We all love looking back at some truly awful footballing takes from years gone by, but Martin O’Neill’s statement on Ashley Young way back in 2008 will take some beating for nonsensical opinions.
The now 33-year-old managed to earn all three points for the Villans back in the 2008/09 campaign with two very well-taken strikes against the Toffees, the second of which was truly world-class as O’Neill’s men recorded a 3-2 victory.
That aforementioned strike came with just seconds remaining of the game, moments after Everton thought they had snatched a point late on through Joleon Lescott’s effort, but for Young to race through and finish superbly.
Check out World of Lewis’ Man Utd v Barcelona matchday vlog in the video below…
After the game, O’Neill was asked if Young deserves to be described in the same category as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, to which he replied, per Telegraph: “Yes. In my opinion. I see a lot of games in Europe, I watch a lot of football, and you see a lot of players in the game who are very functional.
“Some are decent, some are more than decent and some are very, very good. And then you have the players who are absolutely exceptional. And Ashley Young is absolutely exceptional.”
The statement was a bit of a stretch to say the least at the time. Despite the match-winning strike on Merseyside, Young finished the season on just nine goals and eleven assists – to compare with the players that O’Neill put in the same category as Young, Messi finished on 38 goals and 18 assists, whilst Ronaldo amassed 26 goals and 12 assists.
The current Nottingham Forest boss’ dreadful opinion has become even more humorous as time has gone by.
On Wednesday night, all three of the aforementioned players were involved in the Champions League quarter-finals; Messi and Young faced off as Barcelona took on Manchester United, whilst Ronaldo went up against Ajax with Juventus.
To show just how far Young has fallen from once being mentioned in the same breath as two of football’s greatest ever players, the England international was stuck at right-back for United, where he was labelled as the ‘worst player on the pitch’ by one of his own fans.
Meanwhile Ashley Young, the experienced 33-year old Man United captain, was the worst player on the pitch tonight.
Every single set piece hitting the first man and lost possession countless times!
Unfortunately with Shaw suspended he has to play the next match…
— FPLConnor (@FPLConnor) April 10, 2019
He has just two goals and three assists to his name this season, whereas Messi has a quite staggering 43 goals and 21 assists – just to emphasise how far Young’s stock has dropped even more, Ronaldo has 25 goals and 12 assists.
Yes, he may have won you the game in the last minute, Martin, but as far as reactionary takes go your opinion on Young has to go down as one of the worst of all time.