Former Manchester United boss Ron Atkinson was named the new Aston Villa manager on this day in 1991.
Atkinson replaced the 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 as manager. But just a week later, he was revealed in Villa Park as Villa’s new man!
In Atkinson’s first season in charge, the club finished seventh in Division One. This was a marked improvement over the previous campaign, when Venglo’s side finished in 17th position.
Fans also enjoyed a decent race in the FA Cup ending in a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of any winners Liverpool.
1992/93 was the inaugural season of the new Premier League, a break away from the Football League. Villa finished in second place and struggled with Manchester United all the way. By finishing in second place, 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 favorites 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 did not have the best of relationships, and Ellis fired Atkinson in November 1994.