Sunday, October 31, 2010

Aston Villa Season Review 1980 1981

  Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League and won the Football League Division One Championship on 6 occasions between 1894 and 1910. And that was it for 71 years…Aston Villa 1980/1981 Season Review – Champions on DVD tells an incredible story.
The 1980/1981 season was a most dramatic turnaround for Aston Villa, as Ron Saunders completed the club’s revival to end that substantial 71- year wait for the League Championship trophy. In achieving this feat Villa set the record for the least number of players in a team to win the league – just 14 were used throughout the campaign to ensure that the trophy belonged to Aston Villa.
Despite the departure of star striker Andy Gray, the team saw off the challenge of a spirited Ipswich Town, Arsenal and local rivals West Bromwich Albion. Villa ended the season on 60 points with Ipswich as runners-up on 56. With season-winning performances from the likes of Shaw, Withe, Mortimer and Morley to name but a few, this is a rare opportunity to relive an historic season for Aston Villa. This is the story of that triumph, through the eyes of the men who made it happen. Features exclusive interviews with all the key players as well as priceless archive footage - some unseen in over a quarter of a century.

Part 1 :

Part 2 (Bonus Interview) :

Cover Scan Brut :  

The 1980-81 season saw Ron Saunders complete Aston Villa's revival, as they ended their 71-year wait for the league championship trophy. They competed in a two-horse race with Ipswich Town during the final stages of the season before pipping the Suffolk side at the post. Liverpool slipped into fifth place but compensated for this downfall by lifting the European Cup and their first-ever League Cup. But Manchester United failed to make the top five and this shortcoming cost Dave Sexton his manager's job. He was succeeded by Ron Atkinson, who had just finished fourth in the league and reached the UEFA Cup quarter finals with an impressive West Bromwich Albion side - who would suffer a rapid decline after Atkinson's departure.
Crystal Palace endured a dreadful season with just six wins. They were joined in the Second Division by also-doomed Norwich City and Leicester City.

 The 1980's was another mixed era in the history of Aston Villa football club. Villa won the Football League Championship, fighting off competition from Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, in 1981 under the managership of Ron Saunders. Saunders quit halfway through the following season (1981-82) and was replaced by his assistant manager Tony Barton. In May 1982, just three months after being appointed manager, Barton guided Villa to a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the European Cup final. Key players in this side included Des Bremner, Peter Withe and Gordon Cowans. Barton remained in charge until the summer of 1984, when he was sacked after a disappointing season which had seen the club finish 10th in the First Division. His successor was Graham Turner who had taken Shrewsbury Town from being Fourth Division strugglers into being an established Second Division side. Turner was sacked in September 1986 and his successor Billy McNeill was unable to save the club from finishing bottom of the First Division and being relegated - just five years after Villa had been champions of Europe.
 McNeill left in the summer of 1987 to become manager of Glasgow Celtic. Villa chairman Doug Ellis gave the manager's job to Graham Taylor, who had transformed the fortunes of Watford in 10 years of management. A significant addition to the Villa squad was attacking midfielder David Platt, a 21-year-old signing from Crewe Alexandra for £200,000. Platt was instrumental in getting Villa back into the top flight at the first time of asking as they finished Second Division runners-up in 1988.
Villa narrowly avoided relegation from the First Division in 1989 but in 1990 they surprised everyone by finishing runners-up to Liverpool in the First Division. Taylor left shortly afterwards to replace Bobby Robson as England manager, but Taylor would eventually be villified by the British press for his failures as national coach. Villa meanwhile appointed Czech coach Jozef Venglos as their new manager - the first time that a foreign manager had taken charge of a top division club.

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