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If Anyone Can Turn Sunderland Around, Martin O’Neill Is The Man For The Job

martin oneill1 If Anyone Can Turn Sunderland Around, Martin ONeill Is The Man For The Job

Photo by dalli58

While Sunderland are deep in final negotiations with O’Neill, and the Northern Irishman having said that he will accept the job as manager of the Black Cats, the news should come as welcome relief not only for Sunderland supporters but also for fans of English football.

O’Neill resigned from Aston Villa in August, 2010. While those in the United Kingdom have been able to see him appear as a pundit on different football shows, the rest of the world (myself included) haven’t seen a glimpse of him since then. It’s been a long 15 months.┬áMartin O’Neill, I’ve missed you.

I’ve missed him for several reasons. First, Aston Villa was a powerhouse when he was in charge of them. Yes, they often promised a lot, but slipped up near the end of the season, but at least they were a force to be reckoned with. Plus, they were often a joy to watch as opposed to the rough and tackling Aston Villa side led by manager Alex McLeish.

Second, O’Neill was always refreshingly honest. He spoke his mind. And that candor was wonderful to hear especially during post-match interviews.

Third, and finally, I believe O’Neill still has plenty to give to this game of football. He achieved success with Leicester City and Celtic. He narrowly missed out on a Carling Cup triumph over Manchester United, but nevertheless, left Aston Villa in a much better state than when he joined the club. With Sunderland, he has an incredible opportunity to get the club on a stronger footing and then push forward for a place in Europe. Much like Lerner in the early days of Villa, O’Neill will have funds available from Ellis Short to make sound purchases while offloading some of the Sunderland players who are surplus to requirements.

If anyone can turn Sunderland around, Martin O’Neill is the man for the job.

I’m sincerely looking forward to O’Neill’s return to management. He’s been out of the game for too long, but hopefully the past 15 months have given him plenty of time to recharge his batteries and to prepare for his next conquest. He has a lot of hard work ahead of him, but I’m confident he can get the job done.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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5 Responses to If Anyone Can Turn Sunderland Around, Martin O’Neill Is The Man For The Job

  1. Frank says:

    Good move by Sunderland. O’Neill will move fast to try and get a striker in as soon as the January transfer window opens. He might even raid his old club Aston Villa for players. I’ll pick Sunderland to stay up but I am worried that Aston Villa could end in the relegation zone.

  2. Jon says:

    They better find some strikers in January. Selling Bent, selling Gyan, and losing Welbeck back to United has left that team without goals. Bendtner is mediocre at best.

  3. James says:

    Rats. I was hoping he would take the Blackburn job if Steve Kean ever gets the boot….

  4. MUFC77 says:

    Good choice from Sunderland as O’neil has a proven track record building solid teams on smallish budgets. I expect him to build his team from the back out like he did with Celtic. He will sort the defense out first then work off that. It may take him 1-2 seasons but hes more than capable of turning them around if he gets a bit of money to spend.

  5. playfantacy says:

    I would be very surprised if Sunderland take the risk of alienating their fans. A lot of their fans turned on Bruce as soon as things got tough because he is a Geordie.

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