What happened to Martin O’Neill?


Football is a results business and Sunderland’s results have been rotten for months, so we shouldn’t be surprised that Martin O’Neill was dismissed as manager on Saturday.  But he is Martin O’Neill, who appeared to be able to walk on water when at Celtic.  What happened?

Martin’s teams played the same football at Sunderland as they did at Celtic and Leicester.  Direct and, if supported by excellent players, incredibly effective, but Martin was the antithesis of the tinkerer manager.  He had his plan and stuck to it, a fact which Alex McLeish successfully exploited.

Of all the recent dismissals in England his was least surprising.  Sunderland thought they were heading for relegation but still have a fighting chance, the right change could produce the short-term boost required.  As for our old pal Paulo, I’m in David Milliband’s camp. He and ‘Arry can go the same way.
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  1. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    13:24 on 1 April, 2013



    In a word ….Hooper

  2. Ekbhoy



    Easier for me to comment in who was trying



    Yesterday ….Izzy, Kayal ,Wilson and Stokes appeared to be applying themselves …



    In particular Hooper ,Sammi and Ledley were the worst yesterday

  3. Steinreignedsupreme on

    ernie lynch 12:33 on 1 April, 2013



    “I’d imagine he’d vote UKIP or Tory rather than BNP.”



    UKIP = BNP without the neds.

  4. TwoMacaroons on

    On the EPL, there really is not a lot between the teams after the top one this year. An even they couldn’t cut it in Europe.


    The major task these days is how to motivate a team of millionaires. Wonder how Clough would have done it, is a thick ear against your human rights?

  5. Steinreignedsupreme on

    I never had much time for Di Canio even before he made his political views known.



    He was never a team player at Celtic, and his conduct was disgraceful at times – especially at the end of one match against the Huns.



    No question Di Canio had plenty of talent, but like his odious counterparts van Hooijdonk and Cadete, he could not get away from Celtic Park quick enough.





    They don’t need neds,any nonsense they set the dogs on you.



    Or worse,send round Raffles,Gentleman Thug…..

  7. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    the centre forward always gets it in the neck when the entire team are not playing well.



    Gary is a good poacher but his early 20’s promise is beginning to fade and in my view he is unlikely to earn a big money move to a top 6 English team, maybe that is just sinking into the young chap.



    Still looks to be applying himself to me , not playing well though, 2 different things.




  8. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on

    Just waiting for Stuart Dougal to be let out of the Ludge broom cupboard to justify every decision Madden made

  9. We should be careful with assuming that labels mean the same in different countries.



    There are lots of people who would ca themselves fascists in Italy, just as there are lots who still call themselves communists.



    I suspect Paolo is an Italian nationalist – quite right wing and not a particularly attractive philosophy, and probably chauvinist when it comes to other nationalities- but he isn’t a jackbooted BNP type.



    I don’t want to defend him but there is a knee jerk assumption that labels mean the same in each country. They don’t. Politics- especially Italian politics- is complex and nuanced.



    Incidentally, if he had self-identified as a communist, would there have been the same uproar?



    Why not, considering communism’s hideous crimes?

  10. Re Di Canio



    I in no way identify with the man’s politics. However, a man’s politics is his own business.



    We preach tolerance yet some of us would refuse a man a job based on our opposition to his personal beliefs?



    Di Canio, like MON, should be judged solely on his professional performance.

  11. Even the best coaches and systems are eventually nullified.


    It’s having the ability to adapt that makes the difference.


    Messi frequently nullified Mourinho’s Madrids game plan(kick him again and again) but this year Madrid seem to have found a system to cope in their games against Barca.


    Martin O’Neil was lucky to have some genuine class players in his Celtic side that elevated his system.


    At Villa he used the system well and with the unknown factor they had early success but stagnated towards the end of his tenure.


    Sunderland had initial success but opposition coaches new what to expect and once the initial boost of a new coach fizzled out he struggled.


    Don’t know if he will want to coach again but if he does he will have to learn some variation.





    Personally I think he is in a huff as he didn’t get his January move.



    Your view may well be correct-for his sake,I hope so.



    He is being thoroughly unprofessional otherwise,and doing his bargaining position no favours.



    He could trap the ball in his petted lip at the moment…..

  13. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Cleverley = yellow. …… Why…?…….England

  14. craggy island gaa on

    “Vue de la North Stand et de la Lisbon Lions Stand, un jour de derby, avec sur la droite l’emplacement réservé aux orques venus de la montagne du serpent.”






    “For the North Stand and the Lisbon Lions Stand, a day derby, with the right reserved to the location of the mountain orcs from the snake.”




  15. Steinreignedsupreme on




    I’d imagine many of them hanker for days like Bloody Sunday – in fact some of them may have given the orders in Derry.

  16. Ekbhoy



    You seem to be the only one who considers that there isn’t a problem with lack of effort by some at the moment



    You’re entitled to your opinion of course



    IMO there is a lack of focus at the moment and the football is very poor

  17. Pfayr



    Kayal always runs around like a headless chicken , didn’t seem to hold the right mid position much if at all during the whole game , which he spent moaning at Effe’s passing. I suspect Beram going walk about left Joseph outnumbered, as the Saints overloaded their right side to attack Izzy ………



    It is not a defensible position to state that we have some players trying and others not , this is professional football not a pub league. If we had 4 or more players not trying at the pro level , I would suggest that we would not only lose each match that the team would also be coming to blows in the dressing room!




  18. Big Georges Fan Club on

    Would not cast Cadette in the same mould as Pierre and Di Canio.



    I think George had family reasons for leaving – if I recall correctly, there was an acrimonious split from his wife and kids, and Cadette’s head was mince as a result – could happen to any of us when children are involved.



    Pierre and Paulo, however, treated Celtic like dirt – Paulo’s ‘leetle’ problem, and Big Pierre going AWOL. Pierre does seem to have had a bit of a reconversion, though – turned up in a few oldies games (then again, so has Walker).











    That would certainly fit the UKIP demographic.








    I’m happy to forgive Cadete but not the others



    I adored that man when he played for us

  21. Ekbhoy



    You continue to confuse effort with ability



    I suggested Kayal was trying , I didn’t say he was any good



    As for Ledley he was posted missing for large parts of the game yesterday ….I would have expected the converse if his side of the pitch had been overloaded



    Ledley has previous for hiding

  22. Pfayr



    Undoubtedly the team is going through a sticky patch , still IMO if you look closely our defensive shape was disrupted with Fraser’s injury ( not been the same since his return) and Effe’s trip to the Africa nations. This has disrupted the defence big time and with all the chopping and changing , we are defending too deep and making life difficult for ourselves.



    Simple as that.



    Outdoors beckons have a good day off.

  23. Long time lurker, first time poster.



    Liked Paolo in the Hoops, but his extreme views should discount his ever holding a managerial post at one of the nation’s largest clubs. That a proud working class club like Sunderland can have a fascist foisted on it by an eccentric foreign owner just shows how fortunate we have been with our ownership model.



    Really getting fed up watching our full backs being over run by limited opponents. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we must provide protection to Izzy and Lustig/Matthews/Ambrose. We ask them provide to both provide our width and to prevent our opponents’ main attacking threat: crosses. Our lack of natural width presents our midfielders with few options when in possession, and often results in our needlessly surrendering the ball.



    4-3-3 with no wingers is an ugly, directionless formation.

  24. Steinreignedsupreme on

    ….PFayr 13:53 on 1 April, 2013



    “Van Hoojidonk seems to have retained a real affection for CFC”



    Has his opinions on the homeless changed?

  25. Som mes que un club on




    Well said.



    Jorge’s first goal against Aberdeen – Unforgettable night.



    Still say to this day, noise was louder than anything I have experienced at CP.

  26. TwoMacaroons on

    Hooper was the only one missing yesterday. He looks like a man with other things on his mind. He may not be getting the supply but was put in brilliantly by Commons and would have buried it earlier in the season.

  27. Wonder how a black, Asian, Jewish etc player would respond to Di Canio being their boss?



    Ex-Celtic player I least admire by a country mile …. Mr P. Di Canio.



    To be honest I’ve gotten over Mo Johnstone. He did what he did, sold his soul, he can deal with it. He might even argue he did the right thing in being the first openly Catholic player to sign for them uns. But Di Canio ‘I’m a fascist’ – disgraceful and I wish he had never had the honour of playing for Celtic. Turns out he chose the wrong Glasgow Team for his politics.





    Doubtless,but his departure was messy and public-possibly down to bad advice and English as a foreign tongue.



    But citing a verbal agreement for a wage increase-Jee-Zoh…..

  29. Som mes que un club



    13:57 on 1 April, 2013






    Well said.



    Jorge’s first goal against Aberdeen – Unforgettable night.



    Still say to this day, noise was louder than anything I have experienced at CP.





    Was in London listening on 5 live that night. Radio famously blew out.



    Remember thinking ‘big deal, that’s just Celtic for you’. Brilliant player.




    14:00 on 1 April, 2013






    Doubtless,but his departure was messy and public-possibly down to bad advice and English as a foreign tongue.



    But citing a verbal agreement for a wage increase-Jee-Zoh…..





    Not worth the paper it was written on…….

  31. Pierre was a good player, better than what we had become used to and so we adored him for a while. Went to his head.



    Di canio – I’ve had my say.



    Cadete – I am with BMCUWP on him. No pretence with him. Did what he did and scored a load of goals for us.

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