Martin Keown says this Aston Villa manager was a joke to his players

Martin Keown has recalled his time at Aston Villa under Billy McNeill.

Martin Keown has recalled his time at Aston Villa, remembering the way Billy McNeill lost the faith of the players.

Speaking to The Mail, in light of the way Chelsea's season has unfolded so terribly, culminating in Jose Mourinho's sacking, Keown recalls Aston Villa's plight.

Former Celtic captain McNeill managed Villa for only one season, in 1986/87, Keown's first year at the club after signing from Arsenal, a club he would later rejoin.

Under his management Villa won only nine games of 41 played, and were relegated from the top flight.

Keown cites the fact he lost his players, even becoming a laughing stock.

He said: "I remember being relegated with Aston Villa when Billy McNeill was the manager. He would say ‘Bingo’ every time he made a point throughout his team talk.

"It became the joke among the players, who counted how many times he used the word and christened him ‘Billy McBingo’. The lads would smirk each time he said it and then emerge giggling, saying: ‘That’s 31 times today’. That was a lost dressing room."

Little pieces of information like that would have been kept from the media at the time, and even today they would not come out.

Quoted by Eurosport, Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo cited 'palapble discord' between Jose Mourinho and his players as a principal reason for his dismissal.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch