With 21 major trophies to their name, not only are Aston Villa one of the most famous clubs in British football, they are one of the most decorated too; having won seven league titles, seven FA Cups and, of course, the European Cup in 1982.
And with success comes great talent, with plenty of the game’s greats having graced Villa Park down the years, so good luck to Daniel Horton from Heart of the Holte who had the task of selecting just half-a-dozen for his greatest ever Aston Villa six-a-side team. Here he talks us through his selection process.
Whilst Bosnich had many problems off the pitch, on the pitch he was an excellent goalkeeper. For most of his time at Villa, Bosnich was brilliant. He was widely considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the league, during his peak, and was a major reason for Villa winning the League Cup in both 1994 and 1996, saving penalties galore in the process. His goalkeeper shirt was one of the first that I had and may have been the deciding factor for his place in my team, as this was the most difficult position for me to pick.
The man that Villa fans call ‘God’ had to be in my team. He is, without doubt, one of the greatest players in Aston Villa’s history and I am certain that he’d be in most Villa fans’ teams. He was a world-class defender, helped Villa win two League Cups and was voted PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1992-93, as well as being the club’s Player of the Season in several consecutive years.
What a player Gareth Barry was for Aston Villa! He made almost 450 appearances for us over 11 years and must have played in almost every position. He started as a left-sided centre-back, also playing left-back on a number of occasions, then moved to left-midfield, before becoming the incredible central-midfielder and captain that he was. A brilliant passer of the ball and a reliable player, that consistently performed, Barry deserves his place in my team.
An exquisite passer of a football and a very hard-working player, Sid Cowans is a Villa legend! In his first spell at Villa he helped the club win the League Cup, the First Division, the European Cup and the European Super Cup. He played 453 times for Villa, over 3 different spells, and still has lots to do with the club now. One of the easiest picks in my team.
Paul Merson may be a surprise choice in this team but he is included for his sheer brilliance and for being a footballing genius. He spent four seasons at Villa and has been open in stating that this was the best time in his career. He scored great goals, helped Villa get to the FA Cup Final in 2000 and was a player that could single-handedly change a game. One of the most-talented footballers I’ve ever seen live!
Simply put, Dwight Yorke scored goals. He was a great footballer, with speed, skill and a real eye for goal. He spent nine years at Villa and scored, on average, roughly a goal every three games – and this includes the fact that for much of his time at Villa, he played as a right-winger. Yorke helped Villa to win the League Cup in 1994 and 1996 (although he didn’t end up playing in the ’94 final) and scored some great goals during his time with the club. He didn’t leave Villa in the best way but proved his goal scoring prowess at Manchester United, helping them on their way to the treble.
Brian Little was a hero as a Villa player, spending the entirety of his short career at the club – a career which was sadly cut short due to injury. So when he was appointed as Villa manager, it was always going to go down well with the fans. He kept Villa in the Premier League, as we were bottom when he took over, then guided the club to a 4th and 5th placed finish in consecutive seasons, promoted a lot of young talent to the first team and led the club to League Cup success in 1996. He will forever be a club legend.
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