Bruce’s Banter silenced, let’s hear it for O’Neill On Us

Welcome Martin O’Neill. The new manager of Sunderland AFC takes charge with an enormous fund of goodwill from, at a guess, the overwhelming majority of supporters. As results continued to disappoint, Steve Bruce’s post-match e-mails became one of the rods with which he was beaten. Bruce’s Banter has been seen here for the last time. We must wait to see whether O’Neill On Us* – look on it as O’Neill’s Onus if you prefer – is as regular a feature …

So, the new managerial reign begins with the briefest of statements from the incoming boss.

“It’s a very nice feeling to be back in football and to be the manager of Sunderland. It’s a big moment for me. I’d heard about what a good club it was but coming here, seeing the stadium and training ground, I’ve been bowled over. It’s absolutely fantastic.

I hope I can help Sunderland to very successful period. That’s what I’ve come for and that’s my driving ambition.”

O’Neill took Wycombe Wanderers from the Football Conference to the third tier of English football in successive seasons, briefly managed Norwich City and then won promotion to the Premier League as the boss of Leicester City.

Remember that Leicester won the League Cup twice (1997 and 2000) and finishing runners-up in a third final (1999) and also enjoyed four consecutive top 10 finishes.

Moving to Celtic, he achieved the domestic treble in his first season, won three titles in the two-club Scottish Premier, qualified three times for the Champions’ League and reached the 2003 UEFA Cup Final.

At Aston Villa, he led his team to three sixth top finishes running and one League Cup final (as runners up).

On any reckoning, and despite the falling out with Randy Lerner that seems to have prompted his resignation from Villa, it is a highly impressive managerial record.

Salut! Sunderland cared relatively little about the Geordie background of Steve Bruce but judged him on what he did well – his 10th top finish last season deserved recognition despite the serious decline in form that had followed the inexplicable Darren Bent saga – and where he went wrong.

Similarly, we read less than many into the “boyhood Sunderland supporter” line. Everyone in Northern Ireland who likes football selects an English football club to follow, having first made the tribal choice between Rangers and Celtic. His affection for us may have been deeper than that; his achievements for us will matter a whole lot more.

Colin Randall

* Come up with a better name for Martin O’Neill’s sayings and if M Salut agrees with you, he will send you a Salut! Sunderland mug. Already considered and ruled out: O’Neill Opines (twee); O’Neill Outpourings (arguably too negative), O’Neill Oh Yes (arguably too positive). Your suggestion need not be alliterative.

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19 Responses to “Bruce’s Banter silenced, let’s hear it for O’Neill On Us” Subscribe

  1. Bill Taylor December 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    As I said on said on Salut’s week: O’Neill’s O’Natterings. Or perhaps simply Hindsight.

  2. Rob December 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Martin’s musings would suffice.

    Martin O’Neill is potentially the best Sunderland managerial appointment in my lifetime.

    The little maestro has already struck the first blow. His official appointment today was timed to coincide with half time at Sports Direct Arena, sparking a monochrome capitulation and injury hex which descended upon the fortress of darkness.


    Rob, aged 47 and three quarters (ish),

  3. 333 December 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    O’Neill’s Third Eye View
    O’neill’s obligatory, obscure, observations. . . something observations.
    O’Neill’s perspective/shout, . . . omniscience. . . :s



    “O’Neill’s Opinion” Simple enough.

  4. malcolm December 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Martin’s Mackems’ Message!

  5. Jeremy December 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    It’s a wonderful appointment. There is not a question mark over Martin O’Neill’s calibre. He doesn’t fail as a manager anywhere he goes. Rob’s post is spot on. There aren’t even blemishes on his record. He’s a thinking man who is able to translate what he wants to the field effectively. Unlike his predecessor who didn’t seem to have anything effective to translate to his players at all. After a lifetime of supporting this club, whilst I welcome this appointment hugely, and in fact I’m delighted by it, I am also very guarded with my optimism.

    I wisht they would just give up with the emails to be honest!

    Jeremy (50 and 11/12s).

  6. mark1972 December 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    im not at all happy why the new appointment of Martin o’ Neil his style of football is awful on the eye as Sunderland fans will soon find out’ gutted desperately wanted moyes

  7. Alan December 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    A good saying can be called MARTINS HELM coz that’s where he is now let’s get going and get behind the lads and kick start a new SAFC and a fear of us let’s make the SOL a fortress and the best of luck Martin you are the chosen one put yr skills to work

  8. Michael December 4, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    A Moment with MoN!

  9. CSB December 4, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    What about ‘Martins O’Mail’

  10. CSB December 4, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Great appointment by the way, this could prove to be a watershed moment, oh god here comes the Hope again.

    Ha Way the Lads at Wolves

  11. hilary December 4, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Martin’s Musings-suggests the antithesis of Bruce’s Banter, which could be a good thing.

    Like Jeremy, I am delighted and feel that there is a dignity and gravitas about O’Neill, which enhances the the staus of the Club’s. However, I also agree that we must contain our expectations to some extent. It worries me that people will expect too much too soon, Although Short, very wisely spoke about O’Neill establishing us in the top ten while he was here-which sounds a realistic and resonable aspiration.

  12. hilary December 4, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    status of the Club

  13. Ken Gambles December 4, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Instead of Bruce’s Banter, perhaps (one for M.Salut) Ho Ho de Neill.It fits in with Niall and would give us a flood of words every year.
    Alternatively,( I doubt whether this has wings) How’s Martin and if we have lost, possibly Pine Marten. Oh dear I’ll leave it there.

  14. CSB December 4, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Hilary’s right about expectations, I think what we all want is for MON to establish a sound base over the next two seasons which will give us the required foundations and potential to build something for the future.

    Instant success will not materialise, but an improvemnt in playing standard and league position should be achievable, together with a healthy turn out at the SOL.

    Being stuck in the Arabian desert, I had no intention of undertaking the 500KM round trip to get toJjeddah and the internet to watch the game, but once the news of MON’s appointment filtered through I have indeed undertaken the 12 hour round trip. This is the kind of uplift we want for all supporters and playing staff.

    The response on the pitch today should be interesting.

  15. Barry December 5, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    The O’Neill Ordeal

    a little pessimistic, (and inaccurate if he enjoys the 90 minutes) but it sounds great 😀

  16. Phil Johnson December 5, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Martin’s match report?

  17. hilary December 5, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Heart to heart with Mart. Only joking !

  18. Joan December 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    O’Neill’s Spiel … or should it be PR Prattle?

  19. Barry December 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    O’Neill’s Spiel

    The O’Neill Spiel

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