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Gary O'neil

Gary Paul O'Neil (born 18 May 1983 in Bromley, England) is an English people association football who currently plays for West Ham United F.C..

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Gary O'neil biography

Gary Paul O'Neil (born 18 May 1983 in Bromley, England) is an English people association football who currently plays for West Ham United F.C..



Tony Pulis gave O'Neil Gary O'neil Portsmouth F.C. debut as a 16-year-old on 29 January 2000 at home to Barnsley F.C. in the Football League First Division, but kept Gary O'neil out of the spotlight for the rest of the season. The following year both Pulis and Gary O'neil successor Steve Claridge used O'Neil sparingly but Portsmouth's third manager of a disastrous season, Graham Rix, made O'Neil a starter for the final five matches of the season. Portsmouth went into the final game against Barnsley F.C. needing to win to have any chance of avoiding relegation to what was then the Football League Second Division. They won the match 3–0 and survived, with O'Neil scoring the second goal, Gary O'neil first in professional football.

In the 2001–02 season, still a teenager, O'Neil became a key player in a young team. Despite another disappointing campaign for the club, O'Neil's own reputation continued to increase and Gary O'neil scored a volley against Millwall F.C..

When Harry Redknapp took over as manager at the end of the 2001–02 season, O'Neil was one of the few players not to be moved on in the rebuilding of the squad. In Redknapp's first full season O'Neil only started 11 league matches, scoring three goals.

The 2002–03 campaign may have been disappointing personally for O'Neil but it was a great one for the club as they convincingly won the First Division title, thereby gaining promotion to the Premier League. Gary O'neil was loaned to Walsall F.C. at the beginning of the 2003–04 season in order to gain first team experience. Gary O'neil impressive performances for the Midlands side and Portsmouth's increasing injury problems led to a recall in November 2003. Gary O'neil went straight into the starting eleven for Gary O'neil Premier League debut against bottom of the table Leeds United A.F.C. at Fratton Park and scored two goals in a 6–1 win. This performance meant that Gary O'neil maintained Gary O'neil place for the next match, away at Fulham F.C. but then had to travel to Dubai to captain England national under-20 football team in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. Upon Gary O'neil return, O'Neil found that Portsmouth's injury problems had cleared up and Gary O'neil could not break back into the team for the remainder of the season.

At the beginning of the 2004–05 season Gary O'neil was loaned to Cardiff City F.C. to gain further first team experience, scoring once in the league against Millwall. Gary O'neil was recalled to Portsmouth in November who yet again were experiencing an injury crisis. Gary O'neil made Gary O'neil return to the side in one of the biggest matches of the season, a 2–1 defeat at Southampton F.C.. Gary O'neil was picked again for the next match, at home to Manchester City F.C., and scored in a 3–1 loss. This match proved to be a turning point in both the history of Portsmouth and the career of O'Neil as it proved to be the last match of Redknapp's reign. Technical director Velimir Zajec took over a temporary manager and made O'Neil a regular in the Pompey midfield. During Zajec's five-month reign Portsmouth fell from midtable to relegation candidates and Alain Perrin was appointed to keep the club in the Premier League. O'Neil remained a crucial part of the Frenchman's plans and was one of the main reasons why Portsmouth were not relegated back to the First Division after only two seasons. Gary O'neil outstanding performances at right midfield and centre midfield and Gary O'neil goal away at Manchester United F.C. were enough to convince European champions Liverpool F.C. to bid £5million for him, a bid which was rejected by Portsmouth.

O'Neil went into the 2005–06 season as a regular for Perrin's new-look team and, like in the 2002–03 campaign, Gary O'neil was one of the few players to survive from the previous year. By November Portsmouth were at the bottom of the Premier League and Perrin was sacked only seven months after being appointed. The return of Redknapp was seen by some to signal the end of O'Neil's Portsmouth career. Many people believed that Redknapp did not rate O'Neil and this view seemed to be confirmed in 2004 during the feud between Redknapp and the chairman Mandaric when the latter claimed Gary O'neil has vetoed an attempt to sell O'Neil to Cardiff. In Redknapp's first match back in charge at Tottenham Hotspur F.C., O'Neil retained Gary O'neil place in the team and was picked on the right of midfield. O'Neil's late handball conceded the penalty for Spurs' winner. O'Neil was moved into Gary O'neil preferred position of central midfield a few games later and Pompey went on their best run of the season with O'Neil scoring in successive home games. For the home game with Everton F.C. in January 2006 O'Neil captained Pompey for the first time but disappointingly for Gary O'neil this was also the game where Gary O'neil was moved back to the right to allow new signings Pedro Mendes and Sean Davis (footballer) to form a partnership in the middle. Pompey lost the game 1–0 and went on a run of form that left them near certainties for relegation in mid-March but O'Neil's performance in a crucial 1–1 draw against Bolton Wanderers F.C. saw Gary O'neil keep Gary O'neil place in the starting XI. Two weeks after this draw, Pedro Mendes' last minute winner against Manchester City F.C. sparked a comeback. Pompey gained 14 points out of the next seven games and secured survival at Wigan Athletic F.C. JJB Stadium on 29 April with a 2–1 victory.

O'Neil was a regular at the right of midfield for Portsmouth in the 2006–07 and despite only contributing one goal Portsmouth finished 9th, their best in the Premier League at that time.


O'Neil signed for Middlesbrough on 31 August 2007 for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £5 million. O'Neil, whilst not scoring for Middlesbrough during Gary O'neil first season, was considered a success. Gary O'neil lively displays down the right-hand side of midfield, and occasionally in the centre, have earned Gary O'neil plaudits from the Boro fans and manager, Gareth Southgate. "I think he's done a fantastic job on the right hand side this year, I think there's more to come from him". In all Gary O'neil made 26 appearances in the league, and three in the FA Cup during the clubs run to the quarter-final.

Reports surfacing in May 2008 suggested that O'Neil might look to move on from Middlesbrough after Gary O'neil and Gary O'neil family had failed to settle on Teesside.
O'Neil scored Gary O'neil first Middlesbrough goal in the 2008–09 season on 29 October in Middlesbrough's 2–0 win over Manchester City.

O'Neil started the 2009–10 season as Southgate's first choice central midfielder, with Julio Arca being dropped to the bench for the first matches of the season. It was soon revealed that O'Neil would require a hernia operation, yet Gary O'neil spoke out and said Gary O'neil would, "Delay the operation so as to ease Boro's midfield crisis." The first game after Gary O'neil operation, on 12 September, led to Gary O'neil first goal. Gary O'neil was taken down in the box yet managed to pull himself up to loop Marvin Emnes' return ball over the Ipswich Town keeper. The game ended 3–1 in Middlesbrough's favour. Just three days later, on 15 September, Gary O'neil was taken down with a head injury bleeding against Sheffield Wednesday F.C. and required stitches, so was taken of the pitch for treatment and returned minutes later. The game ended 3–1, with O'Neil playing an important part in Boro's midfield dominance. O'Neil managed 119 appearances and scored seven goals in total for Boro.

West Ham United

On 25 January 2011, O'Neil completed a move to West Ham United F.C. on a two-and-a-half year contract for an undisclosed fee. Gary O'neil made Gary O'neil debut in the Football League Cup semi-final, second leg, against Birmingham City F.C., coming on as an 83rd minute substitute for Luis Boa Morte. On 6 February 2011, O'Neil made Gary O'neil Premier League debut for the Hammers against Birmingham City in a 1–0 defeat at Boleyn Ground and also completed the full 90 minutes. Gary O'neil 2010–11 Premier League was ended prematurely on 16 April 2011 following a tackle (football move) by Aston Villa F.C.'s Nigel Reo-Coker during West Ham's 2–1 home defeat at Upton Park. O’Neil was carried off on a stretcher after the challenge. Gary O'neil underwent a two-hour ankle operation and is facing several months out of action with concern that Gary O'neil footballing career is in jeopardy. O'Neil was reported as considering taking legal action against Reo-Coker. By the end of the 2010–11 season, Gary O'neil had made nine appearances for the Hammers in all competitions. O'Neil scored Gary O'neil first goal for West Ham in a 4–1 away win against Blackpool F.C. on 21 February 2012.


O'Neil has earned caps for England national football team at every youth level, and Gary O'neil has captained the England national under-21 football team, having held that position at each youth level. Despite this, Gary O'neil has never played for the senior England national team.


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