a hero but my accusation stands.
Green Villan
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17/04/2012 23:00:00

I loved MoN but I gave up on him when Chelsea trounsed us 7-1 (I think) and he threatened to quit,that incident summed up his tenure for me.I got the impression that he felt the Villa job was below him,better off without.
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 23:49:00

I don't think he would take a Liverpool or Chelsea job because there would be massive expectations on him and very few excuses.
Report Abuse
17/04/2012 23:55:00

As the suggester of this current poll, i stand by the hero statement. Ex-blue, never in my life would you see me with that cheap cotton of blue. Outraged at that comment. People may say he left us in despair, and i agree with that. But over 4 years he transformed our club to a worthy top 4 side. If thats not a hero in your eyes, especially down to the fact when he took over we had finished in the bottom half of the league. Then rethink your statement. Martin was one of the greatest things to happen to this club, you'd be a foul to say otherwise, hence the hero label. The irony also is that if we cheer MON's name like seasons past, it will further the message of our despise for Mcliesh !!! Mcliesh OUT!!! UTV!!!
Carew AV Legend
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18/04/2012 01:17:00

We will only know what we think we know as it takes two to tango! After saying that, timing was cack. talking of cack, also he left us with so many over paid, over rated, journeymen.
Pride of Lions
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18/04/2012 01:47:00

Remember MON came as a Savior and a Hero with an excellent track record, what a turn around as we now have a Manger who came with doom and gloom written all over him and a track record of abject failure. I hated what MON did to us but he had the Villa's interest at heart (most of the time) up to when he walked and has proved to be a hard man to replace. I hate to say this but I hope we get beat on Saturday, it would be a another knife in McLeish's back. We won't go down , this season, but unless this idiot goes in the summer this time next year we will be officially relegated with several games to go and average attendance around the 20000. MON sold season tickets, McLeish couldn't sell Raffle tickets
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18/04/2012 03:06:00

Carew AV Legend - Massive respect for standing by the hero statement. I, for one though, believe that he placated and patronised us with most of his actions and rested on his laurels until the money dried up, so he got bored and left. How arrogant is it to have a subs bench with players like Sidwell, Routledge, Harewood, Shorey and Reo-Coker (around 24m worth of spending at the time) and then either use them out of position, for 10-20 minute periods or not at all? Also, over 4 years he transformed us into a worthy top 6 side, not a top 4 one, sadly. If we'd hit the top 4 a couple of times I'd back you up on it, but it never happened. I'll admit that we played some good football and had a lot of confidence under him, but even with him in charge towards the end of his reign the defence started looking dodgy. People will rate him still for what he's doing with Sunderland, but he did that with us as well. If Sunderland can reach the top 4 in a few seasons on a similar budget to the one he had with us then he will have learned a lesson. I doubt it though. Keep an eye on which players come in and for how much. When players like Jonjo Shelvey or Paul Scharner start joining for 5-6million at a time, you'll know I was right. Until then, I'm afraid Martin O'Neill the hero = Absolute Hutton!!!!!
Report Abuse
18/04/2012 08:21:00

Never felt MON had any real feeling for the club although I cheered as loudly as most when he arrived but will never forgive him for the way he left. In my eyes it was Randy Lerner who gave us a shot at the top 4 not MON I believe if you give any reasonable manager that amount of money to spend they will go close.In fact the only reason I wouldnt put forward Kevin Keegan for the job at the moment is because of his walking away from other clubs.
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18/04/2012 10:12:00

Personally - i will remember him for what he did do for the club, rather than what he didn't. 3 6th place finishes, 2 trips to wembley, beating United at old trafford, and never losing to blues. He did rather leave us in the lurch, but we still dont know what exactly happened do we? If we look at what has happened since, i suspect he was ordered to sell milner, and cut the wage bill down. Maybe he was given a little more leway that he should - but randy must ultimately take responsibility for that!
Report Abuse
18/04/2012 10:44:00

MON did alright by us in terms of the football we played, but let's not forget we still didn't win anything, we still whimpered out of Europe when we'd worked so hard to qualify, and realising what was about to happen with the team he spent millions building, he threw his toys out the pram and jumped ship. I don't blame McLeish for the players we have now, I blame MON. That said, look at the difference between RdM and AvB at Chelsea. Same players, totally different performances, and old players performing well - fully motivated with the bit between their teeth. McLeish has to take the blame for this season's terrible outing, but it all started with MON. And so, I quote, "I'm afraid Martin O'Neill the hero = Absolute Hutton!!!!!"
Report Abuse
18/04/2012 10:45:00

I agree with all that's said about the timing of O'Neil's departure etc etc but at the end of the day Villa had to pay him compensation................why? Doesn't this suggest that Villa were in the wrong?
Report Abuse
18/04/2012 11:51:00

Thought he was the messiah. turned out to be Life of Brian.
Report Abuse
18/04/2012 13:57:00

To those who shouted so loudly that they wanted rid of MoN, I said on a number of occasions that they should be careful what they wish for. How accurate was that!? I hated some of the things he did, and totally disagreed with some of his purchases, selections, tactics, etc., but at the end of the day he was streets better than we have been able to attract since. As for the manner of his leaving, I also strongly suspect he was ordered to sell our best players and refused to do so. As somebody above says - we appear to have paid him compensation, which would not have happened if he did not have a case. I won't cheer (he's the Sunderland manager now) but I won't boo either. Like most people on these forums, I don't know enough facts to do either.
Report Abuse
18/04/2012 16:29:00


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