The lack of job security endured by Premier League managers is a topic back in focus following Chelsea boss Robert Di Matteo’s dismissal. Neil Cameron talks to Martin O’Neill about the pitfalls of being a top-flight coach.
MARTIN O’Neill confessed yesterday that he hasn’t had a proper night’s sleep for 20 years.
Football management does that to you. Stress and worry also help with keeping the weight down, according to O’Neill who, to be fair, doesn’t look to have put on more than a few pounds since his playing days at Nottingham Forest.
Robert Di Matteo is better off out of it. Especially as he was ushered out of the Chelsea door by Roman Abramovich with a few million quid in his back pocket.
There are worse ways in which to lose a job. Is there a better way?
O’Neill would have expected to be asked about Di Matteo yesterday given the nature of his sacking in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The obvious follow-up question to that was whether O’Neill has ever feared a tap on the shoulder from Sunderland owner Ellis Short.
On this issue, he was a bit more elusive with his answer.
O’Neill said: “In a game where you should not be shocked at anything, that (Di Matteo’s sacking) was a major surprise.
“Less than three weeks ago we were talking about Chelsea playing brilliant football, about them being really inventive having signed some really big players, then they had a hiccup over a couple of matches and a man loses his job.
“They won the Champions League and FA Cup while he was in charge and he did very well, so it was a major surprise. It is a difficult job, but I think anybody in or outside the game would say that is a major surprise.
“We have to admit we are in a result business, but from my point of view you have to look at results over a longer period of time. I would talk about a season.”