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20 August 2006

O'Neill and Warnock Liven Up The Premiership

It hardly needs me to say that Premiership footballers are not the brighest of people. Their interviews are frequently the barely articulate ramblings of confused minds.

Thankfully, managers at the top level tend to be a lot more articulate and brighter than their charges. Granted there's one or two Glenn Hoddles, but for the most part, they seem a fairly intelligent bunch.

In recent years, though, Premiership managers have become a dull, predictable lot (Jose Mourinho excepted). Who really wants to listen to Glenn Roeder, Rafa Benitez or Chris Coleman mouthing the same platitudes every week?

Not me, that's for damn sure.

So, it is with great pleasure I welcome Martin O'Neill and Sheffield United's Neil Warnock to the Premiership.

How many managers other than O'Neill would
say this after a very creditable 1-1 draw away to Arsenal:

"I cannot do anything about the expectation but we are not going to become a really decent team overnight."

O'Neill's combination of disarming honest, wit and intelligence will liven up the Premiership this season and, if he can get dull old Villa playing some decent football, that would be a bonus.

Warnock, on the other hand, is just the kind of passionate, old fashioned manager that the Premiership is lacking. Off the field, he is charming and witty and totally unafraid to say what he thinks.

Commenting on Sheffield United went 1-0 up in the first game of the season, he observed:

"Hey, I was top of the Premier League there for a few minutes, which was great. That's something to tell the family..."

On the pitch, he is just as unafraid to say what he thinks, scream at referees, players, random passers-by, anyone who he thinks is doing his team down. That might explain why he is starting the 2006-2007 Premiership season with a two match touchline ban.

Whatever your views of each man, they are sure to make this season's football more entertaining and for that should be saluted.


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