Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday April 21 2006
Villa are constantly being linked with a £3million move for Wolverhampton Wanderers central defender Joleon Lescott so I thought I would ask the Vital Wolves editor what he makes of it all.
1) How good is Lescott and would you be sorry to see him leave?
I think everyone will be sad to see him leave but he will go with everyone's blessing. He's a product of the youth academy and to most fans it feels like he is one of us.
This season hasn't been his best, but we've seen enough flashes of brilliance to know we would be losing a gem. I think his only weakness is a lack of leadership qualities. He needs a strong central partner to keep his concentration going as that can wander. That might be because the Championship doesn't challenge him anymore though and he's playing within himself.
2) If you could have (any) one of our players as part of the deal, who would it be?
Kevin Phillips would do lol. I'd also love the Djemba twins. That would do me very nicely
3) Lee Hendrie has constantly been linked, would you like to see him move to the Molineux?
I would love to see him at the Molineux. He's a class midfielder.
4) Is Lescott good enough to make the move up to the Premiership?
Definitely. He's played against the odd Premiership front line and he's yet to look out of place. He reads the game well, he's good in the air, he's fast and he's strong. And still under 25. He could easily be a 10 year investment.
5) Do you think £3million would be good business or is it too cheap?
On current showing its about right but if he goes for that you'll be getting a bargain. At another time he could have been a £6- 7 mill signing.
6) Lescott has had a bad injury record, is that all from his awful car crash or is he an injury prone player?
He's not injury prone at all.
7) On another subject, do you think Glen Hoddle should be offered an extended contract, would he want it and do the fans want him to stay?
His current deal has no end as it is a rolling 12 month contract so until either he, or the club give 12 months notice it will carry on running. I've always thought he's had one eye on our kids. We have a lot of promising youth players and Hoddle could work well with players who he can mould. I'm excited at the thought of the likes of Daniel Jones, Lewis Gobern, Chris Cornes, Mark Davies and Mark Little being developed by someone like Hoddle who still stands as an amazingly gifted player. On the Hoddle front its a real mixed bag between those that want stability and are prepared to give him another season and those that want instant success, yesterday if possible and are prepared to sack a manager a season thinking this will achieve it.
Personally, I never thought the fans were prepared for Hoddles management style or his style of play. He hasn't done anything I hadn't expected and I think I admire him for that . He has brought his kind of football with him and stuck to it. Some call that stubborn but they forget he is of the Bill Nicholson school of thought that says your standards should be so high that even failing to reach them would be an achievement in itself.
We won't benefit by sacking him so he should get at least another year to put his grand scheme in place and get it working. No other team in our division lost their 2 key strikers at key moments in the season and 2 players of Paul Ince and Jackie McNamara's stature.
His signings have been superb so hardly a foot wrong there either. Gyepes, Rosa, Ross and Postma have shone. Ricketts has showed what he can do, and despite not scoring Frankowski is a class act. His general play is head and shoulders above others he's compared to that we could have signed.
8) Are you looking forward to the local derby v WBA next season and which of the two clubs is most likely to mount a serious challenge to get promoted?
West Brom have the financial advantage but as we know to our peril, that's no guarantee you will bounce back. It will be great to have a black country derby again, I'm just sad it won't be in the premiership.
Date:Friday April 21 2006
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