Martin O’Neill has dropped a football bombshell by resigning from Aston Villa 5 days before the Premier League kicks off. Unfortunately for Villa fans, today is not April Fools’ Day.
O’Neill was appointed as Villa manager on the 4th of August 2006 and led the club to three sucessive sixth-place finishes in the past 3 seaosn which qualified them for the Europa league. In an official statement he stated: "I have enjoyed my time at Aston Villa immensely. It’s obviously a wrench to be leaving such a magnificent club."
The club or the manager haven’t revealed the reasons for his departure but there are three likely answers. a) Martin O’Neill fell out with the board due to the expected sale of James Milner to Manchester City b) His transfer targets weren’t met and c) He left on personal reasons.
The Birmingham-based club are left in shatters as they lost the mastermind behind the team’s success. Aston Villa play West Ham on Saturday and then Rapid Vienna on Thursday in the Europa league play-off. Kevin MacDonald, former assistant manager of Ireland has been installed as the club’s caretaker. Martin O’Neill will be helping Kevin MacDonald as he stated: “I will obviously be assisting the club in the immediate short-term with regard to the handover of my duties.”
Martin O’Neill has been labelled as the the successor of Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, is one of the most talented British managers of his generation. He was a successful midfielder for Nottingham Forest where he won back-to-back European Cups under Brian Clough. After retiring O’Neill became a manager where he made a name for himself managing Leicester City and Celtic Glasgow which he drove to glory.
Aston Villa was his most ambitious project, for the past 3 years he has competed against Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and Manchester City for a place in Europe. Three successive sixth place finishes is a great achievement for the Northern Irish manager especially because he didn’t have huge transfer budgets to spend on star players. This year was his most successful, he steered the club to their first cup final in years where they lost the League Cup to Manchester United and challenged for fourth place until the final stages of the season.
Martin O’Neill has hit Aston Villa with a huge blow and the timing is not ideal for the club. A lot of questions need to be answered but that is not the biggest problem, who will fill his shoes? Some candidates are Van Basten, Tony Mowbray, Gareth Southgate, Sven Goran Eriksson and Manuel Pellegrini.
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- ntnog said: You forgot reason 4: ? Lerner has accepted a bid for Ashley Young from ‘arry.
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