Respected Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill’s resignation earlier today was a shocker that few saw coming. And although the coach didn’t list a reason why he was moving on from the EPL side I think it was quite obvious why he in fact is. O’Neill, like most professional football managers, is likely unhappy with his front office’s interest to make money off of the sale of star footballers rather then the notion of spending money to bring in such stars.
And obviously very few managers would dream of coaching for an organization that would likely sell away their best players the week of their first regular season match and especially considering the fact that the team is offering no clear replacement for the star. And for weeks midfielder James Milner has been linked to a Manchester City move and the former coach put up just about every protest he could to keep the player, but in the end it appears he failed at doing so.
But unfortunately during these tough economic times (I hate that saying BTW), most clubs are more concerned with staying out of the red rather then hoisting EPL titles. O’Neill likely left Villa because the side refused to deal for a player of similar value to Milner’s. Having no options of players to quickly improve the club, O’Neill decided to walk on principle alone rather then await poor results down the road.
And O’Neill is the first to go this year despite having a fairly successful stint as manager and despite the fact that the season opens up later this week. And in the business of professional football, managers are replaced as often as a pair of dirty socks. Resigning or firings don’t really matter in this business (either way the coach is gone) and at the end of the day the coach’s relationship with management is even more important then the results you earn on the pitch.
I’ve wrote about the perfect owner-coach relationships before in the past and at the moment few coaches can be too happy withe their current side’s transfer tactics considering only one team in the league is spending money right now. That means plenty of coaches are currently upset at the moment and that includes even top eight worthy clubs like Aston Villa.
There is no real solution for such a dilemma other then to have an excellent developmental program like Everton is renowned for. If the ownership is overly worried about a Portsmouth type of situation to arise then they have every right to sell whoever they want to considering they control the piggy bank. And from the coach’s perspective they want every addition they can make to have a competitive team that is worth watching.
There is no right answer for these franchise conflicts, but the easy way out will always be to force the unhappy manager to leave the building.