Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday June 24 2008
Next up for our interview series, Young_Jonah. We tried to get old Jonah but couldn't afford his fee!!!
1 - How long have you been a Villa fan and how did you first get the Claret & Blue faith?
Being from a family of Claret and Blues fans there was only one club I was ever going to support. The first season I took an interest in was the 1992/93 (aged 6) season, my favourite player being Dean Saunders, I can remember the Tranmere games in 1994 but the League Cup Final of the same year was the first full match I can remember watching.
2 - What was your first game?
My first game was at Villa Park, Sunday 21st January 1996 – Aston Villa 2-1 Tottenham. Goals from Dwight Yorke, Paul McGrath and Ruel Fox.
3 - What is your most memorable moment as a Villa fan?
The entire 1995/96 season. It included my first match, us finishing 4th and winning the league cup. Perfection!!
4 - And the worst moment?
Being stood in the kitchen when my dad told me that my hero Dwight Yorke had left the club, the only time I have ever been close to tears in my time as a Villa fan.
5 - Who are your favourite current Villa players?
Gareth Barry and Ashley Young. Young is the most exciting player outside the top-four. Barry is at a point in his career were his loyalty is being tested. I think he will stay, if he leaves it would be such a shame, as I am sure some fans will boo him on his return to Villa Park due to the way the transfer saga has been handled. I am still hopeful he will be here come September though.
6 - Which former player/s are your ultimate heroes?
Dwight Yorke and Olof Mellberg (Paul Merson and Ian Taylor missing out narrowly), Yorke was the main goalscorer when I was kid and he always had a big smile on his face. He made a mistake leaving Villa, he won the treble which was great for him but his career was over by 28, with Blackburn, Birmingham and Sunderland all struggling to get the best out of him. Olly came in to Villa Park to replace Southgate, we didn’t know who he was, but my word did he prove to be a superb buy!!
7 - Which player do you think was the worst to ever put on the team colours?
There have been so many disappointments over the years, the one who stands out for me is Milan Baros. When we signed him I thought it was a signing of intent, that he was the ambitious signing we needed. My Liverpool friends warned me he only turned up for the big games. And that was so true. Barring his debut vs Blackburn and that Birmingham game, I cant remember him ever playing well for us, it is no small coincidence that he has been found out at Lyon and Portsmouth too. Now he seems destined for WBA or Bolton, waste of talent.
8 - What is the best goal you have seen Villa score and which is your favourite game?
The Merson goal against Everton and the Angel goal against Chelsea in the League Cup both stand out in the memory. But for ones I actually witnessed it’s a toss up between the Solano goal vs Portsmouth 3 or 4 seasons ago or the Young goal against Sheff Utd at the end of the 2006/07 season.
9 - Best away ground visited?
With Villa it has to be Goodison Park, which is the only ground I have travelled to with Villa. But Old Trafford is the best ground away from Villa Park that I have been to.
10 - Who would you like to see Villa sign this summer?
I have said it from day one, David Bentley would be the ultimate signing for me and the type of player to convince Barry of our intent. The likes of Paul Robinson would please me in goal and Darren Bent up front could be a good buy. But at the moment just some Depth would nice thanks.
11 - What are your predictions for us this season in the:
a) League 6th
b) Europe 1/4 finals of the Uefa Cup
c) Carling Cup Semi final
d) Fa Cup 3rd round defeat to Man Utd.
12 - What is your opinion of Martin O'Neill?
As a motivator is amongst the best in the game, he has been poor in the market with only 2 or 3 brilliant signings so far. MON is very loyal to certain players, which has been his downfall in some games, Gabby, Petrov etc can do no wrong in his eyes, but sometimes they simply need a break from the first team. I think in time MON will get us into the Top Four, but I am not sure he could ever take us further unless he had someone making the signings for him.
13 - What is your opinion of Randy Lerner and the new board?
I have been happy with all the club have done on the stadium, training ground etc, I like all the little things they have done for the fans, ST renewal DVDs etc. But it is the deal with Acorns that has made me most proud of the club, it was a very moving gesture. My only problem with the board is that there has not been as much investment in the squad as I would have hoped. The money is there we are told, so we will just have to wait and see.
14 - Where do you sit at Villa and are you a season ticket holder?
I have never been a ST holder, but I am on the waiting list for the upcoming season. I have spent most of my time sat in the Trinity Road Upper over the years including my first match but have sat in all the other stands and tiers in the ground at one point or another.
15 - And finally (stolen without shame from Vital Arsenal!) if you could invite 4 people connected to Villa, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be? And you can add one bit of top totty as well to make the party go with a 'bang' ;o)
Dwight Yorke and Olof Mellberg as my two Villa favourites, Charlie Aitken for the stories and Ron Saunders as the club’s greatest manager. Woman wise, it has to be Jodi Albert (Debbie Dean!!!!!)
With thanks to Young_Jonah
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Date:Tuesday June 24 2008
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