In stark contrast to the situation at Liverpool, Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill couldn't be happier with American owner Randy Lerner. Villa traveled to Anfield Monday to face the Reds, and "while the Kop plots more anti-U.S. protests, O'Neill and the Villa supporters might as well be draped in stars and stripes for the Premier League meeting tonight," the Guardian says.
O'Neill describes his relationship with O'Neill as "pretty professional," adding that the American is "every bit as supportive" and enthusiastic as he was when he took the club over a year and a half ago. Villa is also a fast-improving team, unlike Liverpool, which started strong only to lose momentum at mid-season.
And unlike Rafael Benitez, who has repeatedly demanded that more funds be made available to him to strengthen his squad, O'Neill says, "I haven't made any reckless demands from him. I want to improve the team and I want to improve it in a way that I think will hold with the football club. I don't want to put it into any financial difficulty and I think he recognizes that and I think he appreciates that." Having said that, a lot less is expected of a club like Villa than Liverpool, which is the most successful side in English league history.