We were able to briefly chat with former player, manager and current legend of Aston Villa, Brian Little about both of his stints with the club, and his new book.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
We had the opportunity to speak with Brian Little, who famously spent his entire playing career at Aston Villa – managing 247 appearances and scoring 60 goals.
Little, who as a manager has managed Aston Villa too – as well as the likes of local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, and other midlands clubs including Stoke City and Leicester City, is now the Adviser to the Board at the club.
Brian Little won the League Cup with Aston Villa on three separate occasions, twice as a player and once as a manager, as well as being heavily involved in the Football League Third Division win in 1971-2.
Whilst there were a number of questions we asked Brian about the club currently, he was unable to answer them due to his current affiliations with Aston Villa.
What is your favourite memory as an Aston Villa player?
“For me, it has to be scoring a hat-trick in the League Cup Semi-Final against Queens Park Rangers.”
In your opinion, how good was Gary Shaw? Do you think you would have made it into the League winning side had you been fit?
“I rated Gary very highly. He was an excellent finisher of the ball and his partnership with Peter Withe was sublime.
However, it’s not really for me to say whether or not I’d have made it into the side or not.”
How highly did you rate Dwight Yorke whilst he was playing under you?
“When I first started managing the club, nobody was quite sure where Dwight’s best position was on the pitch. I made the choice to start playing him as a striker.
This gave him the opportunity to really showcase what he was like as a player. I rated him very highly!”
Is there anything you wish that you had achieved in your playing or management career?
“In regards to my playing career, it would have been nice to continue playing into my thirties.
As a manager, I have absolutely no regrets – I’ve worked at six levels of football and achieved everything that I wanted to.”
What reasons prompted you to resign, rather abruptly, in 1998?
“I just believe that it was the right time for me to move on personally.”
If you had to pick a five-a-side team out of past players, who would make your squad?
“With past players I can answer that one quite easily.
I’d have Mark Bosnich, Paul McGrath, Gareth Southgate, Dennis Mortimer, Gordon Cowans and myself as their manager.”
What can Aston Villa fans and footballing fans in general expect from your new book?
“Villa and football fans can expect a funny insight into my footballing life – delving into my early career, my philosophy on football management, and the long list of people who have made a difference to, or had an influence on my 50 years in football.”
Brian Little’s new book “Brian Little: A Little is Enough” is available in both paperback and hardback via his website. He is also signing his book at the Stoke game in the Holte suite, and in the Aston Tavern on the 23rd of December.