Friday, September 23, 2016

Aston Villa Greatest All-Time Team

European Cup 1982
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Aston Villa are one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in the history of English football. Villa won the 1981–82 European Cup, and are thus one of five English clubs to win what is now the UEFA Champions League. They have the fifth highest total of major honours won by an English club,  having won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the European Cup and UEFA Super Cup double in 1982.

GK: Nigel Spink (England)
He made his name at Aston Villa and also made one appearance for England at international level on the tour of Australia in 1983. He also played in the Football League for West Bromwich Albion and Millwall, as well as playing in Non-league for both Chelmsford City and Forest Green Rovers.

GK: Sam Hardy (England)
Discovered by Liverpool FC after playing against them with Chesterfield.  He joined Liverpool in 1905.  Later, he played for Aston Villa. He was capped 21 times, which was then an astonishing number and was widely considered to be England's first ever star keeper. 

GK: Mark Bosnich (Australia)
Bosnich was voted as Oceania Goalkeeper of the Century.  He was known for his career with Aston Villa.   He earned himself a transfer back to Manchester United in 1999, but his career started to fall apart over there.  He also played for Chelsea. He also played in Australia for Sydney United, Central Coast Mariners and Sydney Olympic. For the national team, he only earned 17 caps due to club's commitment.

RB: John Gidman  (England)
Gidman played for the Liverpool youth team without ever playing for their first team, before he joined Aston Villa in 1971. He was a member of the 1977 League Cup winning side. He was subsequently signed by Everton in 1979. Capped once.

CB: Gareth Southgate (England)
He won the League Cup with both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough (in 1995–96 and 2003–04 respectively, and as captain), and captaining Crystal Palace to win the First Division championship in 1993–94. He also reached an FA Cup and UEFA Cup final as a player, and made 57 appearances for the England national team, featuring in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and both the 1996 and 2000 European Championships. 
Gareth Southgate

CB: Martin Laursen (Denmark)
He played three seasons for Italian club AC Milan, with whom he won the 2003 UEFA Champions League and the 2004 Serie A championship. He also played for Italian clubs Hellas Verona and Parma FC, and Aston Villa. Capped 53 times from 2000 to 2008, and he was named 2008 Danish Football Player of the Year. He represented Denmark at the 2000 European Championship, 2002 World Cup, and 2004 European Championship tournaments.

CB: Allan Evans (Scotland)
Evans played for Dunfermline Athletic (1973–77), Aston Villa (1977–89), Leicester City (1989–90) and Darlington (1990–91).  He won the league title in 1980/1 and was part of Villa's 1982 European Cup winning team. Evans was later club captain and helped Villa win promotion back to the First Division in 1988. 

CB: Chris Nicholl (Northern Ireland)
He played for Burnley, Witton Albion, Halifax Town and Luton Town, before establishing himself as a centre-half with Aston Villa. He won the 1976/1977 League Cup after two final replays. The second replay is remembered for Nicholl scoring one of the greatest goals in any Aston Villa match, a forty-yard left footer which helped take the match to extra time. Capped 51 times.

CB/DM: Paul McGrath (Ireland)
One of Ireland's greatest players.  He appeared at the 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals, as well as Euro 1988.  He had a run-in with Sir Alex at Manchester United and moved to Aston Villa where he won the PFA Player of the Year in 1993. 
Paul McGrath

LB/CB: Steve Staunton (Ireland)
He was capped 102 times for Ireland.  He captained Ireland at the WC Finals in 2002 after the depature of Roy Keane. For his club career, he played mainly for Aston Villa and Liverpool. 

LB:  Charlie Aitken (Scotland)
Aitken is the all-time record appearance holder at English club Aston Villa. He played for Villa from August 1959 until May 1976, a period of 17 seasons. Aitken was a member of the 1975 League Cup winning team, having been a runner-up in 1971. He spent the last two seasons of his professional career in the NASL with the New York Cosmos.

DM: Gareth Barry (England)
He has made 597 appearances in the Premier League, including 365 for Aston Villa, putting him third on the all-time appearances list, and top amongst current players. In 2009, he joined Manchester City, where he won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title the following season. After a season on loan, he joined Everton on a three-year contract in July 2014.
Gareth Barry

CM: Dennis Mortimer (England)
Started with Convetry, Mortimer captained Villa to the 1982 European Cup Final. A 1–0 victory against Bayern Munich in the De Kuip Stadium was courtesy of a Peter Withe goal. From 1975 to 1985 he made 403 appearances for Villa scoring 36 goals.

CM: Gordon Cowans (England)
Cowans started his career at Aston Villa as an apprentice in 1974, and signed as a professional in 1976. During his time at Aston Villa, he won the League Cup, the League Championship, the European Cup and the European Super Cup.  He also played for Bari in Italy.  Capped 10 times.

CM: David Platt (England)
Platt began his career as an apprentice at Manchester United but later moved to Crewe Alexandra where he began building a reputation as a goal scoring midfield player. In 1988, he signed for Aston Villa and made his debut for England a year later. At the 1990 World Cup, his performances in Italy earned him a move to Bari in 1991. In 1992, Platt moved to Juventus, where he spent one season. In 1993, he moved to Sampdoria where he stayed for two seasons before returning to England with Arsenal.  Capped 75 times.
David Platt

LW: Ashley Young (England)
Young started his career at Watford, making his first senior appearances in 2003 under the management of Ray Lewington. He became a first-team regular in 2004–05, and was one of Watford's key players in their promotion winning 2005–06 season. Young continued to play well for Watford in the Premier League, and in January 2007 he transferred to Aston Villa for an £8 million fee, rising to £9.65 million with add-ons. He established himself in the first team at Villa Park, and has since earned 30 caps for England, scoring 7 goals. On 23 June 2011, Young signed for Manchester United for an undisclosed fee.

RW: Tony Daley (England)
Daley joined hometown club Aston Villa as an apprentice and soon made his senior debut aged 17 in1985. He played there for ten seasons.  His team finished a runner-up in both the 1989–90 and 1992–93 league championships. He also played in their 1994 League Cup final triumph where they defeated Manchester United at Wembley.  Capped seven times for England between 1991 and 1992 under former club manager Graham Taylor.

LW Tony Morley (England)
Morley played for Preston North End, Burnley, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City, as well as playing for other teams in Hong Kong and the USA. His goal against Everton at Goodison Park won him the 'Goal of the Season' award for 1980–81. He was a vital part of the Villa side that won the League Championship in 1980–81 and the European Cup the year after. His brilliant dribble and cross set up Peter Withe for the winning goal against Bayern Munich in the final. Capped 6 times for England.
Tony Morley

FW: Pongo Waring (England)
Waring is one of Aston Villa's all-time great centre forwards. He signed for Tranmere Rovers in 1926, scored 6 of the 11 goals scored against Durham City. He moved to Aston Villa for £4,700 in 1928. As well as playing football, Waring also worked for The Hercules Motor and Cycle Company in Aston.

ST: Gabriel Agbonlahor (England)
He is a product of Aston Villa's Academy, and made his first-team debut in 2006 following loans to Watford and Sheffield Wednesday. Since then, he has made over 300 Premier League appearances for the club. With 73 goals, he is Aston Villa's all-time leading Premier League goalscorer. Agbonlahor made his senior international debut for England in 2008 and has earned three caps.

ST: Peter McParland (England)
McParland won the FA Cup in 1957, scoring twice in the final against Manchester United but also becoming involved in a controversial incident in which he shoulder-charged (at the time a legitimate form of challenge) the Manchester United keeper Ray Wood, unconscious with a broken cheekbone. Represented Northern Ireland 34 times and starred for Northern Ireland in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in which he scored five goals and helped his team to the quarter-finals. McParland also won the Second Division title in 1960 and the League Cup in 1961 while with Aston Villa. 
Peter McParland
ST: Gary Shaw (England)
His goals helped Aston Villa win the English First Division championship in 1980–81 and the European Cup the following year - the only Birmingham-born player in the team. In 1981 he was voted PFA Young Player of the Year. He later played for Kjøbenhavns Boldklub in Denmark, moving to Klagenfurt in Austria in 1989. He finished his career off at Kilmarnock, Shrewsbury, Walsall and the Hong Kong-based Ernest Borel FC.

ST: Dwight Yorke (T&T) 
Best remembered for his stint with Manchester United.  In 1998-199 season,  Manchester United won the triple(the Premier League, the FA Cup and the  Champions' League), where he was both the top scorer in the Preimership  and the Champions' League. Along with Russell Latapy and Pat Jennings, Yorke holds the record number of participations in different World Cup competitions, including qualifying stages – six in total (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010).
Dwight Yorke

ST: Peter Withe (England)
He was a much-travelled English footballer who played as a striker between 1971 and 1990.  The highlights of his career came at Aston Villa, where he was a key player in the Football League title triumph of 1980–81 and scored his side's only goal in their 1982 European Cup Final victory.

ST: Billy Walker (England)
He is considered by many to be the greatest footballer to ever play for Aston Villa Football Club. He made 531 appearances for Villa between 1914 and 1934, scoring 244 goals, of which 214 came in 478 league matches.  He remains Aston Villa's all-time top goalscorer to this day. He was an FA Cup Winner with Villa in 1920. Walker is the only-player to have scored a hat-trick of penalty kicks in a Football League game, doing so against Bradford City in November 1921.
Billy Walker

Honorable mention
Ashley Young, Johnny Dixon, Brian Little, Darius Vassell, Ken McNaught, Olof Mellberg, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Kent Neilson, Stan Lynn, Kenny Swain.

Squad Explanation
-- Jack Rimmer was the 4th keeper.
-- I need a right winger.  I chose Tony Daley. 

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