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Game #3550

Aston Villa

Saturday, 8 September 1979


17th (-3)

Last 5: ๐ŸŸฅ ๐ŸŸฉ ๐ŸŸจ ๐ŸŸฅ ๐ŸŸฅ

Division One

Attendance: 34,859

Manchester United

Villa Park

Villa lose for the second time in three first division games as problems fester on and off the pitch. On the pitch an appalling and highly questionable refereeing performance hands the points to United and keeps Villa bay.

Aston Villa


Manchester United

Assist(s) | None





Saturday, 8 September 1979

๐Ÿฅ… | 17โ€™ Goal, 0-1, (Manchester United), Steve Coppell
๐Ÿ•’ | HT Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United
๐Ÿฅ… | 70โ€™ Goal, 0-2, (Manchester United, pen), Micky Thomas
๐Ÿฅ… | 86โ€™ Goal, 0-3, (Manchester United), Ashley Grimes
๐Ÿ” | Sub off, Gary Shelton, Sub on, Joe Ward
๐Ÿ•’ | FT Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

๐ŸŸจ | Booking, Allan Evans, Unclear but assumed to be for a heavy tackle on Joe Jordan or dissent for being penalised for a heavy tackle on Joe Jordan
๐ŸŸจ | Booking, Kenny Swain, Dissent


Ron Saunders' Villa lose heavily at home amidst acrimony and make it one win, two draws and two defeats in five League matches this season as they languish in 17th place.

Aston Villa

European Cup / Champions League: โŒ
League Champions: ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ†
FA Cup Winners: ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†
League Cup Winners: ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†
Last Trophy: 1976-77

Manchester United

European Cup / Champions League: ๐Ÿ†
League Champions: ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†
FA Cup Winners: ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†
League Cup Winners: โŒ
Last Trophy: 1976-77


Manchester United

Previous 5 vs. United: ๐ŸŸฅ ๐ŸŸฉ ๐ŸŸจ ๐ŸŸจ ๐ŸŸจ


Season | 1979-80 |
Matchday | #7 |
League Match | #5 |
Manager Game | #268 |
Saturday, 8 September 1979


Manager: Ron Saunders | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | Birkenhead, 1974-1982
Referee: Peter Reeves | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | Leicester, 1972โ€“1981 ๐Ÿ†˜
Kick off: 3.00pm
HT Score: ๐ŸŸฅ 0-1
FT Result: ๐ŸŸฅ Lost
FT Score: ๐ŸŸฅ 0-3
Last 5: ๐ŸŸฅ ๐ŸŸฉ ๐ŸŸจ ๐ŸŸฅ ๐ŸŸฅ


Ron Saunders | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |


๐Ÿ•’ 268 | ๐ŸŸฉ | 119 ๐ŸŸจ | 74 ๐ŸŸฅ 75 | 1.61

Career Form:

Top 6

Ron Saunders | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |


Referee: Peter Reeves | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | Leicester, 1972-1981 ๐Ÿ†˜
๐Ÿ†˜ Allowed the offside opening goal, denied Villa two clear handball penalties, booked Evans for no clear reason, gave a soft pen to the opposition without hesitation.
Previous 5:
Last Match:
Cards: ๐ŸŸจ ๐ŸŸจ

Peter Reeves



๐ŸŸจ ๐ŸŸจ

Manchester United



Gary Shelton replaces Colin Gibson.


Starting XI Average Age
| 24.30 |

Oldest Player |
GK Jimmy Rimmer | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | 31.60 |

Youngest Player |
F Gary Shaw | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | 17.81 |



Ron Saunders | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |

Dave Sexton | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |

Aston Villa

GK Jimmy Rimmer | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
RB John Gidman | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
RB Kenny Swain | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | ๐ŸŸจ |
CB Allan Evans | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ | ๐ŸŸจ |
CB Ken McNaught | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ |
M Gary Shelton | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | ๐Ÿ” |
M Gordon Cowans | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
M Dennis Mortimer | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
W Tony Morley | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
F John Deehan | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
F Gary Shaw | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |

Manchester United

GK Gary Bailey | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
LB Arthur Albiston | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ |
CB Gordon McQueen | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ |
CB Martin Buchan | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ |
RB Jimmy Nicholl | ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง |
M Mickey Thomas | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ | โšฝ |
M Lou Macari | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ |
M Steve Coppell | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | โšฝ |
M Sammy McIlroy | ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง |
M Ray Wilkins | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
CF Joe Jordan | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ | ๐Ÿ” |


๐Ÿ” | F Joe Ward | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ | for M Gary Shelton | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |


๐Ÿ” | CF Joe Jordan | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ | (M Ashley Grimes ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช | โšฝ |)






1st XI:
Home Nation ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง : 11/11

Home Nation ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง : 12/12



1st XI:
Home Nation ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง : 10/11

Home Nation ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง : 11/12



Injury | 5 |
M Alex Cropley | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ |
F Brian Little | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
RB Gary Williams | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
M Colin Gibson | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |
M Frank Carrodus | ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ |


Not Recorded

Player Positions:


GK : Goalkeeper
CB, D, B : Centre Back, Defender, Back
FB, LB, RB, WH : Full Back, Left Back, Right Back, Wing Back, Wing Halfโ€จ

M, CH, LH, RH : Midfielder, Centre Half, Left Half, Right Half
W, OL, OR : Winger, Outside Left, Outside Right
F, IF, IL, IR : Forward, Inside Forward, Inside Left, Inside Right, Second Striker, False 9
CF : Centre Forward


Match Symbols:


โšฝ | Goal
๐Ÿ”ฅ | Assist
๐Ÿ” | Substitution

๐ŸŸจ | Booking

๐ŸŸฅ | Sending off

๐Ÿ†˜ | Poor refereeing performance
๐ŸŸข : Debut ๐Ÿ”ด : Final Game




Not recorded


2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg


Quotation Marks.png


"We've got a lot of youngsters in the side and we need a couple of new signings. But we did a lot of good work and played some good football without having anything to show for it".

"At times like these it is easy to criticise and knock a side when they are struggling. We are struggling but we need encouragement not criticism."

"I do not feel I am under any pressure from above although I must have been asked that question at least 20 times today. I hope money will be made available by the board and I shall be making certain recommendations to them before long."

Ron Saunders

*Birmingham Daily Post*
Monday, 10 September 1979

โ€‹A mass exodus of fans from Villa Park on Saturday well before the final whistle clearly showed the thoughts on Aston Villa's performance.

The 3-0 defeat by Manchester United, which was not totally unexpected, the departure of ยฃ1,469,000 Andy Gray and the rumours of unrest within the club were all important factors.

It is obvious that these are unhappy times and a third successive defeat did nothing to help the humour of the supports in a 34,859 crowd.

They did not have to be experts to see that all is not right. Villa's largely inexperienced side worked hard throughout, but they were nearly always second best against United's well drilled eleven.

With one or two exceptions, notably Mortimer and Cowans it was almost like watching boys playing against men.

Manager Ron Saunders said afterwards: "We've got a lot of youngsters in the side and we need a couple of new signings. But we did a lot of good work and played some good football without having anything to show for it".

"At times like these it is easy to criticise and knock a side when they are struggling. We are struggling but we need encouragement not criticism."

Saunders added "I do not feel I am under any pressure from above although I must have been asked that question at least 20 times today. I hope money will be made available by the board and I shall be making certain recommendations to them before long."

In fairness to Villa most sides might have struggled against United's composed and controlled display which extended their unbeaten run and took them into second place in the First Division.

The area where most of Villa's moves broke down was in attack. Deehan and the teenager, Shaw. the two main strikers, found it hard to keep possession. This made extra work for Mortimer and company in midfield where they were continually tested by McIlroy and Wilkins.

Everything started to go wrong for Villa after 18 minutes when Rimmer fumbled a powerful shot from Macari. Jordan, who had been subjected to some heavy tackling from Evans which earned the Villa defender a booking, could not turn it Into the net. But Coppell suddenly appeared at the far post to do the trick.

Villa defenders argued that Coppell was offside, but Leicester referee Peter Reeves refused their appeals and their later protests when McQueen and Nicholl appeared to handle in the area.

He had no hesitation in rightly awarding United a 70th minute penalty when emergency full back Swain brought down the substitute, Grimes. Thomas scored from the spot whilst Swain was booked for disagreeing with the referee.

To complete the torment Rimmer dived too late in the 86th minute to prevent Grimes' close range shot from going under his body But the goalkeeper move smartly to deny United any more goals, pulling off one magnificent save against Mcllroy.


Saturday, 8 September 1979
Sports Argus


ANDY GRAY became English football's most expensive player when he signed for Wolves for ยฃ1,469,000.

โ€‹The signing was carefully stage-managed at Molineux half-an-hour before the kick-off of their game with Crystal Palace.

โ€‹Gray was taken onto the pitch by manager John Barnwell, and signed to the roars of the 30,000 crowd while surrounded by photographers and reporters.

โ€‹Barnwell said: "I must rate him very highly. He is at the right age 23, and he is coming to a club that is going forward. We have yet to see the very best of Andy."

โ€‹"I am quite happy about the player's fitness."

โ€‹Barnwell shrugged off any suggestion that Wolves could not afford the fee.

โ€‹He said: "If you can afford a Rolls Royce you should not be limited to buying Mini. The danger Is only when you can afford a Mini and go out and buy a Rolls Royce."

Aston Villa, who sold Gray to Wolves, make a massive profit on the deal. They bought him for ยฃ110,000 from Dundee United In 1973.

Gray, who had his medical this morning. said: "All I feel Is that if Mr. Barnwell is paying this much money he must know what I can do."

"I know what I can do, and now it's just a case of proving it."


Saturday, 8 September 1979
Sports Argus

Harry says cash is for new men By PETER WHITE

โ€‹ASTON Villa chairman Harry Kartz has made it clear the money brought in from the sale of Andy Gray is available for new players.

It has been suggested that part of the ยฃ1.5 million could be used to put Villa on a sound financial basis.

But Kartz said: "We are a football club. not a finance company."

The Villa chairman added "It's up to the manager, Ron Saunders, to spend the money how best he thinks."

"If he come to me at any time with a proposition, then we will give it consideration. In fact, that has always been the case."

It seems likely that Saunders will try to buy a forward to replace Gray. Mike Channon would have fitted the bill ideally, but the former England striker now appears to be on his way from Manchester City to Southampton.

However, Mr. Kartz has made it perfectly clear that money is available to strengthen the Villa squad. so now it's up to Saunders to go out and spend.

Meanwhile, Villa face one of their sternest tests so far this season when they meet third-placed Manchester United at Villa Park this afternoon.

With Colin Gibson ruled out through injury. Kenny Swain fills the left back berth the third position he has played in this season.


Monday, 10 September 1979
*Birmingham Daily Post*

Saunders, Villa reach crossroads

โ€‹Aston Villa's five-man board of directors must act now to clear up the growing uncertainty about manager Ron Saunders's future. They must decide whether they are going to back him or dismiss him.

The latest round of rumour and innuendo was brought to an embarrassing climax when ten million viewers of BBC's Match of the Day programme on Saturday night saw 48-year-old Saunders placed under the spotlight.

Commentator Barrie Davies, interviewing Saunders, said at one stage: "People are saying your future is in the balance ..." It was cutting and right to the point.

But it is not a closely guarded secret that there has been conflict between the board and the manager and that this state of affairs still appears to exist.

There is also considerable doubt about whether Saunders is going to be given all the ยฃ1.2 million he received for Scottish striker Andy Gray to start the important team rebuilding programme.

It is clear to Villa's faithful supporters that new men are desperately required if the club are to fulfil their ambitions. This is another reason why the board must speak out if only to clear the air and bring some stability back to the club.

Unlike Wolves manager John Barnwell, who received the full backing of his board to buy Gray, it appears that Saunders may well have his hands tied on whom he buys or sells.

If this is so it puts him in an untenable position. He has, arguably, been Villa's most successful manager since the war and it is worth recording that the last time they won the First Division title was 60 years ago.

Since he joined the club in June, 1974, he has helped them to win the League Cup twice, taken them from the Second Division to the First and also guided them to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.

Despite this handsome record he has been beset by problems under three successive chairmen Doug Ellis, Sir William Dugdale, and the current occupant, Harry Kartz. He had to fight for a long term contract last year.

The board has hitherto been most forthcoming in providing him with the cash to buy players. But it is significant that Villa's record transfer deal is still the ยฃ250,000 they paid Newcastle United for Tommy Craig In January of last year.

This is minute by today's standards and although they are hoping to pay out a similar sum for Everton fullback Mike Pejic, other big money buys are needed if the team are not to struggle.

The warning signs blaze. Villa supporters have been staying away in their thousands this season.

Poor results

The reasons are twofold poor results and a growing belief that all is not right between the manager and the board and the manager and the players.

Chairman Kartz and his fellow directors met transfer listed Gray and full-back Juhn Gidman last week without Saunders being present. Kartz denied that it was a last minute attempt to try to keep Gray and Gidman. He described the meeting as "a general chat."

What is going on Villa?

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