Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday August 16 2007
1) So how kind has the transfer window been to you this summer?
Talk about fits and starts! Having missed out on Sidwell and Ben Haim early on we then flew out the traps and signed Viduka, Rozenhal, Geremi and Barton within about a week. Then, as Big Sam freely admitted, we missed out on a few signings for about a month. Wayne Bridge was rumoured to be one of them along with Heinze.
In the end though it's all come round again with Smithy, Capaca and Enrique now on board. I'm writing this Sunday - by the time we play you we could end up having another two or three in. Overall - delighted, bar Dyer not leaving!
2) How do you rate your chances this season in all competitions and where do you think you'll finish in the PL?
As the eternal optimist and following the smashing of Bolton I think we've got enough to nick 6th. Other than that it's totally dependent of the alleged Big Four cocking up in the cup competitions and getting plenty of cushty home draws. I might stick a sneaky fiver on us in both the FA and Carling Cups.
3) Any players you wish had been sold this summer or are you happy with what you have?
How long have you got?! Dyer not leaving is a massive disappointment. We should have taken the money offered in my John Humblest. The fact Babayaro and Carr are still here slightly rankles, but I was pleasantly surprised with Carr yesterday so I'm giving him some leeway under the new gaffer.
4) Have you been surprised Villa haven't been more active in the transfer window or don't you care!!?
I take an active interest in how the Villas, Spurs and Everton's are doing as I genuinely believe for the next two seasons we'll be competing against you for players and positions in that slot just below the top four. It has shocked me that you went for Reo Coker and Harewood. Are they really squad strengtheners? Harewood in particular was particularly skittish - even at 12 years old when I used to play against him! I think that MO'N will get a couple more bodies in for you pre-deadline day.
5) What do you think of Villa's chances this season, where about do you think we'll finish?
I'm plumping for a 9th place slot for yourselves. I think you've got some great players but a cold mid-December's evening I think you could be hamstrung with the size of your squad and it'll cost you.
6) What do you think the result will be this Saturday?
2-1 Newcastle. Moore for yourselves, Viduka with a brace for us.
7) Are you as bored as me of the stupid kick off times?!
As an away go-er, yes, but I love 5:15 home games as it allows for a great all-day sesh!
8) Is Big Sam the right man for Newcastle and what are your opinions of your new owners?
I'm sceptical of the owners' long term intentions but up until now they've been a genuine breath of fresh air. Practical pricing, drinks and food offers and regular contact with the fans has been a real eye opener. Let's see what the season brings before I start singing their praises too much. They've backed Sam so far which has also been promising.
With Roeder and Souness you got this feeling in the pit of your stomach that they were never 'Newcastle' managers. Sam for me is the total opposite. I think he's intelligent yet old school, modern yet still capable of Ferguson hairdryer moments, and is going to be a big hit. Whereas Souness had a squad of staff who seemed there to soothe his ego, Sam's actually are here to work. His signings, so far, have really appealed.
9) Finally, if you could have one player from our squad, who would it be and why?
Olof Mellberg. Quality centre half and a real leader.
Vital thanks to Vital Newcastle ed Ross Molyneux.
Date:Thursday August 16 2007
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