Aston Villa is one of England’s most popular and beloved teams. Currently participating in the top tier of English football, the Premier League, the club is also quite successful. In terms of the Premier League, Aston Villa is placed in the 11 spot for the 2021/22 season, where they’ve remained since last year.
Over the years, some of England’s most popular and best players have played for the team, drawing in huge crowds of punters to place bets on the club, whether at land-based bookies, or the various betting sites like Novibet Sports. However, the timeless question remains: Would these players have done as well had they not had the proper managers?
We can’t answer this question with any sort of objectivity, but, what we can do, is take a look at some of the best managers that Aston Villa has had over the course of their 100+ year career.
Saunders spent his football career playing for various English teams, including Everton, the Tonbridge Angels, Charlton Athletic etc. Much like Atkinson, Saunders also came to prominence in a managerial position, having managed quite a few of England’s best clubs, including Manchester City and Aston Villa.
Often regarded as one of the best managers Aston Villa has ever had, it was Ron Saunders who pushed the club into the First Division. He took Villa to the League Cup in 1977 and helped the club win the title, and in the 1980/81 season, he led the Villans to their first First Division title since the early 1900s.
In 1980, Tony Barton joined the managerial staff of Aston Villa and served as assistant manager to Ron Saunders. Two years later, when Saunders departed, Barton took over and kept the Saunders tradition by guiding the club to two titles, the 1982 European Cup Final and the 1982 European Super Cup. While Barton didn’t hold the manager position for long, his successes have earned him the title of one of the greatest Villa managers in history.
Ron Atkinson started his career in football as a player, however, it was in the managerial position that his skills and knowledge of the game truly shined. The first major club he managed was West Bromwich Albion, whom he took to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
He truly rose to prominence when he became a manager for Manchester United. In 1991, he took over Aston Villa from Venglos, and the next year, he took the club to the Football Association Premier League semi-finals, ultimately earning the club second place in the match.
Nicknamed “the Tank”, Atkinson is remembered as one of Aston Villa’s greatest managers, and one of football’s biggest pundits.
In more recent times Brian Little and even more recently Dean Smith have made a claim for successful eras at the club but who would be your favourite?