Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday October 17 2008
Vital Villa's interview with Chix from Vital Pompey
Tell us a little about yourself (How long have you been supporting Portsmouth, do you attend Fratton Park on a regular basis ..etc…)
I`m stinking rich, six foot two, eyes of blue, body of Adonis, won 'Mr Portsmouth` three years in a row and am proud to admit I model myself on Jermain Defoe, I`m just a bit taller… OK, hands-up not all of that is correct but at least one of those facts is correct. I`ll let you decide which one!
Seriously, I am season ticket holder in the Fratton End and have been supporting Pompey since sometime around the early to mid 70`s… which is a bit odd considering I`m only just 23 !
What is your greatest moment as a Pompey fan?
Believe it or not there are quite a few. Most Pompey fans would probably expect me to stay winning the FA Cup last year but although that was a memory I`ll take to my grave, it wasn`t as special as I dreamt it would be. My 'proudest` moment was meeting the late great 'Gentleman` Jimmy Dickinson MBE at the tender age of eleven.. I`d grown up with all the stories about him and how he as a local lad played for Pompey and England and never got booked in over 700 games etc..I didn`t wash my hand for a week after shaking his.
I bet most Villa fans have never heard of him, but to those in the know he`s the face in the seats at the Fratton End. Our version of your Eric Houghton always loyal as a player and a manager.. except 'Jim` only ever played for and managed one club.
Who is your favourite Portsmouth player of all time?
There are many and it changes on a regular basis, but Peter Marinello, David Kemp and Alan Biley are always up there from days gone by. From the current squad it has to be Jermain Defoe, every time he gets the ball you look for him to score. He really is a special talent and I still can`t believe he`s playing for Pompey !
Is Harry Redknapp the best manager you've ever had and how relieved were you he didn't get the England job?
In living history and in terms of success, yes. Although he`ll still always be scared with the fact that he managed our poor lowly championship neighbours 'up the road` no matter what he achieves for us. Seems unfair I know and although I`ve forgiven I can not forget. That said 'arry is a top bloke and crackin` manager and I can`t think of anybody who I`d rather have at Pompey`s helm.
As for the England job that wasn`t an issue for many of us as we didn`t believe he`d ever receive an offer to do it. Had he have gone however we would have probably wished him all the best and said 'Cheers`.
The Newcastle job on the other hand frightened the life out of us as it was 'real` and he was offered a truck load of cash, as well as use of the private jet to take it. There was a huge sigh of relief around the city when he told Mike Ashley where to shove it and following the comments he made afterwards we now know that he`ll never leave Pompey so we don`t have to worry.. until he retires that is !
What is it with the bell ringer, can you ask him to have a day off on Saturday, no offence but the geezer gives me a headache?
Oh where do I start! Mr. John 'Portsmouth Football Club` Westwood has actually taken a few days off recently in protest about some complaints the club received concerning his bugle and bell-ringing inside Fratton Park.
He walked out of the Manchester United game and has been 'relatively` quiet (and bell-less) at home games ever since. I doubt he`ll have a day-off on Saturday so you`ll just gonna have to put up with it I`m afraid, he`s part and parcel of Pompey, and if you get an headache take an Aspirin!
Look on the bright side you only hear him once a year, imagine seating next to him all season!
Early days I know, but who would you consider to be your best summer signing?
Nadir Belhadj without a doubt. Not because he`s the best player we`ve signed (although he is very good) but mainly because we knew nothing of him and didn`t expect too much. Armand Traore the kid on loan from Arsenal is also another quality signing and links up well with Belhadj. Obviously Crouchy is another but we paid a lot for him and therefore expectations are high.
If you could pick one Villa player to play for Pompey who would it be and why?
That`s a tough one as I think you`ve got quality in a lot of positions but if I look at Pompeys best starting XI and think, where could you improve us the most? I`d take Gareth Barry to play alongside Lassana Diarra. It would also mean we`d be the premiership team with the most England squad players.. Currently equal with Chelsea !
Who is the best, Crouch or Defoe?
At what ?.. Pound for pound, goal for goal. Jermain Defoe, but whether 'Little` would be as good without 'Large` remains to be seen.
Who is the one Villa player you feel can do you the most damage on Saturday?
Agbonlahor. A really annoying tenacious little runt who gets right up my nose. The kid`s got a great future ahead of him.
What is your away form like this season and realistically, what do you expect the score to be?
Got outclassed by Chelsea, then we hammered Everton, got humiliated by Man City… If the pattern continues we`ll have a repeat of last years outing at Villa Park. That`ll do nicely. Seriously a win would be fantastic, but I`d more than settle for a point.
What are your hopes for this season ? (What would you class as a success or disaster)
Disaster: easy, relegation. I just want us to stay in the premiership every year and although I`m slowly coming around to the view that we are a decent top ten team I sometimes think we are still punching above our weight. All those years away have left their scares.
Success: European Qualification again.. by whatever route
Dream: Retain the FA Cup by knocking out Liverpool in the 3rd, Man City in the 4th, Chelsea in the 5th, Man Utd in the 6th (again), Spurs in the Semi and Southampton in the final.
What is your opinion of Aston Villa, Villa Park and Martin O'Neill?
Aston Villa: A good grounded club with realistic ambitions and fans that are aware of their status and are proud yet grateful of it. I like The Villa you`re a bit like us, Man City and Everton… study club, good manager, honest (and local) support… Unlike the Spurs and Newcastle`s of this world who believe they should be in the Top 4 just because of who they 'think` they are. Villa are where they are due to hard work and graft and although it hasn`t been easy for you guys at times, especially during the final 'Doug Ellis Years` most other clubs respect you and your status.
Villa Park: Easy to get to by road and train - Good (ish) atmosphere and not on an out of town Business Park. As an away fan I preferred it when I could stand (but that`s another issue). The funny thing is that I always think it can hold more than it actually does. Is that expansion plan ever happening?
Where would you expect to see Villa finish come May?
No more than two league places away from Pompey (either way) … hopefully we`ll both be between 5th and 9th and if you are 5th and we are 7th I`d be well happy .. but happier the other way round of course !!
Cheers Fellas !
With thanks to Chix from www.portsmouth.vitalfootball.co.uk/ where my unbelievably inciteful and hilarious, not to mention fact packed interview will appear later.
Date:Friday October 17 2008
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