Monday 04 August 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Martin O'Neill returned to football when he was named as the new manager of Aston Villa.
The Northern Irishman had been out of the game for 15 months for personal reasons and replaced David O'Leary at Villa, one of only seven ever-present Barclays Premier League clubs since the competition’s inaugural 1992/93 season.
"This is a fantastic challenge," O'Neill said. "I am willing and ready to go. I am well aware of the history of this football club. Trying to restore it to its days of former glory seems a long way away - but why not try? It is nearly 25 years since they won the European Cup but that is the dream.
"It's absolutely fantastic to be back and with a club such as this. I have to prove myself to the fans but I'm ready for the job and want to do well. If Aston Villa are going to have a bit of success in the coming years, I'd like to be a part of that."
Villa chairman Doug Ellis said: "To me, Martin's passion and ability to motivate players is unsurpassed. We had three meetings at my home and I've not spoken to anyone else. We had a dozen applicants but Martin was my choice at the start."
O'Neill was in charge at Villa for four seasons and improved their fortunes during his stay. They finished sixth in the Barclays Premier League table for three successive seasons while reaching the 2010 League Cup final, where they lost 2-1 to Manchester United.
He resigned from the post in August 2010, saying: "I have enjoyed my time at Villa immensely and it is a wrench to be leaving such a magnificent club."
O'Neill returned to the Barclays Premier League on to manage Sunderland for 15 months and is now in charge of the Republic of Ireland team.