Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday September 18 2008
1) So, how do you see this season going for you, surely after a few boings up and down, this time you have enough to stay in the Premiership?
There has been a lot made of our supposed lack of firepower - but we have creativity and drive to spare across the middle, and a fantastic manager too, so provided we don't get robbed by too many cruel injuries or unjust reffing decisions there are definately three worse teams than us - so Yes, we have enough to stay up!
2) Blues, Villa or Wolves. Who do you dislike the most and why!?!??!?!
Wolverhampton Wanderers. In my life this has been the 'biggest derby', I fondly remember the atmosphere & elation of a 1-1 draw at home after coming from behind, not to mention the season we overhauled a seemingly impossilbe deficit to gain promotion at their expense a few seasons back. With the Villa, we've not been competing on the same level for so much of the last 20 years, and the Blues always champion the Villains as their main rivals - I don't really care much for the blue-noses either way unless we're playing them!
3) Villa v Baggies was always the traditional local derby, who do you now see as your main rivals?
As I've said, the competition with Wolves is fierce, but a special mention must be reserved for Stoke - a team I hate possibly more than any of our more local rivals! An absolutely appaling record (27 years and counting without a win against them) coupled with their 'contasting' 'style' of football, and also Promotion, meaning we're essentially lumped together by the popular media as two of the 'promoted sides set to struggle'. I also have very little time for Pulis, and especially Mama Sidibe (after recent events you may be able to empathise with me!)
4) Best signing for the Baggies this summer and worst exit?
Scott Carson best signing. A lot has been made of Zuiverloon & Valero - who both look class, especially the former. But Keily looked shaky last season, and a quality keeper - which Carson is - is essential to build confidence from the back. Worst exit has to be Kevin Phillips, although there's a question mark over how he would have done and it's a shame he didn't back himself to do the business and earn his second year - he loved it and was loved here, but that's football.
5) What do you think about Villa and also Martin O'Neill?
I love the English contingent that MON is assembling at Villa Park - even if Curtis Davies is one of the players at the heart! Gabby, Ashley, Reo-Coker, Barry & Milner, supplemented by Carew, who is a top striker, makes me think you are prehaps the most likely (and untouted) team to run the top-four close. MON himself is a manager I've always rated, and think the tactical acumen and way he develops youth (the latter in a very similar way to Mowbray) is already reaping dividends for you after an indifferent first season. The backing of Lerner, with cash & not interference, is a great blueprint many clubs could do with following and is a solid foundation for future success for the you claret & blue.
6) If you could have one of your players, who would it be and why?
I think Barry is your best player, but I'd take Carew to B71 as he's a great, experienced striker - something we lack, and a great pro to bring on our raw young striking talent. After all, we've already got Carson and errr.... Luke Moore
7) Who do you think will win the Prem and where do you think you'll finish?
Man Utd to win, Baggies 14th
8) Ok, the big question, who will win on Sunday? Prediction please sir?!?!
The 23 year wait is over. West Brom 2-1 Aston Villa.
With thanks to Alex Humpage over at Vital Baggies: Click Here
Date:Thursday September 18 2008
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