Last Friday Martin O’Neill was relieved of his managerial duties at Nottingham Forest after just five months in charge
His assistant coach Roy Keane left just days earlier with O’Neill saying at the time that he had absolutely no problem with it and that he thought that… “Roy always wanted to go back into management himself and I think he wanted to be his own man . . . we’ve had a really great time.”
When O’Neill and Keane took over at Forest, the club was eighth in the Championship, just four points adrift of the playoff places for promotion to the Premier League. However after winning just eight of the remaining 19 games, drawing three and losing eight, they finished the campaign in the same position, eight points short of making the playoffs. So it probably shouldn’t big a big surprise that duo are out.
According to several reports, O’Neill lost the dressing room and the club took action after some of the senior players delivered an “overwhelmingly negative” appraisal of his management. It came to a head in the first pre season training because of his poor relationship with a significant number of key players, their failure to embrace the former Republic of Ireland manager and, in some cases, a loss of respect and discipline. However Nott’s Forest players have made a habit of complaining about managers over the last twenty years as they played on the periphery of the Premier League after Brian Cloughs eighteen year tenure.
O’Neill was recruited by Nott’s Forest Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis because of his impressive list of achievements that made him one of the most successful British managers of all time; however it’s been over fourteen years since he last won any silverware in the sport. Celtic was his last successful reign but that is a lifetime ago in footballing terms. It is such a shame to his see decline in the sport and nothing could be more scathing than the very short statement released by Nott’s Forest on his departure which read;
“Nottingham Forest can confirm that manager Martin O’Neill has left the club. The club would like to thank Martin for all his efforts during his time at The City Ground and wish him well for the future.” As a further kick in the teeth Nott’s Forest also announced his successor Sabri Lamouchi just seventeen minutes later.
It remains to be seen what Martin O’Neill’s next move will be, but one thing is for sure this man knows football so don’t rule out a career in punditry!
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