Flashback 1992-93: The wit and wisdom of Ron Atkinson
Paper: The Birmingham Post
On the eve of the Man Utd v Villa clash at Old Trafford, Birmingham Post reporter Andy Colquhoun analysed larger than life manager Ron Atkinson via several hilarious soundbites:
After West Brom has been beaten 1-0 by Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Cup in 1979: I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat.
To the press after becoming Man Utd manager in 1981: You are welcome to my home number gentlemen but please remember not to phone me during The Sweeney.
On Gordon Strachan coming back from injury at Man Utd: He was playing from memory - but by God what a memory!
After a rugged European Cup tie against Valencia: It's the first time after a match we have had to replace the divots in the players.
On life after the sack at Man Utd: I've had to trade the Mercedes for a BMW, I'm down to my last 37 suits and I'm having to drink non-vintage champagne.
On relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday: By October we needed snookers to stay up.
After Sheffield Wednesday had gone bottom: We were feeble, scandalous. We were so bad I was ready to get on my feet with the rest of the fans shouting 'Atkinson out.'
To a photographer from fashion magazine The Face asking for a 30 minute picture session: Half an hour? You can shoot Ben Hur in half an hour. You've got 15 seconds.
FA threatens strike action during long goalless Villa run at the start of 1992: They are talking about the players going on strike? Well ours have been since Christmas.
On the returning Tony Daley and a regular butt of jokes, Dalian Atkinson: Daley could start the game or maybe he'll be sitting on the plank............that's if Dalian doesn't mind.
After the 3-0 Villa defeat by Coventry: At least we were consistent. We were useless at the back. We were useless in midfield. We were crap up front.
On born-again Villa striker Cyrille Regis: I just bumped into Cyrille. I said: "what's all this about finding god?" You worked with him at West Brom for four years.
On the scoring prowess of Carlton Palmer: He is the worst finisher since Devon Loch. When he is in a clear shooting position he is under orders to pass.
Paper: The Birmingham Post
On a massively frustrating night Aston Villa again passed up the chance to take a significant lead over Manchester United in a title race that seems set to go to the last second and the last kick of the season.
With Manchester United vulnerable after Tuesday's defeat at Oldham, Villa experienced a night of pressure and chances but wake-up this morning level with United on sixty points.
They will know they should be two points clear.
It was a slap in the face for Villa's second biggest crowd of the season - more than 37,000 - and they must now avoid defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday.
That has always been the case, of course, and Villa could do worse than take a leaf out of Spurs unadventurous book if they are to achieve it.
The FA Cup semi-finalists had clearly come for no more than a point and left their forwards to plough a lone furrow while they packed the midfield and held a steady offside line.
It smacked of déjà-vu for Villa who endured similar frustration at Crystal Palace last month where they pressed and pressed for 90 minutes only to lose to a breakaway goal.
This time they were spared that cruel twist of the knife but that will hardly be consolation.
Villa hit the post twice through Dean Saunders and had what appeared to be legitimate appeals for a penalty and a goal - when a Saunders shot appeared to be hooked back from the wrong side of the goalline - disallowed.
But ultimately they foundered on Spurs rock-line defence and for a frustrating final half hour a Villa side which had clearly run out of ideas was unable to threaten Erik Thorstedvt's goal.
At the other end Mark Bosnich did not have a single shot or header to save as Spurs shackled their own ambition to a point.
Villa can expect this healthy respect until the end of the season.
Paper: Daily Telegraph
Manchester United and Aston Villa will shoot it out on Sunday level on points at the top of the Premier League.
Villa lost the chance to take a two-point advantage to Old Trafford when a disciplined Tottenham and a lot of bad luck denied them victory.
United stay ahead of Villa on goal difference at the top of the table largely because nothing would go right for Dean Saunders.
Saunders twice hit a post and once had a chip cleared off the line by Justin Edinburgh when it seemed physically impossible.
The prospect of leapfrogging over United was enough to draw such a crowd that the kick-off had to be delayed for 15 minutes so that 37,727 could be admitted.
A bonus for the faithful was the return of Tony Daley, Villa's England winger, after an absence of more than six months.
It was Daley's first competitive senior appearance following his recovery from surgery on a knee injury in September.
Snap up match tickets for our clash with QPR.
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