Martin O’Neill is a very calm, collected and soft spoken man, however. There was a time when he wanted to “murder” one of his star players.
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Ireland manager O’Neill spoke to Now That’s What I Call Sport’s Jamie Moore following the emotional farewell Wes Hoolahan received from Norwich following his last game having spent ten years at the club. When asked about it O’Neill had this to say.
“He was very popular at Norwich; I know that the crowd always liked him.”
“I think that’s a good sign, through all the trials and tribulations of Norwich over the years that they still found Wes to be a hero over there.”
“I’ve enjoyed working with him; he’s never been a minute’s trouble.”
Martin did however jokingly refer to once or twice when he wanted to murder the Dubliner.
“When he missed a chance against Italy, thankfully he made a cross a few minutes later.”
“Another time he was dribbling and back heeled in our box and he said “awh no I regret that”.
“He was a great character and very popular with the players as well.”
The Ireland boss was asked what he felt about the lack of footballers produced by Ireland over the past few years who are comfortable to get on the ball and play like Wes Hoolahan.
“I believe programmes the FAI is setting up will bare fruits in time.”
“I think there’s a method now in it we are talking about summer camps, the producing of players with ability allowing them to develop their own ability.”
“I’ve great hope for the future of Irish soccer; I’m hoping we’ll be able to produce the likes of Liam Brady, a real driving force like Roy Keane and a Paul McGrath.”
O’Neill was speaking at the Aviva Stadium at the launch of the 2018 Sports Direct FAI Summer Soccer Schools.
Also on this morning’s show were Ireland women’s manager Colin Bell on their World Cup Qualification hopes. Ireland U’17s manager Colin O’Brien following their opening European Championships loss to Belgium and Dublin ladies captain Sinead Aherne ahead of their Lidl National football league final today in Parnell Park as they look to win their first league.
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