Former Manchester United boss Ron Atkinson was appointed as the new Aston Villa manager on this day in 1991.
Atkinson replaced Czechoslovakian Dr Josef Venglos, who had been in charge for less than a year at Villa Park. He had guided Sheffield Wednesday the previous season and had promised their fans that he would stay on as manager. However, just a week later, he was being unveiled at Villa Park as Villa’s new man in charge!
In Atkinson’s first season in charge, the club finished seventh in Division One. This was a marked improvement on the previous campaign, when Venglos’s side finished in 17th postion.
The fans also enjoyed a decent run in the FA Cup ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of eventual winners Liverpool.
1992/93 was the inaugural season of the new Premier League, a breakaway division from the Football League. Villa finished in second place, fighting Manchester United all the way. By finishing as runners-up, they qualified for the UEFA Cup the following season.
The 1993/94 season was to be Atkinson’s last full season in charge of Aston Villa. It was seen as a successful season as Villa beat heavy favourites Manchester United 3-1 to win the Coca Cola Cup at Wembley. This was the first piece of silverware that Villa won in twelve years.
Atkinson and Villa chairman Doug Ellis didn’t have the best of relationships and Ellis fired Atkinson in November 1994.