The two have had an irregular relationship following disagreements over O’Neill’s transfer budget for this and next season. It is undetermined whether the Irishman will remain at Villa Park after the summer. The villains seem purely governed by owner Randy Lerner and the club’s chief executive Paul Faulkner, leaving Martin O’Neill to feel unproductive as a ‘manager’.
O’Neill attended Aston Villa’s award night this past Wednesday. He was allocated to sit on the top table, where he had two empty seats placed either side of him. 500 Villa supporters were present to show their tribute and support for this season’s campaign, but the absences of Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner would have increased further apprehension between the two parties. As ‘St. Martin’ sat there contemplating his future, A fan felt the need to cry out the biggest and most important question that everybody involved with the club wants to know:
“Are you staying Martin, or not?”
The astute O’Neill took the microphone and simply replied:
“All I can say is that Randy Lerner has no need to ring Mark Hughes”
O’Neill is known to never give a straight answer, and evidently, didn’t present one back to this fans query. His answer seems to give a strong indication that he wants to stay, but much confusion is still in attendance.
Should O’Neill decide to leave under the current circumstances, he and the fans are uncertain who his replacement would be. The Birmingham based club have reached new heights whilst O’Neill has taken charge. The villains have become more of a respected side in the premier league these days thanks to O’Neill. Season after season they end up in the top half of the table, competing for European competitions, which has cemented their status as Euro-chasers. With this all being said, would it be thoughtless of the owner to get rid of him? Does Lerner see O’Neill as a piece of chewing gum that has lost it’s flavour? Many fans will want this issue resolved sooner rather than later. Fans appear to be pleased with what the Irishman has, and what he currently is doing for the club, so why fix something that appears not to be broken?
No one knows what is fabricating behind the scenes. We don’t know the full story. But it appears to us that O’Neill is the Hero and Lerner is the villain (excuse the pun).
Martin O’Neill did invest heavily last summer and brought in the likes of Stephen Warnock, Richard Dunne, Fabian Delph, and Habib Beye. All these signing were helped with the recuperation of Gareth Barry’s £12 million move to Manchester City.
In January, O’Neil admitted that he had to work with a ‘sell to buy’ policy. With this in mind the Villa boss didn’t add to his squad in the January transfer window.
Aston Villa and O’Neill have had a great season. He managed to lead his side to the carling cup final, as well as see his team reach the F.A. cup semi-finals. Villa also battled long and to try and secure the fourth spot, but failed to achieve this, instead, they will have to settle for the Europa league football next season. Despite all this, the scenario involving the manager and owner would have eclipsed the team’s achievements this season. Instead of noticing the accomplishments of what the team have achieved this year, many will be more concerned about the manager’s future.
O’Neill at some stage will have to craft ‘showdown talks’ with Lerner. Both will need to come to an agreement and clear up the puzzlement that Villa and the fans face at present.
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