Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

What A Difference 3 Years Make To Villa

What  A Difference 3 Years Make To Villa

Villa progressing well under Martin O`Neill`s leadership

Saturday 24th September 2005, three years ago we played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and lost 2-1 to Jose Mourinho`s men. Who could have foreseen the later problems we faced that season? Our team that day looked like this: Sorensen, Hughes, Bouma, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Berger, Davis, Barry, Milner, Angel. It didn`t look too bad at that point in the season but just over a month later Villa were in disarray.

There was takeover speculation all the time. A change at the top was needed, it was going stale. Doug Ellis, a very old man running a premiership football club was becoming a joke. David O`Leary was trying his best but on minimal funds. It was that Manchester City game on Halloween Night at Eastland's that showed us all how bad things were at Villa Park. We got easily beaten by Man City that night and we never looked capable of doing anything. Takeover speculation was clearly getting to the players and even the manager, David O`Leary. After that the season got worse. David O`Leary lost all the respect he had gained in his first two seasons as he called 'some` of us fickle. As soon as he said a bad word against some of us there was no going back for the former Arsenal defender.

In January David O`Leary told us how he had to send Eirik Bakke, a loanee from Championship side, Leeds United back to them as we couldn`t even afford to keep him. There was problems, big problems at Villa Park.
We completed the season and narrowly avoided relegation with Gareth Barry and James Milner holding the side together. Fans weren`t happy, the manager wasn`t happy and clearly Doug Ellis wasn`t happy. It was time for Doug to go, the fans knew it, the players knew it, the manager knew it and more importantly, Doug knew it. The club was up for sale and Doug Ellis asked Rothschild's to help out to try and find a investor for the club.

Speculation continued over takeover talks and very quickly the same bunch of players were back in training and clearly all was not well at Villa Park. A players statement was released questioning the boards penny pinching and cost cutting at Villa Park. Doug Ellis was fuming and set up a four man panel to investigate recent goings on at Villa Park. After this investigation, David O`Leary was sacked as Villa manager.

On August 4th 2006, there seemed to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for us Villa fans. Martin O`Neill was appointed Villa boss and was possibly Doug Ellis` most popular move as Villa chairman ever. Ironically that was his last. Randy Lerner, an American Billionaire agreed to take over the club and this is where our improvement began.

The 2006-2007 season saw us finish 11th, comfortably. We were playing good football and with some very bright prospects for the future. The following season O`Neill made more improvements to his squad and we finished the season emphatically in 6th place and that was well deserved.

And now on Saturday 27th September 2008, just over three years on from those dark days, we lie in 3rd place having just beaten Sunderland at Villa Park. We are in Europe, have a very talented squad and capable of going far in the next few years.

What a difference 3 years makes.

Up the Villa.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday September 28 2008
Time: 10:43AM


Oh yeah, by the way i think Luke Moore should be in that team against Chelsea in 05, either i forgot or the website i got the team from forgot.
28/09/2008 11:58:00
To be honest, 3years ago I had never felt so down, I know we dropped in the lower divisions in the 70s, but somehow this just seemed like something we weren't going to get out of, to be honest when I look back now, I'm pleased Doug kept us out of the financial problems that some teams got in, who would have thought Leeds utd would still be in the positiion they're in today! no one would touch them now, and that could have been us, we were going nowhere and now we sit 3rd in the prem and back in europe, they were in the semi final of the champions league and doing well in the prem, and now they're in div1! so like you say what a difference 3years make!
28/09/2008 12:46:00
its is incredible how we have changed from the old to the new. I can remember when robbie keane was at wolves and we were (apparently) runners for his signature. Deadly D would not cough up something like 500K so that the bid would be accecpted. now we have a chairman who is not afraid to inject the transfer cash needed for the squad! im just thanking the gods we have Mr Lerner as a chairman and not some total tool like mike ashley!
28/09/2008 16:02:00
Happy happy. Joy joy!
Adam Deuce
28/09/2008 17:42:00
martins a miracal worker
steve bhoy
28/09/2008 18:43:00
Yeah mon =]
28/09/2008 22:53:00
Yea all a part of the 5 year plan,,, world domination is just 12 months away.
29/09/2008 10:22:00
i forgot how grim it was in that final o'leary year, is a testament to MOn and Randy.. brilliant really.
29/09/2008 11:52:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Gollini Gets A Bit Blue

Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has insisted the players are under no illusions when it comes to what this weekend's match against Birmingham City means to the fans.

Match Day Officials v Birmingham (30/10/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Birmingham City this Sunday.

Neilson Not A Willing Souttar

Heart of Midlothian boss Robbie Neilson has issued a hands off warning to Aston Villa following speculation that we are preparing an offer for defender John Souttar.

Fans Held Back This Sunday

West Midlands Police have released a statement ahead of this Sunday's derby clash against Birmingham City and confirmed that travelling Villans will be held in...

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
no email
Turkish Penguin
no email
no email
Chris Heath
no email
M Calucar
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Will Villa get promoted?
Suggested By: J P Fear
Yes, automatically25%
Yes, through play offs40%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 19
Latest Vital Boxing News
Eggington Stops Gavin in Eight Rounds
Vital Football Comment

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Oct 30 2016 12:00PM : Birmingham City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 5 2016 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 18 2016 7:45PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Cardiff City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 3 2016 5:30PM : Leeds United (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

1.The Fear587
9.Stephen Jay Hawkings153
Write for Vital Football