Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Beautiful Game

(Leicester City FC)
Every so often I get requests to blog on something specific, not often but it happens. I recently got a request of sorts from Skuds to blog on how brilliant it is that West Ham have got to the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
Now I am a generous person, so yeah. I am pleased that a fellow blogger has seen this happen to their favourite football team and it is a joyous thing when that happens. I even wish Skuds every success because my own team, Leicester City, has failed to get there. In fact they have a record of getting to the finals and no further :(
Admittedly I haven't been too impressed with them of late, but hey, you stick by your team and we have done well before and we will again. Plus we have a top goalscorer in Mark de Vries and in recent years had a fantastic manager in Martin O Neill until he was lured to Celtic in what is for me the greatest betrayal since Des Lynam swapped BBC Sports for ITV. Thanks Martin :(.
But we clutched victory from the jaws of defeat at the start of the season and we have great days ahead, so for now Skuds, West Ham can go for the greatness it well deserves ;).


Kerron said...

Hey you leave Martin O'Neill alone. He is a great great manager and a wonderful man too.

I remember him very well from his days at Wycombe when he achieved so much with little if any budget, getting them into the Football League and then establishing them as a lower league club.

He could have left many times over to go to a bigger club for greater fame and fortune but he didn't for many years because he was intensely loyal.

I believe he eventually moved to Norwich City and was there paradoxically about a month. I believe that allegedly he claimed the board lied to him about the availability of transfer funs, so as a man of principle he resigned and subsequently took the Leicester City job.

At Leicester, as you know, O'Neill was amazing. A great man manager and motivator, achieving and solidifying Premiership status.

He joined Leicester City F.C. in the second half of the 1995/96 season. He achieved great success at the club, gaining promotion via the play-offs to the Premiership in the same season as joining the club. Leicester finished in the top half of the Premiership in every season O'Neill was manager.

Heck they even won the League Cup!!! In fact they did it twice (1997 & 2000)!

The players he brought in like Matt Elliot, Muzzy Izzett, Neil Lennon and Steve Guppy will all go down in Foxes folklore.

Again he was always tipped for a wide range of magerial vacancies at bigger and arguably more fashionable clubs but he always turned them down to stay at Leicester where the fans loved and appreciated him.

In 2000 - after 5 years of great success and arguably over-achievement for a club of Leicester's size - he chose to go to Celtic. The club where he had had success as a footballer and who he had supported as a kid. I'm surprised you begrudge him that considering what he did for Leicester.

And he only left Celtic in order to look after his sick wife. He is a decent man and a man of principle. And again, it is worth noting, how he transformed Celtic from a side that was deep in the shadow of Rangers at the time with Barnes and Dalglish destroying any semblance of quality football on the pitch. O'Neill turned them not only into winners, but into the established dominant force in Scottish football.

O'Neill is also a great football pundit as he proved on his time on the BBC (I think during the 98 World Cup), very measured and with great insight.

And off the pitch and away from the game, I have heard many people talk of what a kind, lovely, generous and under-stated (even shy) individual he is.

I only wish there were more men like Martin in the world. You leave him alone Mr Burgin! :-/

Paul Burgin said...

You have missed the point, I think O'Neill is brilliant, that's why I feel his loss at Leicester

Skuds said...

Cheers Paul

I'm sure Alan Pardew is, at this very moment, printing out copies of this page to hand out to all his players to spur them on to greatness and end the "25 years of hurt".