Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday December 20 2006
1) So how is your season going, confident you can win the title this season?
I was never very confident to be honest, and I fear Drogba's comments about their psychological advantage are true. I think we'll mount a reasonable challenge - after all, we play really good football - but it will be second place again. We must get to the quarter-finals in the Champions League and anything can happen after that.
2) Have you any new young stand out players coming through the ranks, no offence but I hope there aren't any more in the production line like Giggs, Scholes and Beckham!
I have to say, regretfully, that such a dazzling collection of talent is unthinkable now. We have some promising young players, like Johnny Evans, Gerard Pique or Lee Martin but it remains to be seen if they are good enough to play for the first team. I have high hopes for Norwegian Magnus Eikrem as everybody speak very highly of him and he's still only 16!
3) Villa have been linked to your defender Phil Bardsley, is he any good and if so, why would you sell him?
I think he's a promising defender. In the games I watched it seemed his defensive work must improve but otherwise he's fast, strong, athletic, he could be an asset for a Premiership team soon.
4) We have also been linked to Alan Smith, what do you make of that, do you think he'll move on or will he get his place back at Man Utd?
It's difficult to imagine Smith having a future at United. I like him a lot, his attitude, his spirit are good but he's struggling to find himself after his injury. With Solskjaer, Larsson and probably Rossi here, he'll won't get to many games and I think Fergie will buy a striker in the summer. A move to Villa would be great for Smudger.
5) Sir Alex Ferguson said in his book that he thought we'd be your main competitors in the 90's, we fell some way short, what is your impression of Aston Villa?
Villa were obviously not performing to their potential in recent years. They should not be lagging behind teams like Middlesbrough, Fulham or Wigan. They had a decent chance in the '90s to become a top club but I think now it will be very difficult to get to the top, even with Randy Lerner's money. However, I always liked Villa so I wish them well.
6) What do you think of Martin O'Neill, a lot of people had said he was the natural successor to Fergie, who do you think will succeed Al!?
I desperately wanted O'Neill to succeed Sir Alex and I was bitterly disappointed when Lerner lured him to Birmingham. But no problem, Fergie can go on for another 3-5 years then we can try to get O'Neill. Hopefully he'll be keen on a new challenge then.
7) Who in the Villa set up do you fear?
Angel and Baros are out of form right now so Gareth Barry and Gabriel Agbonlahor are your main attacking threats. Villa's defence is quite resilient, we'll have to work hard to break them down. And we'll need to close down Stilian Petrov who can be a key influence in midfield.
8) Who in the Man Utd set up should we fear, who is on top form?
Nobody is on top form, sadly. Ronaldo and Saha were the most dangerous against West Ham, I expect them to cause problems for Villa. You're often struggling in attack and the Vidic-Ferdinand pair will be a great test for your forwards.
9) What is your prediction for the match, has the West Ham game acted as a wake up call do you think?
It could well end in a draw, but now we have to prove our title credentials so determination will be there. Bearing in mind this, and our great record against Villa in the Premiership, I think we'll edge it 2-1. In the last meeting United have outclassed their opponents at Villa Park but it will be a much tighter affair.
My interview for Vital Manchester United: Interview With The Fear Of Villa
Date:Wednesday December 20 2006
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