Not Good Enough

“You would have to say now there won’t be much of a threat from us to Arsenal’s position,” said O’Neill. “It’s no fluke that the top four are where they are and we are in a dip right now. We are not as strong as those four clubs. I have said it many times before and I will say it again – we still have a lot of catching up to do. It is still reachable as Arsenal have many tough games to come. But they are getting some of their injured players back and it’s going to be very, very tough.”

Nothing is said and done yet but to read the preceding makes me feel like maybe I do know what I’m talking about. I all but guaranteed that we would get our act together and overtake Villa. Many Gooners doubted me. I won’t get carried away but speaking frankly, I humbly say that it didn’t take a genius to realize that:

1. O’Neill’s men would be riding on fumes sooner or later with such a small squad, and get this, NO PLAN B. Does that sound familiar?
2. Arsenal have more experienced yet even younger players. Many of whom have been down this road before. Villa haven’t.
3. Martin O’Neill is not a top manager, he is a pretender. Which of the top four EPL clubs would hire him tomorrow if they needed a manager?

The man’s approach was always going to leave room for questions. In a league that is so demanding physically, a stronger bench and the proverbial Plan B are almost mandatory for the type of success Villa are trying to achieve.

The wave of anti Wenger policies will not die until this current group of players win a major trophy but they are experienced enough to face the challenge of finishing fourth. At the time of writing, they’ve at least ensured that their fate (as far as fourth place goes) is in their hands. I wouldn’t bet against finishing higher. Time will tell.

Success in the SPL is not necessarily a guarantee of success in the more demanding and certainly more competitive EPL. I hear doubts from Villa fans now even about finishing fifth. Judging by Martin O’Neill’s body language after the trashing at Anfield last Sunday (certainly a stark contrast to that joyful leap after Zat Knight equalized against us at Villa Park), I understand their doubt.

I’m sure Mr. O’Neill is good at what he does but I am not sure if he is good enough.


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