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Sunderland Club Focus - Form hints at O'Neill trend


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By Roger Domeneghetti

Monday 23 April 2012

Saturday’s goalless draw with Aston Villa means that Sunderland have now drawn a blank in their last four League games. With three matches left and four points needed to finish higher than last season, it’s possible that a run that started so well under Martin O’Neill’s could end in disappointment, especially with Manchester United to visit the Stadium of Light on the final day of the season.



O’Neill’s first 10 games in charge at the Stadium of Light brought 19 points and with a run to the FA Cup quarter finals thrown into the mix, the dark days of the Steve Bruce era seemed behind them. However, Sunderland’s last 11 League games have brought just 11 points which must seem worryingly similar to the 11 points Sunderland got from the first 13 games of the season under Steve Bruce.


All this will no doubt leave some asking: was it all just a false dawn, under the Irishman? Well, no. O’Neill made his name at Leicester lifting the League Cup twice and reaching the final on another occasion. The Foxes also finished in the top ten in all of the four seasons he managed them in the top-flight. Yet each featured runs of exceptional form followed by fallow periods interwoven with strong cup campaigns. What Sunderland are going through is par for the course with the Ulsterman as manager.


In 1996-97, Leicester’s first following promotion, they were ninth after 27 games having gained a healthy 36 points before going on a run of nine without a win that pulled them into relegation trouble. Six points in their last two matches saw them finish 10th. The following season saw them sitting in the heady heights of fourth after 12 games with 21 points (just four off top spot). One win in their next 11 saw them fall to ninth. They eventually finished in 10th, but with six points more than the previous season.


After the first 16 games of O’Neill’s final season in charge Leicester were fifth with 29 points, they them lost five and drew two of the next seven falling to 10th but during that barren run they beat Arsenal in the FA Cup and Fulham in the League Cup. They ended the season lifting the latter trophy and with their best points total under O’Neill.


After a spell with Celtic and a period out of the game, O’Neill returned to the Premier League with Villa and the pattern was repeated. In the 2008/09 season, the club was third after 25 games with 51 points. They then won two of their last 13 to finish 6th. The following season, in which they again finished 6th, Villa were fourth after 18 games but three wins in the next 13 saw them drop to seventh. However, during that poor League run, they reached the FA Cup semi finals and lost the League Cup final – their first final appearance in a decade.


So, what’s all this got to do with Sunderland, I hear you ask? Well, it’s worth noting as it demonstrates that O’Neill’s Midas touch doesn’t come without rough patches – just like the one the Black Cats are going through now.


That said any Sunderland fans grumbling about recent results should look at the alternative. Sixth place must seem like long lost glory days for Villa fans right now, while two years after O’Neill left Leicester the Foxes were relegated.


See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Sunderland v Bolton



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3 Comments


By Bori on 24 July 2012 at 04:17


It won't or shouldn't eeffct your credit rating as long as it is paid back ASAP BUT you need to think about a few things prior to doing a cash advance from a credit card. What is the fee they will charge for the advance? What about the interest rate? How soon will that interest rate hit your charge account?Is it possible to make an arrangement to pay the auto off a day or two later? Normally a slow pay


By Angela on 22 July 2012 at 10:17


Hi Jason,First of all, thanks for the write up. We acprepiate the time you took to test and review Sparkeo. As for your comments, with your permission I would like to reply to them:1) Downloading the video if you have not purchased the video, only the preview is downloaded. Regardless, we have already developed a streaming version of the video player, which we are still tweaking, so soon downloads won't be available at all. This is, of course, to protect our course owners from people stealing their material.2) Copyright we will soon begin manually reviewing videos as they are uploaded, however no payout will be made until we have verified that the person who has uploaded the video actually owns the copyright. If there are problems, we will give those who purchased it their money back.3) Paying for content there actually are a lot of people who are willing and already are paying for content. Sparkeo was created for long and in-depth video courses, not short 5 minute videos that can be found anywhere else. I wouldn't personally buy a 5 minute course that I could find anywhere else, either.4) 1-minute preview thanks for the suggestion. We will look into it and perhaps add it as an additional feature later on.5) Promotion Currently, Sparkeo is not a destination site. This means that, while we provide you with all the social networking tools you would need to promote your video, we aren't the place where people come to find knowledge, at least not yet. We can, however, give you advice on how to promote your videos outside of your social networks.I would be more than happy to answer any more questions you may have. Feel free to email me at talia at sparkeo.com.Thanks again!Talia KleinDirector of Community and Social MediaSparkeo.com


By Paul on 23 April 2012 at 19:17


I think Martin O'Neill is a bit overrated and for some reason the media love him. I mean his spell at Celtic where he did win a good haul of trophies (7) but Alex McLeish won the same number of trophies while Rangers downsizing (not enough given their current issues) and Gordon Strachan managed to get Celtic to the last 16 of the Champions League something with O'Neill couldn't do. At Villa he did spend a lot of money especially on squad players, yes he guided them to 6th in the table but he was spending top 4 money. I think MON is a decent manager and for Sunderland is a big improvement on Steve Bruce, his main strength is installing sprit into a squad but I think the Black Cats owner and/or board need to be strong and set out the spending parameters early, MON can pick up some bargin buys, he did that at Celtic, but if he is handed an open chequebook then, as his time at Villa proved, he can spend a fair bit on fringe players. Thats my two cent at least


 
 

 
  
 

 
 

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