August 09, 2010

Martin O'Neill resigns as Aston Villa manager : Just five days before the start of the Premier League season. Why did he do it? Where is he off to?

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 01:38 PM - 9 comments

My guess is that he wasn't getting the money to spend he thought Villa needed to compete. The whole Milner to City saga (ongoing) probably helped push him too.

posted by trox at 02:04 PM on August 09, 2010

He lost Barry last year and is probably going to lose Milner this year. Plus Villa want to drive their wage expenditure down and Ashley Young is sitting there on ~60,000 a week, which means he'll probably be gone at some point too.

I normally blanch at the reason "I've taken the club as far as I can", but with three straight top six finishes rewarded by a shrinking budget, I could actually believe it this time.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:34 PM on August 09, 2010

Just strange to me that if player money is the issue he waited until five days before first kick to leave. O'Neill had to have known this a month or two ago. Unless he timed it to be a frak you Randy nut kick.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:46 PM on August 09, 2010

I saw this from arsereview on Twitter, which may shed some light on this:

"According to 5live, O'Neill resigned because Villa wanted to sell Friedel to Fulham to let them sell Schwartzer to Arsenal. Interesting."

As an Arsenal fan, I approve of anything that prevents Flapianski and Almunia from starting.

posted by trox at 04:12 PM on August 09, 2010

Paul Hayward's piece, with its quoting of a private conversation with O'Neill from earlier in the year, has the smell of something more or less authorised by the man.

He becomes the obvious first choice replacement for any departing Premier League manager, though it's hard to think of a vulnerable manager whose job he'd actually want. The pundits' sofa awaits, I think, which is a decent place to weather the storm.

As an Arsenal fan, I approve of anything that prevents Flapianski and Almunia from starting.

I watched Schwartzer from behind the goal for many years, and I have lots of respect for him and the choices he's made, though I don't think he has too many years left in him, even with keepers' extended careers.

posted by etagloh at 04:13 PM on August 09, 2010

And according to Martin Rogers, USMNT coach Bob Bradley is one of the short-listed names. Of course same thing was said when Hodgson departure left Fulham gig open, difference I guess being that Villa are owned by an American. Bob presumably would be (relatively) happier with Brad Guzan as his #1 keeper, I guess.

I wonder: if Bradley does get the job does he make Lerner cough up for Landon? After LD's Everton loan and World Cup performance seemed like he was sure to move to the Premier League but now that seems doubtful. Unless...

posted by billsaysthis at 05:01 PM on August 09, 2010

My first thought was that his wife might be ill again (she had lymphoma, which is why he left Celtic in 2005), but I'm hoping I'm wrong about that. I met him (and Geraldine, his wife) a few weeks ago at Alex Ferguson's charity golf day at the Belfry (check out my name dropping). He was in great form and we had a very enjoyable chat about the 1986 World Cup (in which he played for the mighty Northern Ireland side that did for the hosts 1-0 in Valencia).

My favourite bit of the evening was when, during the auction to raise money for UNICEF, Siralex auctioned off his watch from last season. They showed a montage of all the goals United scored in "Ferggie Time" at the end of games at Old Trafford. The watch fetched about ten grand and the winning bidder was revealed to be Martin O'Neill. He went onto the stage, set the watch on the floor and pretended to jump up and down on it. "I'm buying this on behalf of all the cowardly referees in the Premiership," he said. "And I'm going to send it back to Hublot as it clearly stops after 89 minutes of use. I hope it works at Villa Park next season."

I guess we'll never know!

posted by JJ at 06:51 AM on August 10, 2010

Nice to see the claret and blue chumps in turmoil just as the season is about to start. I like O Neill, and to have them finish so high so regularly is some achievement, but chuff me he wasted a hell of a lot of money.

posted by Fat Buddha at 08:15 AM on August 10, 2010

The General speaks

posted by Fat Buddha at 08:59 AM on August 10, 2010

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