Martin O’Neill with Neil Lennon back in the day…
English Premier League club Sunderland have confirmed Martin O’Neill as their new manager.
The former Celtic and Aston Villa boss replaces Steve Bruce who was sacked at the end of November after a string of poor results which has left the club languishing in 16th place in the league.
O’Neill, who has signed a three-year contract, described the appointment as a “big moment” for him. “It’s a very nice feeling to be back in football and to be the manager of Sunderland,” O’Neill said in a statement on the club’s official web site.
“I’d heard about what a good club it was, but coming here, seeing the stadium and training ground, I’ve been bowled over. It’s absolutely fantastic,” O’Neill added.
“I hope I can help Sunderland to very successful period. That’s what I’ve come for and that’s my driving ambition.”
The former Northern Ireland international will officially take charge on Monday, but is expected to be in the stands at Molineux for Sunderland’s game against fellow strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
I’ve always been a fan of Steve Bruce. I think he’s a solid, leading manager. One significant fault – that can afflict any manager with results beyond his control – is that he doesn’t always make the best decisions in who he shifts off to other clubs and who he buys and brings in. Tony Pulis at Stoke City can thank Steve three times over for Kenwynne Jones.
Since I’ve been coming down on the side of Celtic in the Auld Firm Derby since the 1971 season and the first proper football match I ever attended – I have nothing critical to say of Martin O’Neill. Of course I’m such a romantic I’d be as happy to have Roy Keene back.
Aside from that, I make no predictions about today’s match. My wife is a Wolves supporter. 🙂