O’Neil – Watch Out For Newcastle Next Season

Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill believes Newcastle could be challenging for Europe next season.


Martin O’Neil – watch out for Newcastle

The Irishman has today warned that Aston Villa need to add more quality to the squad this season, just to avoid going backwards after two seasons of very good progress at the club.

Villa are still challenging for a UEFA Cup place going into the final game of the season, and that will depend a lot on how Everton do against Newcastle at Goodison on Sunday.

But O’Neill is very aware that Villa just cannot afford to stand still, and that the club has to invest in new players for next season. We agree with him there.

So what did Martin actually say about his competition?

Here’s the comment from the former Celtic and Leicester City boss:

“We’re trying to progress and we have got to do it otherwise we wouldn’t just stand still, we would probably regress.”

“There’s no standing still in Premier League football because there’s always someone looking over your shoulder.”

“Look at the sides next season that have got this driving ambition.”

“Tottenham Hotspur have just spent £16-18m on a young kid (Modric) who has never sampled the Premier League!”

“He looks a really good player, so they’re showing their intentions.”

“Newcastle will want to compete, and Sunderland are averaging 43,000 gates, so it’s going to be even tougher next year.”

Yes we know, Martin also mentioned Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur.

But this is a web-site on Newcastle United and we can hardly have that comment about Sunderland in the headline now, can we! 😀

Actually we think Keane is a great manager for Sunderland, and he seems so much calmer and more likable a character than when he played. He’s a really interesting guy to listen to, and talks an awful lot of sense about football – much like Kevin.

And we think Sunderland will do a lot better than last year, but we also think Newcastle can move faster – and Kevin has already said 5th place is the target for next year.

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • michael

    May 9, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #1

    If he’s really serious about challenging next year he’d best not sell Gareth Barry then. Something that Newcastle need to aboid also. If we are to move forward we can’t allow the top 4 to cherry pick our players. If Berbatov, Michah Richards, Gareth Barry and that all get moves to the top 4 there is no way any club will break their monopoly on the CL.

  • ObaFan2

    May 9, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #2

    I see also Everton believe it will be an easy victory on Sunday for them….. Howard Kendall in their Liverpool Echo.

    Can’t see it myself but this is basically what they say:

    “THERE may be a few nerves ahead of Sunday’s tussle with Newcastle United, but judging by their display against Chelsea this week, any anxieties should be quickly dispelled.

    Everton need to win desperately, Newcastle haven’t got anything to play for, while behind the scenes they look anything but a stable club, so the only outcome I see to all that is a comfortable home win.”

    hmmmm lets prove them wrong !!

    O’Neil has been a good manager in his time and again he’s doing well at Villa but they could lose their best player in Barry this summer.

  • Eric

    May 9, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #3

    Do many realise that when Alan Smith signed for us he was offered numbers 8, 12 0r 15 for his shirt. He chose 17 because it was his old Leeds number. What sort of mentality is that? Who does he really want to play for? As for O’Neil – he also turned us down did he not. Am not quite sure. No good him looking over his shoulder because next season we won’t be behind Villa.

  • ronaldeano

    May 9, 2008 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #4

    If Villa sell Gareth Barry they will go backwards and finish mid table or lower next season. He is thair key player, they would be daft to let him go

  • Leo

    May 9, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #5

    why did he have to mention sunderland in the same breath as newcastle made me feel a bit ill

  • marosh

    May 9, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #6

    Dont know if he turned us down. I think that in that Fat Fred decided to stick with Roeder and we didnt approach O’Neill. I wanted him to be our manager that time.

  • Lawman

    May 9, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #7

    even if he did turn us down, i don’t blame him. he probly didn’t see nufc going anywhere under fat fred.

    O’Neils a great manager. much better than fatsam and roeder. Transformed Villa quietly and steadily since he got there. No MAJOR signings (i think Young @ £9m was his biggest expenditure) but like KK, he seems to be able to get players wanting to play for him, just as he did at Celtic.

    Hate to say it but for a young manager, Keane is also fantastic. Took over Sunderland in a relegation place, took them up the Championship league and eventually winning it in his first attempt. Now he’s also kept Sunderland in the Premiership after being promoted – something even experienced managers have failed to do (Neil Warnock).

  • John

    May 9, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #8

    lawman are you a mackem

  • marosh

    May 9, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #9

    Lets hope that KK will be here for some time (+- 5 years) and then we will have our own young fantastic manager (Shearer). I hope he will be as good manager as he was player. But I’d like him to gain some experience first.

  • Hamas (51times)

    May 9, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #10

    Look at how much he spent though. And they’re still an average side…money makes the football world go round.

  • Lawman

    May 9, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #11

    hahaha… hell no John!!!! Just giving credit where credit’s due! You can’t say it not a great achievement by Keane right?

  • HeronMag

    May 9, 2008 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #12

    Keegan got 3rd place first time out in the Premiership. Absolute legend!

  • james

    May 9, 2008 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #13

    @ Eric

    “Do many realise that when Alan Smith signed for us he was offered numbers 8, 12 0r 15 for his shirt. He chose 17 because it was his old Leeds number.”

    What on Earth does that have to do with anything? He could just be superstitous and remembers that his best career moments were had at Leeds. It could just be ’cause he feels the number is part of his identity as a footballer. He’s not the only player to use a certain number because he used it at another club. Anelka uses 39 for whatever reason, John Terry 26.

    If you’re gonna call Alan Smith anything, it shouldn’t be that he hasn’t got passion. He has plenty of it. I’m sure Keegan himself would tell you that off the training ground.

  • Truth&Justice

    May 9, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #14

    Ed man, calm down; “O’Neil – Watch Out For Newcastle Next Season”; that’s not what he said at all. You’ll get all the kids excited over nothing. You just need to accept that sometimes there’s ‘nothing to report’ instead of making it up as you go along.

  • Eamonn

    May 9, 2008 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #15

    I still play myself and I have a fondness for the 13 shirt, don’t know why really. So I wouldn’t criticise Alan Smith wanting to use 17 like at leeds , plenty of other players do the same (Ballack comes to mind , he uses good ol 13 for Germany & Chelski)
    Basically I’m tired of fans on this site slagging off Alan Smith, he’s become a real whipping boy/scapegoat for us. I think Smith is a model pro who gives 100% every game and has sacraficed his career by diluting his role from striker to midfield. Give him a break, he’s a good lad who’s heart is in the right place and I’m sure Keegan will get more from him next season.

  • Danish_Magpie

    May 9, 2008 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #16

    The numbers thing is funny… Tobias Grahn who used to play in Denmark and is now in La Liga used to prefer playing in #10 in the reserves than in another number in the first-team…

    Similarly Thiago of Esbjerg refused to sign unless he was given the #10 shirt. He was 16 at the time and has been playing junior football for two seasons and is now finally breaking into the first team.. 🙂


    May 9, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #17

    MONs comments should be taken into consideration only when reviewing the EPL table as it stands. For Villa, 3 points behind Everton and both on 20 goal difference. Its simple mind games, perhaps hoping we can do them a favour by getting a result against Everton so Villa can finish Fifth, a position which is fast becoming champions of the Mini Premierleague.

  • Petworth Mag

    May 9, 2008 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #18

    If the Spuds beat us to McGeady I’m signing off for the summer!

    Of all the types we should be able to convince to move to Newcastle it should be blinkin Scot!

  • Newcastle United.

    May 9, 2008 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #19

    Divint give Sun’lun or Keane compliments man.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    May 9, 2008 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #20

    Aston Villa might lose Barry this summer- I’ve been saying for us to sign Gareth Barry for years!!!!!!! Now all of a sudden everyone wants him just because he has appeared a couple of times for England! FFS he hasn’t improved he is just as good now as he was before! He has always been one of the most consistent and under-rated players in the EPL. It pisses me off to know that now after years of me trying to get fans to realize how good he is we are now going to miss out on his signature. If only the word would have spread when i had been mentioning it ages ago. He is just what we need as replacement for Butt, but sadly we are probably going to miss out on his signature to the likes of the “Top 4”!!

  • Whitt

    May 9, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #21

    McGeady’s Irish

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    May 9, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #22

    Petworth Mag- I am with ya man! If Tottenham Hotsperms get their hands on Aiden McGeady I am going to flip! It is getting increasingly frustrating that every time we have been eying a player Hotsperms always seem to be sticking their nose in. They robbed us of Woodgate and Modric ( The Modric saga left me in shambles for a week!) and now they want McGeady also WTF!

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar

    May 9, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #23

    I am really starting to dislike Tottenham Hotsperms! They are our biggest threat for 5th spot in the league. We should do our very best to thrash them every time we play them just like we did last time 😀 hahaha that match was the best all season for many reasons. Next season will be very interesting but I believe we are much better than the over-hyped Hotsperms!

  • craig chisholm

    May 10, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #24

    i dont think we will be challaenging for dick next season unless mort gets his finger out his anus and ties down owen and taylor plus harper too…….is it my imagination or did we fair better with him in goal than given this time round?? so we need to keep what we have already got before we go about buying more in. i would love it if we go to a 4-4-2 attacking with zogs given the left flank on a permenant basis. i would like to see SWP brought in or lennon to challenge milner and up front i would like to see crouch instead of viduka, with owen/marins playing off him. i think that the three up front has worked for this short period but a more balanced attacking formation is the 4-4-2, using width as much as possible. iwould keep barton in mid field nad look for another seriously gifted play maker to play alongside him. Get something like that going on and yes i reckon we could be bouncing around top six all the time.
    as for roy keane…….cant stand the fella,hate manure and i hate sunderland with a passion. it was great when keano swung a punch at shearer and got sent off wasnt it. i think we won that 3-2, i it happened right in front of me, class. shearer never stopped smiling at keano the whole time.

  • clinta

    May 10, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #25

    I respect Oneill more than most as a manager and was gutted when he went to the villians as I thought we should of got him after his rest after the celtic job, actually if we had him in place instead of the muppets since i think we would be in a very good position as a football club, a better position than KK will ever get us in again.

    but i guess most of you will dis agree with that one.


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