Saturday, February 28, 2009

Martin O'Neill: A Man for All Seasons

Granted that Arsenal's inevitable fifth place finish has more to do with their own ineptitude than anything else.... But, by all rights, I really should hate Martin O'Neill.

It's just that O'Neill makes it so damned hard to dislike him. The man just exudes everything you want in a manager, especially intelligence and class. And apparently O'Neill makes it very difficult for the Villa supporters to hate him as well.

Last week several hundred supporters paid up to £1500 to travel to Moscow for what turned out to be a drab UEFA Cup match featuring Aston Villa's reserves. The supporters were rightfully angry at the pathetic display, and for splashing out so much cash to watch it. So what does Martin O'Neill do?

According to the Birmingham Mail, O'Neill came to the back of the charter flight on the way back to England:

“He came to speak to us at the back of the plane, which I think was very good of him. He told us that he understood our disappointment and I think that went a long way to making amends.

“He also said that he was going to arrange for a meal at Villa Park for all of the fans that travelled to Moscow.

“He said he had to clear it with Randy Lerner and it would probably be at the end of the season at the Holte Suite, but I think it was a nice gesture. He got a round of applause.

“If we do finish in the top three I think all of this will be forgotten by most of the fans.”

Like I said, how can you hate this man? Randy Lerner has signed off on the dinner too. So, when Aston Villa are playing in the Champions League next season, at least you can say they deserve it.


Mike Georger said...

There really isn't anything to dislike about Villa, aside from their connection the Browns. But as the Browns are the laughing stock of the NFL again, I can't hold that against MON.

Keith said...

And that said, the reserves (which was only really the midfield/strikers- the back line was Shorey, Davies, Knight and Young) performed admirably. Salifou did well in the Petrov role until halftime, when he had picked up a knock, and Albrighton and Bannan proved that we're not entirely fucked if Ashley and James get hurt-- they put in some serious crosses. Steve Sidwell, on the other hand, earns the Robbie Keane Memorial Trophy for awful, awful summer purchases.

Andrew said...

Arsene Wenger should take a hint from MON and apologize for four straight nil-nils.

jjf3 said...

MON is my favorite manager in the EPL today - he's doing it his way, which I love, and he's aiming AV to be the best team in the EPL in two years...presuming he sticks around, he's going to beat SAF at his own game...I bet SAF is replaced by MON...and soon...

Lingering Bursitis said...

SAF will not be replaced by M'ON... it'll be Mourinho


Anonymous said...

Glad to see I'm not alone in my admiration for MO'N.