collapse collapse

Please donate to help keep this site going.
November 23, 2020, 04:23:08 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 238 | Comments: 1

These days a ten year old is l...
November 20, 2020, 12:28:50 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 423 | Comments: 3

In the euphoria of the resumpt...
November 18, 2020, 11:57:57 AM by dave.woodhall | Views: 402 | Comments: 2

By Christmas 1936 those who ex...
November 05, 2020, 12:10:19 PM by dave.woodhall | Views: 1141 | Comments: 8

This weekend sees the thirtiet...
October 28, 2020, 02:06:34 AM by dave.woodhall | Views: 1020 | Comments: 8



[url=https://ibb.c...

Follow us on...

Author Topic: I wish it could be 1995 again  (Read 1414 times)

Offline dave.woodhall

  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 54490
  • Location: Treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.
I wish it could be 1995 again
« on: October 20, 2020, 12:29:57 PM »




The start of the season's been great. We're playing well, scoring regularly, the defence is unrecognisable from last season's shambles and we have a powerhouse midfield. Rounding it all off is a manager who if he wasn't in the dugout would be watching us by whatever means possible, because he's a Villa supporter, just like we are. 

Comparisons are already being made with the past, but one comparison that hasn't been made yet is not that surprising, because it's with the team who are often overlooked when great Villa sides are mentioned - Brian Little and the Class of '96. 

Like Dean, the manager was fulfilling his destiny, and he found it hard going at first. Both men could have been sacked and both took their share of criticism from sceptics who said the job was too big for them, but they survived their first test and avoided relegation on the final day. 

Both times we've gone into the new season with a bit of money spent, but also with concerns that the number one transfer targets had gone elsewhere. In the summer of 1995 were tipped to struggle again, but hit the ground running. Brian's sit up and take notice moment was instant - three up at half-time against Manchester United on the opening day. Dean's took a bit longer, but it was even more incredible.
 
There's also a bit of a similarity in the players being used. Brian bought a right-back who'd played for Forest and on the other flank was an oft-criticised player who was better going forward than defending. In central defence he converted a journeyman midfielder into an England captain; I'm stretching a point here but Tyrone Mings was more of a utility player and not particularly well-known when he signed for us. Alongside the nameless one in the 1995-96 side was a player we'd picked up from a lower divisions team for a comparative pittance (another point stretching, but bear with me).

We have a midfield general bought a year earlier and written off by many who moved position and became the type of player we've missed ever since, and the side was completed when a box to box midfielder slotted in as the season progressed.

In attack we had a player who burst onto the scene then faded for a couple of years before finally finding his proper position and becoming world class. Up front or out wide - that point's not being stretched quite so much this time. It's a pity that Wesley got injured or that Ollie Watkins isn't a moody continental because the comparisons would be even better but that's enough to be going on with.

As the season progressed Brian's team were a joy to watch. They attacked, they sometimes had to grind out results, when they were good they were unbeatable and they had off-days when their lack of experience showed, but overall they made 1995-95 our last truly memorable season. They faded towards the end but that was understandable given the number of games they played and injuries to key players in the final months. They won the League Cup at a time when we still regarded it as out on loan when any other club won it and got to our first FA Cup semi-final for almost forty years - and we've not lost in the sixth round since. They also finished fourth in the league, an achievement that only three Villa managers have ever beaten and one we've not come close to emulating since then.   

What was particularly memorable was the togetherness they showed. This was a team that had big names, and some who were on their way to becoming such, but they still fought for each other. They were worthy of the colours they wore, upholders of a fine tradition and what made the season even better was that it was all so unexpected. Long may those comparisons continue.   

Offline Sexual Ealing

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10217
  • Location: West West Ealing
  • GM : PCM
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2020, 12:45:45 PM »
This is wonderful, and astute. I also wish it was 1995 again, and that I knew then what I know now. A full head of hair and a flat stomach would go a long way right now. I also think we can recreate what that side did, and perhaps even go further. What a time to still be alive!

Online Richard E

  • Member
  • Posts: 10094
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Tipton
  • This also will pass.
  • GM : 28.02.2019
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2020, 01:12:25 PM »
1995-96 is probably my favourite ever season following the Villa.

Offline darren woolley

  • Member
  • Posts: 25392
  • Location: London
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2020, 01:34:12 PM »
What a year 1995 my Daughter was born and watching the Villa play like we did it doesn't get much better than that great read Dave.

Offline brontebilly

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5304
  • GM : 16.05.2021
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2020, 01:45:48 PM »
A great season to be following the Villa. Absolute blitzing Leeds at Wembley too. Considering the players we had could or should we have kicked on further the following season and been a lot closer to Man Utd? Curcic in particular was a huge flop I guess. Draper regressed a lot too.

Offline Meanwood Villa

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3730
  • GM : PCM
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2020, 02:08:06 PM »
My favourite year. Great season and if we come anywhere close this year it will be happy days.

I know God is many people's favoutite player and he was in this team of course but I've always said Yorke was the best player I remember playing for us. Jack is fast approaching taking him over. Hopefully he'll have a year like Dwight did in 95/96 to seal the deal.

Offline rob_bridge

  • Member
  • Posts: 6649
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Birmingham
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2020, 03:00:38 PM »
Loved it from the moment I called in a favour from Ray in the ticket office for the first match which had sold out a week before the start of the season, to the best Villa kit in ages (and since), to McGrath teaching 2 yoofs how to play, to Yorkie smashing it, Draper spraying balls like Platini, dismantling Leeds at Wembley and showing no little flair.   

Offline Flamingo Lane

  • Member
  • Posts: 3026
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2020, 04:37:52 PM »
Aside from the league cup final itself, my favourite memory of that season was sitting in the North Bank at Highbury and watching us pull back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2, in the first leg of the semi-final.  Tommy Johnson in particular was great that night.

Offline Risso

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 59536
  • Location: Leics
  • GM : 28.02.2021
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2020, 05:20:11 PM »
That goal we scored against Coventry inside 10 seconds or whatever it was brilliant from start to finish.  Tommy Johnson looked a bit average for the first few games of his Villa career including when he chundered on the pitch, then came on for Townsend in the 4-1 away demolition of West Ham, and was brilliant.

Offline Villatillidie1982

  • Member
  • Posts: 203
  • Location: Near the legendary Heathfield Road
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2020, 09:35:22 PM »
We can't win the League Cup this year so not too similar.

Online Richard E

  • Member
  • Posts: 10094
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Tipton
  • This also will pass.
  • GM : 28.02.2019
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2020, 09:36:48 PM »
Aside from the league cup final itself, my favourite memory of that season was sitting in the North Bank at Highbury and watching us pull back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2, in the first leg of the semi-final.  Tommy Johnson in particular was great that night.

We deserved to win that match. No way should we have been 2-0 down. Brilliant night.

Offline Damo70

  • Member
  • Posts: 27032
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2020, 09:44:03 PM »
I was living abroad in 1995 and only spent two weeks of that year back in England visiting my parents. I managed to fit in two Villa games. Villa 4 Leicester 4 and Newcastle 3 Villa 1.

Offline tony_harrison

  • Member
  • Posts: 28
  • Location: Luton
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2020, 01:24:13 AM »
Great read. First full season supporting Villa with my first game the 1-1 draw with Arsenal at VP in January. Little did I know that it wouldn't get much better for the following 24 years.

Have a Daughter now who is of a similar age to how old I was that year. Would be great to get her down to VP to see us replicating that season.

Offline KevinGage

  • Member
  • Posts: 11486
  • Location: Stocious in Seattle
  • GM : 20.09.20
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2020, 05:46:02 AM »
Doesn't top 92/93 for me, but we were a busy, enterprising team and I recall a few neutrals/ Citeh fans I knew tipping us for the league after this season.

There was a sense with BFR that some players probably signed due to his reputation alone.

Little never had that pull in the management stakes but still put together one of the most entertaining sides I've seen in my lifetime.

Chancing a plodding Crystal Palace midfielder at centre half and choosing Yorke over Saunders took balls.

Just wish Draper had continued as he started. Did we ever find out what happened there?

Offline mcgrath_85

  • Member
  • Posts: 473
Re: I wish it could be 1995 again
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2020, 08:53:29 AM »
Nice read. My favourite season as a Villa fan. Hopefully this season can last in the memory too!

 


SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal