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Martin O'Neill Offers Withering Takedown Of Keith Andrews' Footballing Credentials

Martin O'Neill Offers Withering Takedown Of Keith Andrews' Footballing Credentials
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Martin O'Neill left behind a difficult legacy when he exited his role as Republic of Ireland manager.

The team had fared pretty well under his tutelage, reaching the knockout rounds Euro 2016 and going as far as a play-off for the 2018 World Cup. In results terms, much of his time in charge of the side was a positive one.

In saying that, the way the team played at times left plenty of desired, while certain personnel were overlooked in the side. As for O'Neill, he seemed to make it a mission to fall out with as many members of the press and Irish footballing public as possible, especially towards the end of his reign.

He certainly maintains a chip on his shoulder when it comes to discussing his time with Ireland, something that extends to his opinions on the new management team.

Current Ireland assistant manager Keith Andrews often criticised the Derry native in his role as a pundit during this period, something that hasn't been forgotten.

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In his new autobiography On Days Like These, Martin O'Neill hinted that he was enjoying seeing the Dubliner struggle to help the team pick up results on a consistent basis.

For me it was a phenomenal privilege to lead the Republic of Ireland to those European finals and bring joy to so many Irish people, both at home and abroad. The fans will hope to experience such jubilation again, hopefully soon.

Stephen Kenny and his assistant Keith Andrews are the men charged with doing so now. The hopes and expectations of the Irish fans now rest on their shoulders.

Stephen's lieutenant finds himself in a hotter seat in the dugout than the one he occupied in a TV studio when he was an excoriating critic of mine. He is finding out that winning football matches is more difficult to execute on the field of play than fidgeting about with a remote-control button.

Such pontification in the studio hasn't so far achieved the desired effect on the playing field. Luckily he's getting plenty of opportunities to put things right.

His criticism hasn't ended there.

Martin O'Neills on Keith Andrews credentials

Speaking to The Guardian, Martin O'Neill elaborated further on the comments made about Keith Andrews in his book.

He has batted away claims that he is 'bitter' about his Ireland exit, saying that criticism directed at him from those who have not achieved things at the highest level of football means very little to him.

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I’m ‘bitter'. So I’m not allowed to defend myself? Nobody likes criticism but I think in my career, for the most part, I’ve taken it reasonably well.

If Roy Keane was doing punditry work and said I’d made a mess of something, I might disagree but I would accept it from someone who has played at that level, has managed himself and knows the pressures you are under.

I have a level of earned respect for that opinion but not a lower-leaguer who wouldn’t know what it is like to win a medal. And who is now finding how difficult it is to win football matches.

It is difficult. Alex Ferguson would still be concerned today about going to Southampton and winning. So you can imagine what it may be like when, for the most part, at international level you are facing opposition who are superior to you.

Ouch.

You would have to harbour some doubts about that comment in relation to his bitterness.

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Martin O'Neill has had one job in management since leaving his Ireland post, lasting only 19 matches before being sacked by Nottingham Forest in 2019.

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