Michael O'Neill (footballer)

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Michael O'Neill
MBE
Michael O'Neill, CZE-NIR 2019-10-14.jpg
Michael O'Neill in 2019
Personal information
Full name Michael Andrew Martin O'Neill[1]
Date of birth (1969-07-05) 5 July 1969 (age 51)
Place of birth Portadown, Northern Ireland
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Stoke City (manager)
Youth career
Star United
Chimney Corner
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1987 Coleraine 18 (4)
1987–1989 Newcastle United 48 (15)
1989–1993 Dundee United 64 (11)
1993–1996 Hibernian 97 (19)
1996–1998 Coventry City 5 (0)
1998Aberdeen (loan) 6 (0)
1998Reading (loan) 9 (1)
1998–2000 Wigan Athletic 66 (2)
2000–2001 St Johnstone 9 (0)
2001 Portland Timbers 22 (5)
2001–2002 Clydebank 19 (4)
2002–2004 Glentoran 44 (4)
2004 Ayr United 2 (0)
Total 409 (65)
National team
1994 Northern Ireland U21 1 (0)
1989 Northern Ireland U23 1 (0)
1994–1999 Northern Ireland B 2 (0)
1988–1996 Northern Ireland 31 (4)
Teams managed
2006–2008 Brechin City
2009–2011 Shamrock Rovers
2011–2020 Northern Ireland
2019– Stoke City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Michael Andrew Martin O'Neill MBE (born 5 July 1969) is a Northern Irish football manager and former professional footballer who is the manager of EFL Championship club Stoke City.

O'Neill started his playing career in his native Northern Ireland with Coleraine, before playing for a number of clubs in England, Scotland and the United States, including Newcastle United, Dundee United, Hibernian, Wigan Athletic and Portland Timbers. He was capped 31 times at international level by Northern Ireland, scoring four goals.

His first managerial role was with Brechin City from 2006 to 2008. He then joined Shamrock Rovers, where he won two League of Ireland titles and the Setanta Cup. He became Northern Ireland manager in 2011[2] and, under his management, they qualified for their first ever European Champions finals in 2016. In November 2019 O'Neill was appointed manager at Stoke City.

Early life[edit]

Michael O'Neill was born on 5 July 1969 in Portadown, County Armagh, to parents Des and Patricia O'Neill.[3] Raised Catholic,[4] he briefly attended Presentation Convent Primary School before the family moved to Ballymena, County Antrim.[5] In Ballymena he attended All Saints Primary School and later St Louis Grammar School, Ballymena, where he won the Northern Ireland Schools FA Cup. He was also a promising Gaelic games player, representing Antrim GAA minors,[3] before concentrating on football. He played youth football for Ballymena team Star United for four years before joining intermediate club Chimney Corner.[6]

Playing career[edit]

Club[edit]

O'Neill began his senior career with Coleraine, making his debut in the Irish League at the age of 15. After playing against Dundee United in a UEFA Cup tie in 1987 O'Neill came close to joining the Scottish club.[7]

In October 1987 he was signed by Newcastle United for a £100,000 fee. After scoring 13 goals in 22 appearances during his first season and helping Newcastle finish eighth in the First Division, O'Neill suffered from injuries and loss of form in his second season which saw Newcastle relegated.[8]

O'Neill joined Dundee United in August 1989 for a club record fee of £350,000. A difficult relationship with manager Jim McLean came to a head in 1991 when O'Neill refused to extend his contract and was dropped from the first team.[9] He left the club in 1993 joining Hibernian where he had three successful seasons under the management of Alex Miller. O'Neill agreed to join Austrian club Sturm Graz on a Bosman free transfer in 1996 but changed his mind after an offer to return to English football with Coventry City where he spent just over two years.[7]

After spending time on loan to Aberdeen and Reading during the 1997–98 season O'Neill left Coventry to sign for Wigan Athletic in September 1998. He later played for St Johnstone,[10] Portland Timbers, Clydebank,[11] Glentoran[11] and Ayr United.[12]

International[edit]

He played for the under-21, under-23, B and full international teams of Northern Ireland. He scored four goals for the national team, including two in a 5–3 win against Austria.[13]

Coaching career[edit]

O'Neill retired from playing football in 2004 and began a career in financial services.[9] A year later he took a part-time role as assistant manager at Cowdenbeath, working with Mixu Paatelainen.[9]

Brechin City[edit]

O'Neill became manager of Scottish side Brechin City in April 2006. He won the Second Division Manager of the Month award in both December 2007[14] and October 2008.[15] O'Neill was released by Brechin City to join Shamrock Rovers on 13 December 2008.[16]

Shamrock Rovers[edit]

At the press conference when unveiled as Rovers manager, he cited Gordon Strachan as his main managerial influence.[17] He was awarded the Irish Soccer Writers Manager of the Month award for July 2009 and eventually guided The Hoops to second place in the 2009 League of Ireland.

In October 2010, he guided Shamrock Rovers to win the 2010 League of Ireland title, their first league championship since 1994.[18] O'Neill led Rovers to the 2011 Setanta Sports Cup and then made history by being the first manager of a League of Ireland team to reach the group stages of a European competition.[19] Rovers defeated Partizan Belgrade in the play-off round of the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League.[19] Shamrock Rovers retained their league title in the 2011 season.[20][21] New contract talks between O'Neill and Shamrock Rovers stalled[22] and he left the club in December 2011.[23] O'Neill won the Soccer Writers Association Personality of the Year award for 2011.[24]

Northern Ireland[edit]

O'Neill was appointed manager of Northern Ireland on 28 December 2011, with one report stating he was "the first Catholic in 50 years to manage Northern Ireland".[4][25][2] However, this is almost certainly untrue, since previous managers Lawrie Sanchez (2004–07) and Lawrie McMenemy (1998–99) were both educated in Roman Catholic schools.[26][27] O'Neill's first game in charge ended in defeat with a 3–0 loss to Norway.[28] In his next game an inexperienced Northern Ireland team were beaten 6–0 by the Netherlands in Amsterdam. During their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Northern Ireland earned some creditable results, including a 1–1 draw away to Portugal and a 1–0 home win against Russia.[29]

In November 2013, O'Neill agreed a new two-year deal with Irish Football Association to remain as Northern Ireland manager.[30]

Northern Ireland qualified for their first ever European Championship, Euro 2016 in France after beating Greece 3–1 at Windsor Park on 8 October 2015.[31] It was the first time in 30 years that Northern Ireland had qualified for a major tournament. At the tournament itself he led the side to the second round, losing narrowly to Wales[32] but recorded a surprise victory over Ukraine in the group stages.[33]

In January 2018, O'Neill turned down an offer to become manager of Scotland following discussions with the Scottish Football Association.[34]

O'Neill initially continued as Northern Ireland manager after his appointment by Stoke City in November 2019.[35] He had intended to stay on for UEFA Euro 2020 playoffs, which had been scheduled for March 2020, but these were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.[36] With the Euro 2020 playoffs delayed at least until the autumn of 2020, O'Neill resigned as Northern Ireland manager on 22 April.[36]

Stoke City[edit]

O'Neill was appointed manager of EFL Championship club Stoke City on 8 November 2019.[35] He joined Stoke with the side bottom of the 2019–20 EFL Championship table after struggling under the management of Nathan Jones.[37] O'Neill won his first match in charge of Stoke, 4–2 away at Barnsley on 9 November.[38] Under O'Neill Stoke began to improve and secured vital victories over, Wigan Athletic, Luton Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town helping the team move out of the relegation zone at the turn of the year.[39] In the January transfer window O'Neill cancelled the loans of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Mark Duffy and Scott Hogan, whilst also letting Peter Etebo, Badou Ndiaye and Ryan Woods leave on loan. Into the team came Northern Irish midfielder Jordan Thompson from Blackpool, center-back James Chester on loan from Aston Villa and young midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe from Tottenham Hotspur.[40] Stoke beat Hull City 5–1 on 7 March 2020 moving the team three points above the drop with nine remaining matches.[41] The Championship was suspended on 13 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[42]

Championship squads returned to training on 25 May with the intention to finish the season behind closed doors.[43] Stoke's preparations for the season restart were disrupted after O'Neill tested positive for coronavirus on 9 June which caused a training match against Manchester United to be cancelled.[44] Stoke won four of the remaining nine matches to avoid relegation and finish in 15th position, finishing eight points clear of the relegation zone.[45]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Source:[46][47]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Newcastle United 1987–88 First Division 21 12 3 0 0 0 2[a] 0 26 12
1988–89 First Division 27 3 2 0 2 0 1[b] 0 32 3
Total 48 15 5 0 2 0 3 0 58 15
Dundee United 1989–90 Scottish Premier Division 18 5 1 0 2 1 4[c] 1 25 7
1990–91 Scottish Premier Division 13 0 2 0 2 0 1[c] 0 18 0
1991–92 Scottish Premier Division 8 4 0 0 2 1 0 0 10 5
1992–93 Scottish Premier Division 25 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 2
Total 64 11 3 0 6 2 5 1 78 14
Hibernian 1993–94 Scottish Premier Division 36 3 2 1 4 0 0 0 42 4
1994–95 Scottish Premier Division 33 10 3 1 3 3 0 0 39 14
1995–96 Scottish Premier Division 29 6 1 0 2 0 0 0 32 6
Total 98 19 6 2 9 3 0 0 113 24
Coventry City 1996–97 Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1997–98 Premier League 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
Total 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 0
Aberdeen (loan) 1997–98 Scottish Premier League 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Reading (loan) 1997–98 First Division 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
Wigan Athletic 1998–99 Second Division 36 0 3 0 1 0 7[d] 3 47 3
1999–2000 Second Division 30 2 4 0 4 0 1[e] 0 38 2
Total 66 2 7 0 5 0 8 3 86 5
St Johnstone 2000–01 Scottish Premier League 9 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 11 0
Portland Timbers 2001 USL A-League 22 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 5
Clydebank 2001–02 Scottish Second Division 19 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 4
Glentoran 2002–03 Irish League 32 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 4
2003–04 Irish Premier League 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Total 41 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 41 4
Ayr United 2004–05 Scottish Second Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Career total 389 61 22 2 24 5 16 4 451 72
  1. ^ Appearances in Full Members' Cup
  2. ^ Appearances in Football League Centenary Trophy
  3. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Cup
  4. ^ Six appearances in Football League Trophy and one in Second Division play-offs
  5. ^ appearance in Football League Trophy

International[edit]

Source:[47]

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Northern Ireland 1988 7 0
1989 5 1
1990 1 0
1991 1 0
1992 3 0
1993 5 0
1994 3 0
1995 2 3
1996 4 0
Total 31 4

Managerial record[edit]

As of match played 22 July 2020
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
G W D L Win %
Brechin City 4 April 2006 13 December 2008 114 49 31 34 042.98 [48]
Shamrock Rovers 15 December 2008 28 December 2011 151 83 32 36 054.97 [49]
Northern Ireland 28 December 2011 22 April 2020 72 26 18 28 036.11 [50]
Stoke City 8 November 2019 Present 32 14 6 12 043.75 [51]
Career total 369 172 87 110 046.61

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

Wigan Athletic
Glentoran

Manager[edit]

Shamrock Rovers

Individual[edit]

Decorations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael O'Neill". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Michael O'Neill confirmed as new N Ireland manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b Beacom, Steven (12 September 2015). "Game changer: We profile Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Michael O'Neill says he doesn't want any more players switching south". Joe. 5 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Manager O'Neill met future wife at school". Portadown Times. 19 October 2015. Archived from the original on 18 June 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  6. ^ O'Neill, Shaun (28 November 2014). "A Night for Arthur". Irish FA. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  7. ^ a b Pattullo, Alan (14 March 2015). "Michael O'Neill flourishing with Northern Ireland". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  8. ^ Morton, David (10 October 2015). "1980s Newcastle United youngster Michael O'Neill - now an international manager". Newcastle Chronicle. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Wilson, Richard (3 November 2015). "Michael O'Neill: Managing success from Brechin to Euro 2016". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Dundee Utd v St Johnstone preview". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 August 2000. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  11. ^ a b "O'Neill set for Oval exit". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 August 2003. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  12. ^ Michael Walker (8 November 2017). "The making of Michael O'Neill - the man who took Northern Ireland from the wilderness to the verge of the World Cup". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  13. ^ "History". UEFA. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Managerial award for Brechin boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  15. ^ a b "O'Neill wins October boss prize". BBC Sport. BBC. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  16. ^ Managerial Statement, Brechin City, 13 December 2008.
  17. ^ "New Shamrock Rovers boss O'Neill eyeing top four spot - Irish Examiner". 13 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012.
  18. ^ a b "O'Neill relieved to seal title". RTÉ Sport. 30 October 2010. Archived from the original on 2 November 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  19. ^ a b "Shamrock Rovers make history and enter Europe League". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media plc. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  20. ^ a b "O'Neill hails back-to-back champions". Irish Examiner. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  21. ^ Malone, Emmet (26 October 2011). "Kelly secures 17th title for Rovers". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  22. ^ "Pat Fenlon to hold Bohemians talks over Hibs interest". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "Home". 25 October 2013.
  25. ^ "Being Catholic is not why I got Northern Ireland job, says football boss Michael O'Neill". Belfast Telegraph.
  26. ^ Thompson, Steve (7 April 2001). "Sanchez eager to graduate with honours". Daily Telegraph.
  27. ^ "Lawrie McMenemy MBE: oration". www.bath.ac.uk.
  28. ^ "Norway ruin Michael O'Neill's debut as Northern Ireland manager". The Guardian. 29 February 2012.
  29. ^ "Paterson stuns Capello as O'Neill claims first win". Daily Mail. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  30. ^ "Michael O'Neill agrees new two-year deal with N Ireland". BBC Sport. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  31. ^ "Northern Ireland 3 Greece 1". BBC Sport. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  32. ^ Hytner, David (25 June 2016). "Gareth McAuley's own goal takes Wales past Northern Ireland at Euro 2016". The Guardian.
  33. ^ "Ukraine 0-2 Northern Ireland". BBC Sport. 16 June 2016.
  34. ^ "Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland manager turns down Scotland job". BBC Sport. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Michael O'Neill: Stoke City appoint Northern Ireland boss as new manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Michael O'Neill: Stoke City boss leaves role as NI manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 April 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  37. ^ "Michael O'Neill: New Stoke City boss says season starts now". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  38. ^ "Barnsley 2–4 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  39. ^ "Huddersfield 2–5 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  40. ^ "Stoke City transfer update: Club announce signing of Tottenham ace". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  41. ^ "Stoke 5–1 Hull". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  42. ^ "Coronavirus: Premier League and EFL suspended until 3 April at earliest". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  43. ^ "Stoke City return to training". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  44. ^ "Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill tests positive for coronavirus". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  45. ^ "Nottingham Forest 1–4 Stoke City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  46. ^ Michael O'Neill at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  47. ^ a b O'Neill, Michael at National-Football-Teams.com
  48. ^ "Brechin: Results/matches: 2005/06". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 January 2019. Individual seasons accessed via dropdown menu.
  49. ^ "Shamrock Rovers : Matches". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  50. ^ "Northern Ireland : Matches". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  51. ^ "Michael O'Neill". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  52. ^ a b c d Moore, Cameron (9 November 2017). "Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland Mastermind". That Football Daily. Falbros Media. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  53. ^ "Rovers lift Setanta Sports Cup". Setanta Sports. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  54. ^ "O'Neill feted with SWAI/Airtricity personality of the year award". FA of Ireland. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  55. ^ Diallo, Raf (9 December 2015). "The two O'Neills are sharing the Philips Sports Manager of the Year award". offtheball.com. Newstalk. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  56. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N22.

External links[edit]