As a Sunderland fan I’m nothing more than amazed and gobsmacked at what Martin O’Neill has done in such a short period of time at the club. The turnaround is nothing more than amazing as it’s just one man coming into the club that has changed the fortunes of the Black Cats that, let’s face it, looked under Steve Bruce as a side that was going down.
I was a huge Steve Bruce fan and I backed him until the end which now looks stupid because Martin O’Neill has worked wonders in less than two months where as Bruce had half a season and got nowhere.
From seeing a pathetic Sunderland team under Bruce for the last time lose 1-2 to Wigan at home on the 26th November which has to be one of the lowest moments as a Sunderland fan I’ve had sitting inside the Stadium of Light to then Sunderland’s first away game under O’Neill at the DW Stadium against Wigan on January 2nd and beating them in fantastic fashion 4-1 and I love it but I can’t put my finger on what the guy has.
He’s got a magic touch that has changed all the players moods around and changed them into winners, changed us fans as well, we’re all happy and cheerful now and it’s all down to O’Neill. You see a lot of his old players get asked what is it about him and they say he’s the best manager at man management and really works on the players to get the best out of them. Take Robbie Savage who played under O’Neill at Leicester City who said in an interview ‘At man-management he is the best there is, incredible,’ ‘That is why Martin O’Neill is one of the best. Tactically he would not compare with Arsene Wenger but management is more than just picking a team.’
This is right because picking a team is easy but it’s getting the best out of a player that is the key. Take for example Lee Cattermole the Black Cats captain who has been transformed under O’Neill, he was a player that had bags full of ability but was too reckless and us Sunderland fans would just be counting down the minutes in the game before he got a yellow card or a red card which was sad but we knew it was always coming but now under O’Neill he has completely changed into a new player. The odd yellow card is still there but the recklessness has gone and a much more thinking footballer has come out of him and that’s all down to O’Neill who is taking him under his wing and guiding him.
He’s brought along a new star in James McClean who after being brought in by Steve Bruce and not used is now shining now he is in the starting 11 and in 9 games has shown whatthe new Sunderland is now under O’Neill. He’s reinvented Stephane Sessegnon into a wizard with the ball.
I know a lot of Sunderland fans were calling for us to get a striker in the transfer window but they was no point with the return of Campbell after 18 months he has come back and is firing in goals from anyway. He’s done something no manager has done at Sunderland in a long time and has brought in a Left Back in Wayne Bridge, he’s doing nothing wrong.
A 2-0 win against the impressive Swansea and then two great wins over Norwich and then at Stoke have lifted Sunderland to 8th and calm a form table Barcelona can’t even match. The form table for the last 6 games reads as of me writing this post 1st Tottenham with 13 points, 2nd Sunderland with 13 points, 3rd Manchester United with 13 points which is remarkable form to say the other two are in the title race but I think now under O’Neill Sunderland are getting into a position where they have wanted to be for 20 odd years now and be that mid table top half team.
I am though a realistic Sunderland fan and as others are now yet again dreaming of European football next season and I know in the last few weeks it’s been going great but I know it won’t always be like this but it’s really great at the moment but it can change very easily in football.
O’Neill did great work at Leicester City, Norwich City and Aston Villa until people messed him about and didn’t let him get on with the great job he can do and he left and I hope to god it doesn’t happen with us.
Niall Quinn and Ellis Short have done an unbelievable job at Sunderland and continue to do so but they need to stay out of O’Neill’s way and let him continue to do his thing and let him do whatever he wants to do but within reason, they’ll be a big summer ahead at the club again with comings and goings but times look good now and it’s a great time to be a Sunderland fan.
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