Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday April 5 2006
1) So, awful season for all midlands clubs, do you see the traditional local derby v Villa as a way to restore some local pride, or do you view your only
derby as the Wolves game?
I think that the Villa game is our one chance this season to restore some local pride. We have put in some awful performances against Villa and Blues in the last couple of seasons so three points on Sunday would definately restore some pride.
2) Do you believe that the Baggies can stay up this season and is Bryan Robson the right man to build your team for the future?
I think we can stay up this season, there is still a lot of football to be played and a week is a long time in football. It is close down the bottom with us, Blues, Pompey and maybe even Villa still involved in the battle to stay up. I am undecided on Robson, I think the football we are playing at the moment is the best we have seen in a long time. Come the end of the season I think Robson will be judged on us going down or staying up. He has had funds to bring in his own players but more than half of them have not turned out the way he would have hoped and January was a complete disaster for signings.
3) Did you expect better this season, or with your level of investment, is a relegation survival the best you could hope for? Realistically what do you think the Baggies 'should' be achieving?
At the end of last season we were promised better quality players and that our team would push on and aim higher after surviving last season. Season ticket prices were increased with the promise of better quality players and the extra money being invested in new players. The 'top quality' signings that we were promised never materialised hence us struggling again this season. With the current squad of players we have a relegation battle was all that was going to happen. Letting two of a strikers leave in January and not replacing them has seen us struggle for goals. Not investing in an experienced centre half to play alongside Curtis Davies has seen us concede stupid goals through a defence not doing their job.
I think that after last seasons 'Great Escape' we were expecting a lot more and at least to be safe by now. West Ham and Wigan were promoted last season
and have not looked back, they invested in the team and expectations have never even been just to survive. Why can't Albion and Villa manage this?
4) One Baggies fan said to me that he would rather be winning in the Championship rather than losing all the time in the Prem. What do you think?
The Premier League is the place to be but there is nothing worse than losing every week. I would rather watch a team winning and full of confidence than a team losing each week. I follow Albion though not Manchester United which makes supporting them in the Premier League tough, no one wants to see their team struggle.
5) Who in the Baggies side should Villa fear?
The returning Zoltan Gera, looked good last week against Liverpool and should start this week. Attacking midfielder and our only real goal threat from midfield, I am hoping that he can boost our chances of survival. He has been out injured for most of the season but played 45 minutes of last weeks game and showed everyone what we have been missing. A real threat in the air, fantastic feet and never stops running. He will give Villa a few problems if he is selected.
6) Who in the Villa side do you fear?
Milan Baros is always giving us a hard time, very fast and direct and always seems to score against us. Steven Davis is top quality and if we allow him time on the ball we will be punished for it.
7) If you could have one of our players, who would it be?
At the moment Olof Mellberg, an experienced head to go alongside Curtis Davies. He may not be having the best of seasons at Villa Park but he could do a
job for us alongside our young centre back.
8) What is your opinion on Villa, sleeping giant or has-been?
I think they have passed the sleeping giant phase. Two or maybe three seasons ago was the time for Doug Ellis to act and salvage what they had but he has
allowed the club to go stale and it is going to take major investment to get that club back towards the right end of the Premiership table. A club like Villa should be pressing on towards Europe but teams like Bolton, West Ham, Blackburn and even Wigan have passed them during the last couple of seasons.
9) What do you think of David O'Leary?
I think he is doing a good job at the moment, got the Villa where they should be! (joking aside) I don't think he has the ability to move Villa forward. With the players he has at his disposal Villa should be further up the league than they are. Did a great job at Leeds but has struggled at Villa and should be on his way out come the end of the season.
10) What do you think the score will be at the weekend?
I think that if we fight like we have done in recent weeks we can take the three points. We will have to watch out for any Villa backlash after their defeat to Arsenal. I think we will win by the odd goal, I'll go for 2-1 Albion with Gera getting the winner.
My answers to the Baggies Boys:Click Here
Date:Wednesday April 5 2006
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