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John Gregory: The Boss

This is John Gregory's sensational story of his time at Aston Villa so far, having been dramatically appointed manager in February 1998. Open and honest, forthright and confident John Gregory talks about managing Stan Collymore and Paul Merson, his wheeling and dealing and his negotiations through the high-profile minefield that is the English Premiership. On 18 Feb 1998 John Gregory was preparing his Wycombe Wanderers side for a Second Division relegation battle in Bristol when the call from Villa came through. Within days, Gregory found himself preparing Aston Villa for a vital Premiership game with Liverpool that Villa won 2-1. His fixture was against Atletico Madird in the UEFA Cup quarter final. In his first season in charge, John Gregory led Villa from sixth from bottom to seventh from top with nine wins in eleven games. He transformed the season in three months even managing to sneak Villa into Europe. The Boss is his full and frank far-from-the-heart account of his Aston Villa years. He talks about losing Steve Staunton to Liverpool and his two controversial multi million pound signings - Paul Merson and Dion Dublin. He sells Dwight York and Stan Collymore hits the front page headlines. As 1998 turns into 1999 Villa are storming through with a record 12 matches unbeaten and are riding high at the top of the Premiership. John Gregory is the man of the moment: when Glen Hoddle is dismissed from the England job, Gregory, much to his surprise, is talked of as a successor. Fully updated for 2000/2001 season.
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About the Author

John Gregory played for Northampton Town, Aston Villa, Brighton, QPR, Derby County, Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers and won six caps for England. He has coached at Leicester and under his predecessor Brian Little at Villa. His management career started at Portsmouth and continued at Wycombe Wanderers before his surprise appointment to Aston Villa. Martin Swain has been covering sport - and in particular football - in the West Midland since 1981, working out of the Birmingham Post and Mail group and then the Express & Star in Wolverhampton, where he is currently Assistant Sports Editor. He has written histories on both Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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