On Days Like These: The Incredible Autobiography of a Football Legend

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On Days Like These: The Incredible Autobiography of a Football Legend

On Days Like These: The Incredible Autobiography of a Football Legend

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O’Neill remains youthful in body and mind. If his days in the dugout are indeed over, he quite rightly refuses to fully concede as much. “Could I manage at the top level? I don’t think those things leave you. The spirit, the determination, the passion and drive … My last breath on this earth is when those things will leave me.” Billy Bingham made O’Neill the first Catholic captain of Northern Ireland, which represented a seriously bold move in the early 1980s. “Billy said: ‘We get the results, everything will take care of itself,”” O’Neill recalls. “As it did. Unfortunately for the decision-makers at Forest, it is nearly 25 years since O’Neill had that golden period at Leicester City where he transformed a second-tier side into one that secured four top-10 finishes in the Premier League and reached three League Cup finals, winning two. O’Neill subsequently won seven trophies with Celtic, as well as reaching a Uefa Cup final, and was talked about for a long time as the best qualified man to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Martin O’Neill’s long-awaited Pan Macmillan to publish Martin O’Neill’s long-awaited

Martin recognises that his days at Leicester City, where he won the League Cup, happened around a half a mile away from the club’c current home at Filbert Street. Martin might choose to post his next video from The City Ground in Nottingham, or even Villa Park where he did much better than their recent boss to say the least. He might even make the short hop across the Irish Sea to Dublin where he managed the Republic or up to Belfast where he played for the six counties. Some had made it clear behind the scenes that they did not enjoy working with him and that the atmosphere had deteriorated to the point they held little hope of it being a successful season. But most of all he should head to Paradise, home of the Scottish Champions and where his work as a football manager is most appreciated. The flaw in that argument was that Guedioura had been left out of Algeria’s squad for their games against the Gambia and Tunisia. O’Neill was livid. There was a dressing-room confrontation and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Guedioura did not start another game for the two-times European Cup winner.As he takes you through this momentous journey, it’s not difficult to be impressed with everything that he has achieved and it seems that he has done it with minimal collateral damage. So often you see public figures climb to the top of the mountain stepping on people as they go but O’Neils generous and warm personality makes for a winning account of triumph over adversity when facing very difficult odds.

Martin O’Neill: ‘I deserved criticism. But it was an absolute

And he will continue. “Working intuitively allows him to spot potential combinations, recognizing and then capitalizing on serendipity and the element of chance. While the final choices are informed by assiduously honed design skills.The only disappointment was that as his career progresses, particularly into management in the premiership, he doesn’t go into more depth when describing many of the characters in the dressing room, the make-up of the club and the characters involved. I just really felt like I wanted more from this period. This is a tidy little book, it charts the progress of a man who I am sure will be fondly remembered as a football genius by my generation. Early on, I would have taken a bit of criticism but not nearly as much as Billy for making the choice. He never told me about it, he never said it bothered him. He was prepared to go for it when for an easier life he could have bypassed me.” O’Neill made it clear before taking the job that he regarded it as unfair to be branded a “dinosaur” and, to give him his due, he experimented with various formations since inheriting the team. Again, though, the style of play has not always been pleasing on the eye.



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