Former England left-back Wayne Bridge has spoken of his experience working under Martin O’Neill at Sunderland outlining that he “didn’t get” the ex-Ireland manager’s methods.
Bridge spent half a season on loan at The Stadium of Light joining from Manchester City in January of 2012, and made ten appearances under O’Neill.
The former full-back, who had worked under the likes of Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini, wasn’t too impressed with O’Neill’s style of management during his short stint at the Black Cats.
In an interview with Peter ‘Tubes’ Dale on his YouTube channel, Bridge outlined that he didn’t feel the former Irish boss did much at all and that he considered his coaching methods ‘weird.’
“Another manager who I had heard good things about, then I went to Sunderland was Martin O’Neill. I didn’t get it. It was weird. You’d come in and you wouldn’t know the team, you wouldn’t know the formation, he’d just read the names of who is starting and then he’d walk out.
“It was just weird. He’d go “here’s the team blah blah blah, you’re on the bench” and then he’d walk out. He’d go a bit mental at half time and say some stuff but training as well I just didn’t get it.
“I didn’t get why a lot of lads spoke so highly of him. I didn’t think he did much at all. He loved giving the lads a day off when they wanted which is probably why they loved him.”
Bridge’s comments on O’Neill’s style are not too dissimilar to those of another former player who featured under him as a manager in Emile Heskey.
Heskey was less critical of O’Neill’s method but echoed some of Bridge’s sentiments when speaking to Pundit Arena in September.
“An hour before kick-off you sit down, the teams there, see you later. I saw him Tuesday to run us, possibly Thursday, definitely Friday and then the Saturday.
“That was it. But it worked for us, for that era of player it worked for us. We were successful. Martin then went onto Celtic and was even more successful so it worked. Yes, it’s different now.
“Players want more information, they want to see you more, they want more on the training field. It’s just a different generation.”