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Stoke sack former Newcastle United striker after embarrassment of losing to Sunderland

1 year ago
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Arriving at Newcastle in October 1987, a then 18 year old Michael O’Neill scored 13 goals in 22 First Division games and ended the season as Newcastle’s top scorer.

O’Neill was playing alongside the likes of Gazza and Mirandinha in that first season of football in England.

Injuries then intervened and Michael O’Neill ending up spending the remainder of his playing career elsewhere, however, NUFC fans of a certain age will still wonder what could have been.

A few decades later and after doing a stellar job as Northern Ireland manager, earning him an MBE, Michael O’Neill moved into club management with Stoke City in November 2019.

Now after just short of three years, the former Newcastle United striker finding himself sacked by Stoke City.

The opening five games of the season producing only four points and Michael O’Neill getting the boot after the final embarrassment of losing to Sunderland at the weekend.

After finishing fourteenth last season, Dwight Gayle was one of the signings made this summer as Stoke City look to escape the Championship.

However, Gayle with no goals in the first four Championship matches, found himself dropped at the weekend, given the final 30 minutes off the bench as Michael O’Neill tried to get Stoke back into the game after the Mackems scored just before the break.

Good luck to Michael O’Neill now, wherever he ends up.

Meanwhile, Stoke City and Dwight Gayle find themselves fourth bottom of the Championship and awaiting the appointment of the new team boss.

An interesting ongoing situation at the club is that they have seriously wealthy owners, who are also fans, who have already invested serious money into Stoke City over a number of years and would spend an awful lot more, but FFP restrictions seriously curbing the spending they would like to make on the team / squad.

Stoke City official announcement – 25 August 2022:

‘Stoke City can confirm that manager Michael O’Neill has left the Club.

Joint Chairman John Coates said: “Michael joined us in November 2019 when the Club was in a difficult situation and the job he did in stabilising our position in the Championship should not be underestimated.

“Michael has worked tirelessly and with extreme professionalism, in particular in reshaping our squad and developing young players, but we feel the time is right to move in a different direction. I would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him every success for the future.”

Assistant manager Dean Holden will take interim charge of the first-team.

The Club has begun the process of appointing a new manager and will be making no further comment at this time.’

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