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The Aston Villa Glory Years: Goals, Umbrellas and Peter Enckelman

By Mark Farrelly
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Little did the Irish youngsters of the early 90s know what they were letting themselves in for when they decided to start supporting Aston Villa.

Once a great home for Irish greats, the club sadly became a mediocre home for mediocrity. However, a miracle against Manchester City as Wembley today and all the hurt will be quickly forgotten.

Here's a gentle reminder to all success starved Villa fans of the good times, the great times and the I-can't-believe-Peter-Enckelman-just-did-that times...


1992-1993: The Premier League is easy buddies

The year is 1993 and the first ever season of the Premier League has just finished. Aston Villa are wondering what all the fuss is about. They've just finished 2nd and are in the proud possession of the world's greatest player, Dalian Atkinson.

Also, watch out for the fan with the umbrella at the end of the celebration.

[Watch Video]


They also boasted three players from the sixth best national team in the world at the time. Talented and handsome to boot:

Stan even scored the best sounding goal of all time. Listen to that thud.



They had been in with every chance of winning the league until a slump in form towards the end of the season. A defeat to Blackburn with a few games to go seemed to be the final nail in the coffin but one fan was still hoping against hope.


Rumour has it he is convinced to this day that they can still win that league title.


1993-94 There's something about Stan

After this Steve Staunton visited Boom City again on the opening day, it seemed Villa were destined to walk away with the league. Alas they could only manage 10th.


Despite that, 1994 was still a banner year for the club, denying Manchester United the Treble in the Coca-Cola Cup Final, and boasting one of the greatest jerseys in Premier League history.


1994-1995: It was just a relegation battle, we're still good we're still good

Shades of the 2014-2015 season as Villa dropped into a relegation battle and after beating Wimbledon 7-1 in February, they went all of March without scoring.


However the one thing the 1995 Villa side had which their present day line-up is missing, is the goalscoring machine, Steve Staunton.


This time Stan popped up with a goal on the final day of the season against Norwich to ensure Villa stayed up.


1995-96: The last great hurrah

Brian Little's first full season in charge left Aston Villa transformed. They won the League Cup, they got to the semi-final of the FA Cup and finished fourth in the league.


Savo Miss-a-lot-ovic came in as a club record signing and proceeded to invent the 120 yard sprint goal celebration, when he opened his account with the club.


Alas the run must have tired him out and Villa had to depend on his strike partner Dwight Yorke as the main driving force behind the club's revival.

1996-2002: Top 10 merchants

Over the next six years Aston Villa were the epitome of solid, finishing comfortably inside the top ten every season. They were helped along the way by the likes of Paul Merson:



... And Dion Dublin:


Lest I forget the ever-growing influence of Dwight Yorke, before he left.


In 2001, a certain Peter Schmeichel even popped up with a goal.


2002-2003: Bring back Andy Townsend

The less said about this season the better. They finished 16th under Graham Taylor and only managed to stay up on the second last day of the season.

This guy may also have been part of the problem.

And this:


2003-2006: David O'Leary's roller coaster

I say roller coaster but it was an excruciatingly boring roller coaster. During his first two seasons in charge, O'Leary's Villa side would flirt with the drop for half the season and then finish really strongly.

O'Leary left at the end of the 2005-2006 season after Villa had finished 16th. Oh well, at least they still had this lad.


2007-2010: A recording breaking time


Aston Villa have finished sixth more times than any other club in Premier League history. Quite fittingly, they've finished sixth six times.

Martin O'Neill was in charge for three of these sixth place finishes, in what was a pretty successful time for the club. Queue the emotional montage:


Remember the laughter? Remember the goals?


Remember the songs?


 2011-2016: Let's pretend we scored a goal

This pretty much sums it up really.


Players worth mentioning

Here's a list of players I couldn't fit in to the post but are worth mentioning, either because they were memorable or because I completely forgot they played for Villa:

  • Mark Bosnich
  • Stylian Petrov
  • Richard Dunne
  • Benito Carbone
  • Ronny Johnsen
  • Julian Joachim
  • Lee Hendrie
  • Mark Kinsella
  • David Ginola
  • Thomas Hitzlsperger
  • Steve Stone
  • Mustapha Hadji
  • Ulises de la Cruz
  • Darius Vassell

Oh, and of course:



SEE ALSO: Liverpool Have Proved What A Unique Record Wenger's Invincibles Achieved


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