Daniel McDonnell joined Joe Molloy on The Football Show to discuss Martin O'Neill.
Martin O'Neill has a new book out.
And in that book he does not appear to be very complimentary of his time in Ireland as Republic of Ireland manager. O'Neill is also giving interviews to different media members and in one of those interviews he suggested he was always an outsider in Ireland.
O'Neill says that he was seen as a Northerner rather than accepted as part of the team.
For a country that idolizes Jack Charlton, it's a rather peculiar concept to even suggest. Especially since Martin O'Neill was a beloved figure by many Celtic fans across the country. That was before he ever became Ireland manager.
Journalist Daniel McDonnell covered O'Neill's tenure with Ireland.
"I think context is important here," McDonnell said.
"The Stephen Beacom piece is actually a Belfast Telegraph interview. And the context for that is the Northern Ireland job was a separate piece, the Northern Ireland job was up at that moment. He was asked about that. And he played his international football for Northern Ireland.
"He wasn't ruling himself out of being interested in the job...is there an element of asserting the other side of your identity for that audience?"
O'Neill lost fans in Ireland for many reasons. He carried on Giovanni Trapattoni's favourite past time, belittling Irish football and condemning the quality of the players. He also mimicked Trapattoni's negative tactics more often than not.
But as the face of the team, O'Neill really hurt himself in interviews. He was combative, closed-off and often rude to those asking him questions.
"I covered the Martin O'Neill era from start to finish. I'm not here to defend how the media treated him, but certainly in my world him being a Northerner was never a thing. And I don't recall it ever being a discussion point or a flash point in any way.
"This concept of him being an outsider, I don't really get that vibe at all.
"I'd imagine he has people in his mind when he's talking about this. I'd love to know who they are. Maybe we're not listening and hearing everything. Maybe he was told some comments from somewhere that might lead you to believe that. But I certainly didn't."
O'Neill might still be looking for manager jobs at 70 years of age. If he is, these interviews and the book don't suggest he's changed his style. But that style might be what someone is looking for. And it's not likely to be a team in Ireland or a job with the FAI, so he's not concerned about burning those bridges.
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