Aston Villa, a club formed in 1874, and 138 years later are still sitting nicely in the top flight of English Football. Villa haven't been able to endure any great success since the 1980's, lets take you Villa fans back down memory lane as i discover how Aston Villa became the club they were in the 80's.
Aston Villa have won seven top flight titles over their history, but none since the 1980-1981 season. Ron Saunders, who was appointed Villa manager in 1974 was to have a life changing experience. He was there to try bring happiness to the villa fans and to try win their first League title since 1909. At this time Villa were in the second tier of English football, but Saunders appointment was an instant success. In his first season in charge he won the League Cup and Got Villa to the top tier of English football, also claiming them a European place, it would be a long process in which Villa would eventually hit the highest of Heights.
80's: The 1980-1981 season was one in which Villa took by storm, Beating Ipswich to the First Division title, which started what was to be a great few years for Aston Villa Football Club. As there is to everything, there was to be a twist here as well. During the first season of Villa's title defence Saunders walked away from his job, this was not due to poor form or bad results. It was his no nonsense attitude which the chairman could not deal with no longer, so Saunders quit. With the departure of Saunders you would have thought their success may have been over, but the chairman, Ron Bendall had other idea's. He appointed former assistant Tony Barton as the clubs new manager. At this time Villa were already in the European Cup Quarter final, and had to see off Dynamo Kiev (2-0 on Aggregate) and Anderlecht (1-0 on Aggregate) on their way to the final. The final was against Bayern Munich. The tie was to be played in Rotterdam on the 26th of May 1982. A Peter White goal was to be the winner as 39,776 people witnessed Aston Villa win their first European Trophy. Villa could only manager an 11th place finish, but the Victory of the European Cup would automatically Enter them into the competition the Following Year.
The Defence: To Defend any sort of cup is seen as a success but to retain the European Cup was something you could only dream of, Unless of course you were Real Madrid. In these days the European cup had no group stage, and was just a straight knock out tournament, but many fixtures were still played. Villa would be handed Besiktas in their first round tie, who they comfortably beat 3-1 on aggregate. The Second round was to be played against Dinamo Bucuresti, Villa again cruised through, this time with a 6-2 aggregate win, winning 2-0 at home, and 4-2 away. Then they were drew against the mighty Juventus, the first leg didn't go as planned as Villa lost 2-1, but they would use the previous year as a guidance of how to over come European giants, as much as they tried, their dream was over, a 3-1 second leg defeat cased heart break for everyone surrounding the club, a Quarter Final exit to eventual runners up Juventus. Villa finished 6th and failed to qualify for Europe. But did win the European Super Cup. With a few great years of success, it was Liverpool's turn to enjoy theirs as they would win the first division. Villa were again Relegated to division 2 in 1986. Their luck was out, Villa have since only won one trophy, The league cup in 1996. How the club and their fans would love to be their once again.