Aston Villa - General C. Krulak Speaks To Villans
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General C. Krulak Speaks To Villans

How has your first season been, how steep has the learning curve been? Dudley Phil

The learning curve has not been too steep based upon the amount of time I had spent in the UK before Randy purchased Aston Villa FC and our interest
in Clubs before that purchase.

Have you found a difference in sporting culture, has the passion surprised you? DP

There is no question that the passion surrounding football is more intense in the UK than in the US. I love that!!

How has becoming a cyber junkie affected his life (and the reaction
from Mrs. General to him posting at odd hours!) ?

Becoming a cyber junkie has had its drawbacks...cold shoulder, cold bed!! I am on 4 sites and that is a large number to keep up with. Remember, I not only have to answer, I need to act on many posts.

Other than Villa park what football ground have you been most impressed with and least impressed with? DP

Aside from Villa Park, my favorite ground/location is 'The Kop' at
Anfield and hearing them sing, 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'

Have Mr and Mrs General bought a UK based homestead Benham

We are still looking for a place to live in the UK. We had a place in Chester but gave that up.

Have you changed your opinion on the English at all, since you have become involved with Villa? The language barrier it is often said we are divided by a common language. Have you been confused by anything said on the 'General Krulak' thread and had to ask what was meant? still skeggy

My opinion of the English has not changed and I have had some experience with the language...difference.

Has a lot of the negativity on the various websites surprised you and do you feel appreciated? mrshnn

The negativity on some sites has come as a bit of a surprise. At the same time, fans pay their money to do more than see the game...they pay to make themselves heard. I do not hold that against them...I encourage it. What does bother me a bit is when the negativity takes on a personal tone. Striking out at an individual never really solves anything. Randy and the Directors are more than willing to 'learn'...we have been very open. We learn better by professional comments than by personal attacks...on anyone.

General you must have been delighted with the reception both Randy Lerner
and your good self have received since your arrival at Villa Park.......

(reflecting on the way the Glaziers were received at Old Trafford)

1. Has there been any aspect of taking over the club that has disappointed either you or Randy, if there has been what was it and what
will you be doing to resolve it?

2. Life is a learning curve! What is the single most Important lesson you have learned since taking over at the Villa?
(Football wise of course) col8

1. I honestly don't think that Randy or I have been disappointed by anything since taking over the Club. Sure we would have loved to be higher in the table but we know we will get there and that is what is important. I can tell you that we have been very happy with the quality of the people at Villa Park. Richard Fitzgerals is a superb CEO, he has great folks working for him, and the infrastructure is very sound.

2. The most important lesson I have learned since arriving at the Club is to never, ever, think that there is such a thing as a 'easy' game. My heart
has been in my throat more times than I experienced in combat.

If I may say so General, you seem to be 'in love' with the beautiful game. What was your interest in 'soccer' prior to your Villa Park involvement? Was it a game that you yourself ever got to play, if not perhaps you could enlighten us as to how you initially became interested in the sport. glensider

My initial contact with the 'beautiful game' was when my two lads started to play at age 4. Both went on to play throughout their schooling. My wife started the Southern California Women's Soccer Association in 1973 and that is now the largest woman's soccer association in the world! She played center half. I became interested in UK football when I arrived in the UK in 2000 as the Chairman and CEO of MBNA, Europe. I have never played the game. I wrestled and played lacrosse at University.

World War 2. Best General - Guderian, Zhukov or Patton? Saurat

Guderian...he changed the face of modern warfare by coordinating the movement of aircraft, tanks, troops and artillery.

Have you tried, and what do you think of the 'traditional' English dishes on offer? fish & chips, full English breakfast, bangers & mash etc. Pezza

I like fish and chips but my favorite is Toad in a Hole.

With the news Arsenal may be changing to a US based ownership how do you feel the Premiership will go in the future and do you think the owners concerned are in it long term? Is there not the possibility that the novelty will wear off and if so what would the clubs be left with? avfc48

I really can't comment on other owners...particularly ones from the US. I do know Randy and he is different in many ways. He has lived in the UK at different times in his life...went to University here, worked here, etc. He loves the game. He was looking at Clubs before anyone else became 'interested.' He loves tradition...passion for the game. He is a dedicated sportsman and knows sports intimately. He thinks in terms of decades...not years. He is interested in making money but that is NOT his primary interest.

When he took up the role, did he envisage that it would take up his time in the way it has, or that he would get so involved with the fans and the English game? xfranc

I had no idea that becoming a Director would become so time-consuming. I would do it a hundred times over again!!!

Are you surprised at the number of Prem clubs being bought up by overseas business people and will the arrival of the Americans at Liverpool, the potential sale of Man City, possible sale of Arsenal cause any changes to be made to Randy's plans for the Villa? Also will the increase in wealthy owners lead to any down grading of future ambitions? Gordonsleftboot

I do NOT see us downgrading our ambitions.

What's the stupidest thing that General K has done (apart from getting addicted to Vital Villa)? BodyButter

The stupidest thing I have ever done was getting shot the second time you can check off to being careless...twice, you are stupid.

General K, have you or Randy ever admitted to having a dream about Aston Villa and scoring a goal? Its All Over FC

I can't say for Randy but, yes, I have dreamed of scoring the winning goal in the final of the European Cup! And it is a brilliant goal!

What has been the best experience so far while you have been at the Villa? randy.stand

The best experience was the first game when Randy walked out into the Director's Box and the fans went crazy. It really touched him...and was the first time we saw what this Club meant to the Fans.

General, Have you taken time out in Birmingham to go for a 'real' balti instead of the stuff that we get in those disgusting pies? You can't consider yourself as a true Brummie until you've been poisoned by at least 3 restaurants on the Stratford Rd, in my opinion. My advice would be to try a nice balti chicken with sag, and then sleep in a well ventilated room, well away from your loved ones. Witton_Lane

Yes, I have eaten out in Birmingham...nothing beats the Corner Flag.

Sir General Sir !!
How do you react while watching a game : a) sit quietly and smile b) feel the rush of blood and fidget at every kick of the ball c) live the whole game on the edge of you're seat and jump up and down with joy and anger at good/bad decisions.

I am a very 'active' fan. I worry about each touch...I worry when the ball is in the air too much...I worry when we get out of position...I worry when we lose our pace...I worry when we lose our form...I worry that our shot will miss by an inch...YES, I go crazy!

Has General Krulak ever had any interactions with extraterrestrials in either his professional or personal life...? NeilBaker

By extraterrestrials, do you mean the lads down the street...wearing blue??? Never seen any!

When we have finished buying the whole Celtic team, Will we play in green and white hoops and change name to Aston Celtic??!! I am dreading seeing the new away kit! neilh111

We will not buy the entire Celtic Squad. The fans will LOVE the new away kit!! If I am wrong on this one, you can kick my butt.

General, will you be following any summer sports. Why not take a visit to
Edgbaston, see the Warwickshire Bears in the 20 20 cricket, great entertainment and you'll find plenty of Villa supporters there including the great Sir Graham Taylor. Erod

I will probably spend some time watching other sports but...we have a great deal to do in the off-season.

With thanks to the General for once again taking the time to talk to us. The General also has a thread in our forum:

Generals thread Page One - Click Here

Generals thread Page 140 - Click Here

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 26 2007

Time: 4:21PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Love the extra-terrestrial post - laughed out loud. Picking up the humour. UTV
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 17:08:00

Quality, loved the comment about being stupid for getting shot twice!!!!!! How lucky we are to have these people in charge of our beloved club. YIPEEEE EYYYYY AYYYYYYYY YIPEEEEE EEYYYYYYY OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 17:19:00

He also mentioned our new kit, so its ready then???????? I also remember them saying we would see the new badge this month. Is tomorrow the day for unvieling both I wonder?????
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 17:21:00

Great article Mr Fear. Thanks
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26/04/2007 17:27:00

General..or may I call you the Chazmeister..just wanted to say thanks to you and Randy for the excellent job you have started, and which I am sure will carry on and lead to lots of future success for the Midlands' finest. I would only take issue with 1 thing...Liverpool's version of "You'll never walk alone" is certainly not as good as our version of "Sign on, sign on with pen in your hand, and you'll never work again!" UTV
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 17:27:00

Great stuff. Many thanks to you, General, and Randy and the rest of the new board. You're all doing a fine job - for the first time in years the future looks very bright. UTV!
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26/04/2007 18:02:00

What a geat interview, what a great man and what a great set of questions by you vitalvillans. Well done to all concerned.
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26/04/2007 18:24:00

What a terrific read, glad to see our cousins for across the pond have got our weird sense of humour and our love for the game :) UTV
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26/04/2007 18:40:00

Thanks for the comment jonah and thanks Fear for putting my questions to the General
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 19:06:00

Great interview Fear & thanks to the General for taking the time to answer the questions!
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 20:29:00

By extraterrestrials, do you mean the lads down the street...wearing blue??? Never seen any!!!!!! A Quality answer from the lead dog.....
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 20:38:00

What on earth is Erod attempting to do in advising The General he needs to pay a visit to Edgbaston to witness Warwickshire in action? I object most profusely. Everyone knows that New Road, Worcester is the place to go to witness the battle of leather against willow. Great responses General. Thanks for taking the time and the trouble.
Report Abuse
26/04/2007 20:58:00

Glensider: Edgbaston is the villa park of Cricket, New Road, the sty, sorry mate but that's just the way it is.
Report Abuse
27/04/2007 07:48:00

Should make him an honorary English man!! Right then, after that who's up for being a cowboy and going to the Bolton game in honor of our new owners??? yee-ha!
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27/04/2007 08:54:00

Still the enthusiasm, intellect and good humour shines through! UTV! We as a club have been so eventful since last summer and speculation amongst fans and the press is rife at the moment regarding on and off field events, but it's all positive stuff! The decisions made at board level and the coaching staff have been top draw, the strategy seems in place and long may it continue!
Report Abuse
27/04/2007 09:01:00

Great interview. Well done Fear old boy and many thanks General. As for spit-fires suggestion ...... brilliant. Everybody to go to the Bolton game dressed as a cowboy/girl to celebrate our American owners first season in charge. This should make it to the official club web site and the local press ........ Villa fans to turn the North West into the Wild West by attending the Bolton game as Cowboys. Yeee Haaa!!
Report Abuse
27/04/2007 10:22:00

Bolton has to be fancy dress - American style - love it !!!
Report Abuse
27/04/2007 22:48:00

I'd rather be a bear than a pear, Glensider!
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30/04/2007 02:37:00

Great interview , thanks General. Oh and glensider, see you at New Road for the 20 20 cup. Great game and win for the bears last season...same again i reackon.
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30/04/2007 19:57:00

Anybody think a Brown away shirt (to represent the Cleveland Browns) would be good? great interview, this guy and Randy are top quality the future is going to be good. SO good in fact I have saved up and I am going to be purchasing my first season ticket this summer that's how good things are.
Report Abuse
01/05/2007 13:37:00

Industrial_ musical ..... welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride. There will be ups and downs, highs and lows. Moan about the downs and celebrate the ups, but once you have had the benefit of a ST, there is no looking back.
Report Abuse
01/05/2007 16:17:00

i have been many times before but ive just never had a season ticket (combination of not having any money and not wanting to watch the dreadful football we used to play under O'dreary)
Report Abuse
01/05/2007 16:24:00

If you`re married then they are essential !
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01/05/2007 18:04:00

I think I screwed up then aspinall, I got the missus one too.
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02/05/2007 08:06:00

Well done Jonah. Now is the time to produce rugrats and get them ST's as well.
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02/05/2007 09:28:00

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02/05/2007 11:03:00

VOTH - Took my eldest (6 years old) to the Wigan game, luckily the match did not scar him for life LOL. Bought a lump to my throat watching his amazement as he looked round our grand old ground, 1 more Villa fan in the bag. Get the feeling he will be coming to all mid week and evening kick offs with me next season.
Report Abuse
02/05/2007 13:30:00

Spread the word macka. I remember taking my little 'un to the reserve games to get her used to the ground. Then just after her fifth birthday I took her to her first real game, Darlington at home in the cup. We've never looked back. She now sits with her pals in the bottom of the Holte. I keep my eye on her from the top tier. Now all you need to do is get your missus down as well. This means that the little one is looked after whilst you throw some ale down your neck :o). From experience though they get bored easily at that age. A bag full of sweets, a colouring book and an electronic game generally does the trick. Before you know it they demand to be there every game.
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02/05/2007 13:49:00


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