Skip to content

Enough’s enough: Sunderland sack manager Martin O’Neill

Mar 30, 2013, 6:16 PM EST

Sunderland v Norwich City - Premier League Getty Images

Two-and-half months without a win and meant Saturday’s inept performance cost Martin O’Neill his job. Just over one year after the former Leicester City, Celtic, and Aston Villa man replaced Steve Bruce at the Stadium of Light, the Northern Irishman is out, the club having relieved him of his responsibilities on Saturday night.

The announcement was made via the club’s website:

The club has parted company with manager Martin O’Neill.

Sunderland AFC has announced that it has parted company with manager Martin O’Neill this evening.

The club would like to place on record its thanks to Martin and wishes him well for the future.

An announcement will be made in the coming days regarding a successor.

The Black Cats hadn’t won a game since their 3-2 victory at Wigan on Jan. 19. In the eight matches that’ve followed, Sunderland collected five goals and three points while falling to 16th in the Premier League.

With 31 points, O’Neill team was only one point above the drop. Their 33 goals scored ranked 16th in the league, while only two teams (Queens Park Rangers, Reading) had won fewer games.

For a club with Sunderland’s resources, it’s an indefensible position to be in, especially consider O’Neill was given the power to reshape the team as he wished. The result was one of the most pedestrian brands of soccer in the league – a squad that played like a caricature of pre-Premier League-era soccer. Conservative, cynical, and consistently disappointing, O’Neill’s product gave his employers no recourse.

His project wasn’t designed with long-term goals. The short-term results weren’t improving. The team wasn’t subject to any particular bad luck, and the manager wasn’t lacking for resources. There was no reason to keep O’Neill after a reputation-redefining spell.

With their Premier League survival at stake, Sunderland had to make a move. Even if they can’t find somebody with O’Neill’s CV, change for change’s sake is justified.

Latest Posts
  1. Jonny Evans to fight spitting charge in trial, Papiss Cisse accepts allegation

    Mar 6, 2015, 6:10 PM EST

    Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    Jonny Evans will contest the FA charge against him for spitting at Newcastle United forward Papiss Cisse, who has already accepted a seven-game ban for the incident.

  2. LA Galaxy add former PSV midfielder Mika Vayrynen

    Mar 6, 2015, 5:25 PM EST

    745142_w2 Getty Images

    LA Galaxy fill an international roster spot with the addition of Finland’s Mika Vayrynen.

  3. Five storylines heading into FA Cup quarterfinals

    Mar 6, 2015, 4:50 PM EST

    BradfordCity Getty Images

    Storylines from the FA Cup, with the quarterfinals taking place over the next few days.

  4. Premier League Preview: QPR vs. Tottenham Hotspur

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:45 PM EST

    Nacer Chadli AP

    Preview of QPR v. Tottenham on Saturday.

  5. Who is the most underrated player in MLS? MLS stars weigh in, but who’s your pick?

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:14 PM EST

    Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC

    Every team has one — or two, or three — guys that don’t get the credit they deserve. Who’s the MOST underrated player in MLS?

  6. Brazilian legend Ronaldo dismisses “nonsense” rumors (that he started) of comeback in NASL

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:22 PM EST

    Ronaldo, Fort Lauderdale Strikers Ronaldo, Fort Lauderdale Strikers

    Can it really be considered a “rumor” if you’re the one who said it first? Either way, no comeback for Il Fenomeno.

  7. USWNT 3-0 Switzerland: Morgan, Rodriguez, Wambach rescue USA at Algarve Cup

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:00 PM EST

    Abby Wambach, USWNT Getty Images

    It wasn’t pretty until late, but three points is three points. Improvement still needed before the World Cup.

  8. Louis van Gaal: I “have a very bad relationship” with Ryan Giggs — just kidding!

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:49 AM EST

    Ryan Giggs & Louis van Gaal, Manchester United FC Ryan Giggs & Louis van Gaal, Manchester United FC

    LVG is tired of your faux-controversies, British press. So much so he’s resorted to going along with them.

  9. FIFA Women’s PotY Nadine Kessler needs knee operation, could miss 2015 World Cup

    Mar 6, 2015, 10:38 AM EST

    Nadine Kessler, Germany Nadine Kessler, Germany

    A bitter blow for last year’s world’s best women’s player. An advantage to the rest of the field.

  10. MLS Week 1 preview: Sounders vs. Revs, Timbers vs. RSL headline First Kick weekend

    Mar 6, 2015, 9:52 AM EST

    Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders Getty Images

    Picking which six MLS games to watch this weekend was going to be really tough, so we did the dirty work for you.

  11. FA Cup preview: Wembley trips on the line as Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool shoot for semis

    Mar 6, 2015, 8:22 AM EST

    Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC Getty Images

    Man United haven’t won the FA Cup since 2004. Is this finally their year?

  12. PHOTOS: 2015 MLS jerseys have been unveiled — Which is the best? Worst?

    Mar 5, 2015, 10:22 PM EST

    MLS logo MLS logo

    Because who doesn’t love to critique and compare every team’s new jerseys?

  13. WATCH: Mohamed Salah’s 60-yard dribble and wondergoal; Juventus 1-2 Fiorentina

    Mar 5, 2015, 8:53 PM EST

    Mohamed Salah, ACF Fiorentina Mohamed Salah, ACF Fiorentina

    The dribble was a thing of beauty, but he still had to apply the finish. Not a problem for Salah.

  14. Now that it’s happening, MLS’s 20th season is sure to be the best one yet

    Mar 5, 2015, 8:15 PM EST

    Kaka, Orlando City SC Kaka, Orlando City SC

    The season is officially on. Here’s a few reasons to get excited, in case you’re not already. (You should be.)

  15. 2015 MLS season preview: Real Salt Lake

    Mar 5, 2015, 7:00 PM EST

    Real Salt Lake logo

    Jeff Cassar impressed in year one, but can he rebuild RSL and make them his own in year two?

  16. 2015 MLS season preview: LA Galaxy

    Mar 5, 2015, 5:00 PM EST

    LA Galaxy logo

    Bruce’s boys are back, and once again, rebuilt. This changes little for a team with more championship aspirations.

  17. 2015 MLS season preview: Portland Timbers

    Mar 5, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Portland Timbers logo

    Caleb Porter’s final foray in the Rose City? He’ll need the playoffs this year, otherwise…

  18. 2015 MLS season preview: Seattle Sounders

    Mar 5, 2015, 3:19 PM EST

    Seattle Sounders logo

    After winning two of three titles last season, can the Sounders finally clinch that pesky MLS Cup?