Martin O’Neill has once again embarrassed himself.
The failed Sunderland manager (he lasted only 15 months before being sacked in his last club job) coming out with a petulant Alan Shearer insult in attempting to defend one of his players.
Ahead of playing Denmark on Saturday, Martin O’Neill has been talking about Republic of Ireland defender Cyrus Christie.
Fulham were hammered 5-1 at home by Fulham on Sunday and Christie was picked out by a number of pundits for having a particularly bad game.
Alan Shearer was one of those, pointing out how the wing-back consistently failed to get back to help his team, with Arsenal constantly targeting Christie’s side of the pitch.
Martin O’Neill saying that Alan Shearer should have considered what the Fulham manager had told the wing-back to do, before criticising.
That is maybe fair enough but then O’Neill embarrassed himself by suggesting that Alan Shearer’s record as a manager at Newcastle United shines light on the Newcastle legend’s comments.
Martin O’Neill declaring ‘Maybe that is why Alan Shearer only managed seven games (as manager of Newcastle United).’
O’Neill obviously knows that the reality is that Shearer was given an impossible job of eight games (not seven…) to save a rotten Newcastle squad back in 2009 and that it was Mike Ashley who showed a total lack of respect, asking Alan Shearer to draw up a plan to turn Newcastle around and get promotion, then totally ignoring Shearer after he’d done as he was asked.
As to no further management roles, there was plenty interest in Alan Shearer from other clubs, including Blackburn, but you always got the impression that Newcastle was the only job he wanted and so long as Mike Ashley remained at the club, there was no chance of any involvement there in any capacity.
Martin O’Neill is no doubt feeling the pressure after a disastrous run of results with Ireland.
They have won only one of their last six games and they have included a 4-1 hammering by Wales and a 5-1 against Denmark.
“When you play in a wing-back role, the first thing people will now ask you is: ‘What are the manager’s instructions?’
“They are very important and mostly now they ask the wing-backs to stay very, very high up the pitch, and not worry about coming back.
“I have asked Cyrus this – the first thing I thought of when Alan Shearer was having a go: ‘He hasn’t thought this out’.
“Alan Shearer should have prefaced things by saying: ‘I don’t know what the manager has said.’
“Because at the end of the day, the manager has asked him to stay up the pitch and not worry about getting back.
“I don’t think that severe criticism was warranted, that is my view.
“I don’t think everything was down to him and the first thing I thought about when Alan Shearer was saying those things is ‘you should be asking the question.’
“Maybe that is why Alan Shearer only managed seven games (as manager of Newcastle United).
“That might be something to do with it.”
Alan Shearer talking on MOTD 2 on Sunday about Cyrus Christie role in Fulham’s 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal:
“Arsenal identified this weakness which was down Fulham’s right side, particularly Cyrus Christie.
“Time and time again Iwobi, Welbeck got into those areas and dominated in that position.
“And it was Christie constantly going forward, no defending. Look, three v three.
“Watch Christie here, he’s walking. His team are in trouble here, his thought has to be get back and help.
“Look at him on the halfway line there, he jogs, Monreal’s away and all of a sudden he realises it’s too late. Ball into the box, first goal in the back of the net. Punished, cause you’re not thinking defensively. It was so alarming.
“I don’t want to pick on him but that was the side Arsenal looked at and that was the side that Arsenal dominated.”