Martin O’Neill Will Stay!

Should Martin O’Neill stay or go?

MON In Or Out?
Well he has agreed a new contract and will always point to his record of only four competitive defeats during his reign. From a footballing perspective, Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign hasn’t been a great watch overall but we’ve managed to get some big results at key times particularly in the Wales game last month.

I still don’t change my mindset after the weekend over in Copenhagen. I didn’t necessarily see a brilliant side and I understand the way the second half went by becoming open because we were chasing the game.

The five goals Denmark scored probably wasn’t a true reflection on the game. To lose so badly in such a big game and the level of criticism Martin is receiving means we’re led to believe that there are question marks over his position as manager.

With him agreeing a new contract recently, I can’t see anything other than him staying on because that contract has actually already been agreed.

I think it’s fair to say of course we don’t have the calibre of players that some of the other nations have that we come up against. That’s plainly obvious. In Dublin O’Neill opened the team up a bit and he went for it. He went to try and go and press the game. He was looking for the team to be better on the ball and a bit more adventurous.

Basic Errors
You can’t get away from the fact that it was two basic errors that allowed Denmark to first of all get back into the game and then get in front in the latter stages of the first half. A manager doesn’t tell the team to go out and defend the way that we did on both occasions and give the ball away the way that we did that led to the second goal. Yet, for all that, the manager will always get the criticism and take the brunt of it.

If O’Neill does see a number of players retire, where are all this next crop going to come from?

We’ve got a huge void in playing experience for the lads that are below the senior squad.

Derby Delight
I’m looking forward to Arsenal v Tottenham on Saturday. It’s always extra special when you play in these derbies. I absolutely loved playing in derbies, the Merseyside derby, the North-East derby and the Black Country derby between Wolves and West Brom was always a brilliant one to play in.

It was the edginess around the week, talking to the supporters and even when I had just signed for a club the fans would want to talk about the derbies even though they could be four or five months later. You cannot compete with a derby atmosphere. It’s so different to a normal game.

The North London derby has always produced lots of goals which makes it extra special. Arsenal’s home form has been excellent but I think we’ve seen a different Tottenham side. Their away form has been superb. Tottenham will go there full of confidence knowing that they are a side that can open up Arsenal. They are so good going forward.

It won’t be one of those performances we may have seen from Tottenham teams maybe ten or fifteen years ago that would open themselves up. Now we’re seeing a side with real belief that they can go and compete with the very best in Europe, not just the Premier League. I think they will win well.