Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday April 26 2007
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!) ? DP
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...one 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. Mutt_Man
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
Date:Thursday April 26 2007
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