Blog: Hoping new boss is Taylor-made just like 25 years ago
18th May 2012
On May 18 1987, Graham Taylor departed his "job for life" at Watford, leaving behind chairman Elton John to follow the Yellow Brick Road to Villa Park.
If the next managerial appointment is as successful, there will be no complaints among the claret and blue faithful.
On the silver anniversary of GT's arrival, we can reflect that it was very much a silver lining on the cloud which enveloped the club at that time.
Under the management of Scot Billy McNeill, Villa had just been relegated, finishing bottom of the old First Division just five years after winning the European Cup.
Taylor spent a few weeks assessing what he had inherited, publicly declared that Villa had become "a shambles" - and set about the task of putting things right.
After a faltering start in which Villa failed to win any of their first four games in the old Second Division, the team settled down to clinch an immediate return to the top flight, gaining promotion as runners-up to Millwall.
And despite only narrowly going straight back down the following season, Taylor had laid the foundations for a team that would take the top flight by storm in 1989-90.
Villa finished runners-up to Liverpool and were back in Europe for the first time in seven years.
It was just a pity GT wasn't around to guide them in the UEFA Cup, having been lured away by England by the dawn of the following campaign.
This time around, Villa are in much healthier shape both on and off the pitch, despite having just waged a battle against relegation, so the new man's remit will be nowhere near as daunting.
And if he follows Taylor's path, he will have few problems.
rob bishop, blogs,
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