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John Gregory - GoneMost of the national press coverage of John Gregory's appointment as Aston Villa on Wednesday 25 Feb 1998 brushed over the fact that Wycombe had lost their Manager at a vital stage of the season. Here are some extracts from the more interesting pieces that we found.

First of all a piece from self appointed football 'expert' Mark Lawrenson in The Daily Mirror on Wednesday 25 Feb, where he was trying to predict who would take over as the new Villa Manager.
"..I think Doug Ellis will go for somebody he already knows (not bad Mark). Somebody who has played for the club (still OK), who has European experience (getting worse), and somebody who is a big enough name to attract stars to the club (oh dear). Now doesn't that sound like a perfect job for David Platt?"

The following day (Thursday 26 Feb) there was a definite lack of 'As exclusively predicted' stories.
In the Dail Mail an article by Peter White had the headline GREGORY TAKES THE VILLA HOT-SEAT and stated "Another farcical chapter in the Aston Villa soap opera was enacted yesterday as chairman Doug Ellis installed another of his favourite ex-players John Gregory to replace Brian Little" Wycombe first get mentioned in the fourth paragraph "Gregory, who left Villa to manage Wycombe 16 months ago, is a disciplinarian and he took over with a warning to star players" This comment was presumably referring to Gregory's strict code of conduct off the pitch - Wycombe supporters will know that under Gregory this season Wycombe accumulated over 60 yellow cards - the worst in Division Two.
Inside the Daily Mail on the same day was an extended piece by Bob Driscoll under the headline IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, GREGORY'S MY NAME. He continued with the Gregory "work ethic" angle. "The stories about Gregory at Wycombe Wanderers are legendary...Gregory fined players for walking around the training ground barefoot or in the wrong type of shoes. Miguel DeSouza, a talented, blisteringly fast but frustrating striker who was the Second Division's answer to Collymore, didn't seem to be appreciated by Gregory" The article commented on Gregory's dislike of long range shots and had a quote from Dave Carroll who said "He takes the view that pot-shots take the pressure off the opposition because so few of them hit the target"

Nothing from Mark Lawrenson in the Daily Mirror on the Thursday but David Moore did write "John Gregory was whisked away from Wycombe to become the new manager of Aston Villa last night." The same piece included quotes from Doug Ellis who claimed there were 16 applications for Villa job by telephone and fax. Gregory didn't apply but Ellis said "I decided that this has to be the case of better the devil you know.."
Alongside the lead article was a tabloid special by Mark McGuinness headlined VILLA HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE, taking the Cluedo angle of the situation at Villa Park, with Ellis portrayed as the Colonel, Brian Little as the Reverend, David Platt as the Professor and Gregory as Miss Scarlett.

Villa haven't got a Clue

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