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Vital Villa Q&A: Mat Kendrick - Birmingham Mail

Vital Villa have been offered the unique opportunity to delve into the world of journalism, by quizzing the Birmingham Mail`s AVFC main man Mat Kendrick about his experiences of dealing with the club!

Mat has been working at the Birmingham Mail as their Villa correspondent and has kindly agreed to answer questions regarding his job of following all things Aston Villa.

This fantastic duty includes dealing with everything from the latest signings, to the McLeish in/out debate, to even answering my stupid tweets about Emile Heskey (although that is slightly less official).

If you have a question for Mat about his role as a journalist covering our beloved Aston Villa, please feel free to post them in the Vital Villa Forums, or in the comments below. I will pass them onto our willing host, who will (hopefully!) give us a fascinating insight into the world of claret & blue journalism!

One polite request would be to try and avoid the McLeish in/out debate, or current news topics. These are best saved for Mat`s regular live web-chats hosted on the Birmingham Mail website!

So Villa fans, ask away!

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

The Journalist

Writer: Murph Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 17 2012

Time: 8:39PM

Your Comments

Many thanks to Mat for agreeing to answer as many questions as he can. I will kick off with. Mat, who have been the easiest / most difficult players/managers/officials you've had to deal with?
Which superpower would you like to help you in dealing with managers and players
Have you ever seen/met Lerner? Does he have a Villa tattoo or is it fake? I'm going fake at the moment
Matt, do you know what the revised 5 year plan is? / what level of signings budget do you anticipate will be available in the Summer/ wich players do you expect to leave?/ Will the North Stand be redeveloped?
Do you personally consider Villa to be a 'big' club or like Lawrenson think our days have gone?
Will pass on all questions to Mat but please bare in mind the idea is to ask about his work WITH the club, not how the club works, cheers!
Any bias shown by villa to any particular press outlet?
Was it your ambition to become a Football Journalist when you were young(er)?
Pride of Lions
As a fan, do you find yourself in a moral dilemma having such close contact with people who are killing our club? And also how can you even bear to be in the same room as AlexM? Is it just a job to you, like lawyers defendfing the guilty?
Just how funny ARE my jokes Mr Kendrick?
The Fear
Where did you study and where did you start working? How long did it take to start covering a) the sport you love and b) the team you follow? Did you ever have to do any other type of reporting other than sport/football?
The Fear
How challenging have you found it to see the internet became as big a part of the job as the printed press part and do you have any preferences as to which media you prefer?
The Fear
Who was/is the best manager for quotes?
The Fear
As a fan yourself (I presume you aren't bluenose!), how hard is it to bite your tongue in order to preserve your relationship with key figures at the club? (and how often do you need to do it!)
Do you get some useful information from fan sights such as Vital Villa.(as Fear is always in one of the papers)
Many Villa fans boycott the paper because of its bias towards Small Heath. Please do not deny this. Since August 1st Small Heath have been the main back page story on 112 occasions. In this same time Villa have been the back page lead on just 61 occasions. Please explain why the biggest club in the City, with the biggest following (even when both clubs were in the same division Villa to Small Heath support was at at 5 Villa fans for every 3 Heathens), playing games against the biggest clubs in the World, with all the controversy surrounding the club, with more local lads playing for the team than the Heathens could ever dream of, why the Villa play second fiddle to Small Heath in terms of news stories. This bias has gone on for many years. It is why Villa Fans boycott the paper. I look forward to the spin that you put on as to why this happens???
Mostly I'm sure meeting players is just work, which players / or other footballing figures have you met that were more than 'just' work though, who were you in 'awe' of (for want of a better phrase)
The Fear
Matt, Do you believe that as a journalist you are responsible chiefly to the public, or has there been times when you have withheld information about Aston Villa that after careful consideration, you personally felt should remain inside the club thus denying the public?
Thomas Holte
Do you think Eck is doing a good job? Do you think Randy fell for his nice guy act?
Matt, if the headlines could write themselves then what would they write come the summer if Villa were to be dragged into a relegation fight and just stay up/go down?
holte ender 1969
The manager speculation will continue from the fans view point, what part do you press play in suggestion of another manager and do you share any gossip/rumours with AVFC or current manager?
holte ender 1969
On the outside we see a very private owner in Randy Lerner, is he always so guarded in your meetings/interviews and does he really seem to love the club as much as what is portrayed?
holte ender 1969
Matt, have you ever seen another chairman like Randy bring so much hype and excitement for the future of a football club, but then fade away and bring in the end in just 5 years or so such misery, disapointment, and shocking managerial decisions, and run the club at such an unsustainable wage level allowing his manager to buy players on contracts that would risk the clubs ability to be able to challange for anyhting of note again for years to come?
lol a few leading questions here!
Matt, do you think we still have a good honest bunch of lads down at Villa Park?
Mr Kendrick Do Villa have in your opinion an operational PR dept. as the attempt to sign a manager last year was a total PR shambles, and the silence from the Villa Park boardroom regarding the future of the club is deafening.
"One polite request would be to try and avoid the McLeish in/out debate, or current news topics. These are best saved for Mat`s regular live web-chats hosted on the Birmingham Mail website!" Many thanks to those who paid no attention to this polite request.
Murph - One polite request not to talk about the one thing that is tearing the club apart and the one that fans want to know why our local paper isn't reflecting the opinion of the fans? I think that it is an insult to all Villa fans that you even ask this question of us and then have the gall to sarcastically knock the Villa fans for talking about 'the issue'. When there is a elephant in the room you are wise not to ignore it!!!

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