Game #3594

Season | 1979-80 |

Matchday | #9 |
League Match-week | #7 |

Manager Game | #270 |
Saturday, 22 September 1979

Football League | Division One | Home | Arsenal | Villa Park | 27,277 |

Game Summary

Manager | Ron Saunders |

Referee | R. Bridges, Deeside |

FT Result | Drew |
FT Score | 0-0 |

Last 5 Games | DLLLD |

Line Up |

GK Jimmy Rimmer |

RB John Gidman |

RB Kenny Swain |

D Mike Pejic |

D Allan Evans |

CB Ken McNaught |

M Des Bremner | DEBUT |

M Gordon Cowans |

M Dennis Mortimer |

F Brian Little |

F David Geddis | DEBUT |

Unused Substitute |

CD Brendan Ormsby |

Unavailable |

M Alex Cropley |

LB Colin Gibson |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.93 | 

Oldest Player | GK Jimmy Rimmer | 31.64 |

Youngest Player | M Gordon Cowans | 20.92 |

On this day 22 September 1979

Midfielder Des Bremner made his Villa debut aged 27 after moving from Hibernian for a fee of £275,000 plus forward Joe Ward earlier this month.
Forward David Geddis made his Villa debut aged 21 after moving from Ipswich Town earlier this month for a fee of £300,000.

Match Report


*Monday 24 September 1979*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

Struggling Villa find discipline for a draw 


Arsenal's chief coach, Don Howe, an acknowledged expert on football tactics and strategies, had the look of a bemused man after watching his side amazingly held by struggling Aston Villa.


His elegant eleven completely outplayed Villa in the first half with strikers Stapleton and Sunderland both missing open goals from six yards out. But Villa somehow managed to hang on and with more discipline in the second half they just about deserved their point from the goalless draw.


Howe was philosophical about the result. "We missed some very good chances," he said. "But at least the build up and the creative work was good."


Even Villa manager Ron Saunders had to admit that Arsenal should have scored three or four goals before the interval against his new look side which included his three latest signings centre forward David Geddis, midfield player Des Bremner and full-back Mike Pejic.


"The trouble was that we had too many players looking after the new boys Instead of concentrating on their game. But we put that right at half-time and I was quite encouraged with their performance in the second half," he said.


Villa certainly did compete more after the interval. But they never impressed like Arsenal and the London side must still be kicking themselves for not taking both points.


It is too early to judge the newcomers. Geddis spent most of the game is O'Leary's pocket and he clearly lacked match fitness. But he showed his defensive qualities when he headed off the line from Stapleton and he was unlucky in the 74th minute when his header went flashing past the Arsenal post.


Lacked fitness


Bremner, who is used to the more leisurely pace of Scottish soccer with Hibernian, was always involved. But he ran out of oxygen before the end.


Pejic was the best of the trio and his defensive experience helped to stem the Arsenal tide when it was at its strongest. Of the established players, Gidman had a fine game and Rimmer pulled off several remarkable saves to keep his goal intact.


But Villa's biggest problem was in midfield where skipper Mortimer and Cowans had their work cut out to stem the danger from Brady, Hollins and Talbot.


These three dictated the proceedings and on any other day Stapleton and Sunderland would surely have scored two goals apiece.

Indeed the crowd who had given Saunders a big ovation at the start, looked on in stunned silence as first Stapleton headed tamely over from close range after a glorious through ball from Rix while Sunderland fired wide with an empty net in front of him.


It was one of those days when it could truly be said that Arsenal just could not get the ball into the net. There were two "goals" at either end. Willie Young had the ball in the net from a corner but Sunderland was ruled to be offside.


Ken McNaught also headed powerfully into the Arsenal goal from Mortimer's cross. But that too was disallowed for pushing and justice was seen to be done.

Post Match


*Monday 17 September 1979*
*Birmingham Daily Post*


Name the day battle for board

Aston Villa directors meet again this week to try to resolve their many differences about when they should hold an extraordinary general meeting which is being sought by Doug Ellis.


Chairman Harry Kartz said: "We cannot even agree on a date, but we will have to come to an agreement some time next week."


The crux of the problem is that Ellis, who wants to remove major shareholder Ron Bendall, his son. Don, and Kartz from the board, is anxious for the meeting to be staged in mid October.


But Kartz and the Bendalls do not want it to take place until November 1 - the proposed date of the annual meeting.


Kartz added: "Everybody now knows that Mr. Ellis will not rest until he has taken over control of this club. if he becomes the dictator he will get rid of manager Ron Saunders.


"They just do not see things the same way. Mr. Ellis is a friend of mine, but he wants to run the show."


"If he loses the battle, however. I would expect him to resign."


Kartz denied that his side in the unhappy power struggle at Villa Park had already asked Ellis to resign. But I believe that if Ellis were to lose the battle - and he has only a 16 per cent shareholding compared with the Bendall's 30 per cent - the board would demand his resignation.


One of the key figures in the fight is former chairman Sir William Dugdale, who was removed from the board in a bloodless revolution last year over the decision to give manager Saunders a six year contract.


Sir William, who controls around 7 1/2 per cent of the club's shares. will not reveal which way he is going to vote.




He said last night: "I want to see the documents and hear the arguments from both sides before I make up my mind. I most probably will not decide until two or three days before the extraordinary meeting."


Ellis. meantime, has appealed to the small shareholders to back him in his attempts to regain the chairmanship. There are around 8,000 of these shareholders, but the real key to how the battle will go remains with Sir William.


These are clearly very unhappy yet crucial days for the club and, unfortunately, the unrest appears to be affecting the team's performances.


If Villa are to climb again to become one of the major clubs in the country, peace will have to be restored in the boardroom.


But a possible solution to the whole business could be for both Ellis and Ron Bendall, who is a wealthy tax exile living in the Isle of Man, to resign. They might then consider giving the power to their sons Peter Ellis and Don Bendall. 

Post Match


*Monday 17 September 1979*
*Birmingham Daily Post*

Rimmer to stay

ASTON VILLA goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer denied reports last night that he was planning to ask the club for a transfer. Rimmer said: "I've recently signed a new three-year contract. I don't see how that suggests that I want to leave."