On This Day - 2010 - Martin O'Neill resigns as Aston Villa manager

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill

The start of an unravelling that has culminated in Villa's current predicament.

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill

The start of the slide for Aston Villa? It would certainly be a good reference point as on this day six years ago Martin O'Neill resigned from his post at Villa Park only a matter of days before the Premier League season was about to get underway. 

During his time at the club, Villa were consistently challenging for the European places. Money had been spent and was helping in their quest to push themselves among English football's elite and onto the top table of European football. But three consecutive sixth-placed finishes represented excellent progress from the position they were found in.

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill

There were trips to the League Cup final and FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley and despite struggling to finish higher than sixth, it appeared that Villa were in good hands at least on the field before his resignation prior to the start of the season stunned the fans.

But the summer of 2010 would not be seeing the same kind of backing that O'Neill had previously received, BBC Sport reported, and since his departure it is fair to say there has been a decline. 

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill during the press conference

Gerard Houllier, Alex McLeish, Paul Lambert, Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde would all follow within the space of five years. During that time they slipped down the table and into repeated relegation battles while last season the inevitable journey out of the top flight had concluded as they finished bottom of the Premier League. Roberto Di Matteo is now tasked with returning them to the Premier League. 

This feels like the day when Aston Villa got on to the slippery slope. The league finish under Houllier saw them finish solidly in the top half, even though the Frenchman was taken ill again towards the end of the season.

Narrow escapes were to follow under McLeish, several times under Lambert and then Sherwood, while Remi Garde was on a hiding to nothing. 

Safe to say that the reasons behind O'Neill's departure are still being felt at the club today. 

Martin O'Neill - Aston Villa Manager

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