Retro Football: Martin O’Neill Calmly And Quietly Destroys Robbie Williams In BBC World Cup Studio, 1998 (Video)

Chris Wright

14th, January 2019


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With the news that Martin O’Neill is set to step into Aitor Karanka’s wake and become the latest manager of Nottingham Forest (having been courted several times before), we thought we’d share perhaps our most cherished memory of the Northern Irishman.

Not the sight of his bountiful perm bobbing up and down as he went a-scampering down the wing as a player, nor his phenomenal standing leap as a manager, but his seminal brutalising of Robbie Williams as a pundit.

Appearing alongside one another as studio guests during the BBC’s 1998 World Cup coverage, O’Neill did an imperious job of disassembling Williams without ever raising his voice above a gentle burr…

Williams did his best to put a brave gurn on it, but there is simply no way back from that.

O’Neill has a well-documented history of polite malevolence, with the other twin beacon being his unceremonious squelching of Fabio Cannavaro, Patrick Vieira and the eternally annoying Adrian Chiles during the 2014 World Cup.

All hail the eternal “European Cups” line…

Here’s wishing him well at Forest. It’s the romantic choice and a grand return several decades in the making.

Pies admittedly have our doubts, but we’d be more than happy if O’Neill proves us wrong.

Posted in Retro, Videos

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  1. Liquid says:

    I remember when they put him in the studio with Johan Cruyff, possibly at the same world cup. Understandably, there was a general sentiment of reverence and deference to one of the greatest footballers to walk the earth.

    No such sycophancy from Martin O’Neill. He openly argued with Cruyff on some points of punditry. I wish I could find the video but to this day my friends and I still use the phrase “I don’t think so, Johan”. In an excited NI accent of course.

  2. Fer says:

    2014 world cup pundits were excellent all around

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