It was not a good day at the office for Cyrus Christie and Fulham at the weekend as the Cottagers slumped to a 5-1 defeat at home to Arsenal.
On Match Of The Day, Alan Shearer was analysing the performance and went in hard on Christie for his role in the defeat. On the show Shearer showed several clips showing Christie further up the pitch, Jokanovic had been playing with a back three and two wing backs, and repeatedly criticised the 26-year-old for not getting back to defend.
In lieu of those comments, Martin O'Neill has launched a staunch defence of Ireland international Christie, questioning Shearer's comments as well as mocking his managerial record:
When you play a wing-back role, the first thing people will now ask you is, ‘What are the manager's instructions?’ Now, it is mostly that they ask the wing-backs to stay very high up the pitch and not worry about coming back.
I've asked Cyrus about this because the first thing I thought of when Alan Shearer was having a go is, ‘He hasn't thought this out’. Maybe that's why he only managed eight games [as manager], that might be something to do with it.
He should have prefaced things by saying, ‘I don't know what the manager has said’ because, at the end of the day, the manager has asked him to stay up the pitch and not worry about getting back.
O'Neill went on to say that he didn't think the 'severe criticism' was warranted of Christie, but no doubt Alan Shearer will think that O'Neill went overboard in his reaction to the pundit's analysis.
Shearer infamously only lasted seven games as manager of Newcastle as they were relegated in the 2008/09 season. The Blackburn and Newcastle legend has not taken another job in management since.