Aston Villa - An Interview With A Spurs Fan
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An Interview With A Spurs Fan

1) So, a flying season for so long, then things went a bit wrong... how do you view the season?

Of course the ten ish games where we couldn`t win a raffle were really frustrating, but in truth we weren`t as bad as our fans will like to believe. We were carrying too many knocks to key players in a squad that was also stripped a little bare in January and I believe we lacked confidence and were distracted by "Harry for England" talk, which definitely affected the team and club as a whole. On balance, it is a disappointment to still be chasing a CL place, when it seemed all sown up, but I suppose Man Utd will feel the same about their letting slip an 8 pt gap on City. These things happen, but if we secure fourth and Chelsea fail to with the Champions league, we will all forget that poor run, until the next one of course.

2) Harry Redknapp. Thought he`d be a God around your parts but read plenty of criticism of him. Why?

In the main, fans are emotional and think with their hearts and not their heads. Sure Harry has made mistakes, but show me a manager that doesn`t. We have to remember the parameters he has worked under with a policy of selling unwanted players, but not really being able to replace them with long term signings. This was understandable because the club didn`t want to spend tens of millions on players an anticipated new manager might not have wanted and we were forced to start the sell before you buy before we have actually sold the last lot.

Also lets remember the trauma that Harry and his family have had to endure in the last six months plus. First he had his heart scare, which in itself is enough to affect his performance and focus, and then you have a massive court case that could have taken his liberty and his livelihood. Get those sorted and you then get a media bombardment and pressure of trying for your dream job. Combine the three and it`s easy to understand that there have been distractions to Harry and the season, but all some of our fans to see is a big slump in form for one quarter of the season, which makes Harry a clown.

3) Did you think Redknapp was a shoe in for England and are you disappointed he isn`t leaving?

I actually though that Harry would get it the job, but I am actually very happy that Roy Hodgson has got the job on two counts. Firstly I am pleased that Tottenham retain stability, but I also feel that we have appointed a man to develop a team England and have a long tern structure to our national game, over a manager that will simply look to pick a team for today without considering tomorrow.

4) Do you think he`ll still be Spurs manager next season (only asking as I saw a few article comments on Vital Spurs saying he might get the axe!)

I am a big fan of the phrase, be careful what you wish for, but I wrote an article myself, stating that Harry should go if the players had lost faith in him, as there would be no way back. You could possibly see a situation where Harry would be critical of certain players, but they could easily have pointed the finger at Harry for his own perceived lack of commitment in wanting the England post. That was purely based on a possible scenario, that was doing the rounds on the forums and social networks, but if he has the backing of the players and hopefully the board understand the obvious reasons for a quarter season decline, then I see no reason why he should be allowed to continue

5) Would you like Alex McLeish, we`ll even wrap him up for you and drive him down!

Was there a worse possible appointment than this in recent history? Not only had he got his former club relegated twice in three seasons, but that team were your biggest rivals! Add to that he is by nature a defensive coach, that goes against everything your fans want in their team. It simply beggars belief that he could have got the job in the first place. To be honest I blame your board of directors entirely for this situation and it is they, not McLeish that should get the fans abuse, as they either didn`t care what you thought or simply didn`t consider it a problem.

6) Do you think you`ll finish 4th and more importantly, do you think it will get you Champions League qualification or do you fear Chelsea will nick it by winning the final (we had similar a good few years back finishing 6th and Millwall took our place for their FA Cup exploits... or did I dream that??!)

It`s a simple case of win our remaining two games and pray that we witness some German efficiency on the 19th. That is of course easier said than done, but I would rather be in our position than either Newcastle or Chelsea in terms of the Premiership, though I quite fancy playing in a Champions league final. Dare I suggest that we actually deserve a place in the Champions league next season, based on our form and that much of what distracted us was out of our hands, as I have mentioned earlier.

7) I think I might get an arrogant answer here but hey, I`ll try. Are there any of our players you would have, if so who and why?!?!

Sadly for you, there isn`t one player that I believe would definitely improve our team and without wishing to be arrogant, I don`t see too many that would even strengthen our squad. I have always rated Darren Bent and perhaps think he would offer more in attack than Defoe physically, based on the system we play in a 4-4-1-1 ahead of Rafael Van der Vaart. Would I go with Given over Friedel? I guess you can judge that as well as I can, but otherwise, I don`t see anyone that would be better or even as good as we already have.

8) On the 19th minute Villa fans stand up and clap our skipper Stiliyan Petrov. That isn`t a question, just letting you travelling fans know so they can join in!

If you recall the reaction that Spurs fans had towards Fabrice Muamba when he collapsed on the White Hart Lane pitch, I honestly don`t believe you will have a problem with respect or our fans joining in the applause, as long as they are made aware of the reasoning, as I`m sure they will.

9) Do you think Spurs will ever realistically ever compete at the top or has the league been shut off and bought off? Villa were in the mix until last season as well but as we`ve been so rubbish this year, I`ll leave those thoughts for us well alone!

As things stand, you either need an owner with a huge wealth to pump into a club or you need a 60,000 + seater stadium filled to capacity every week. In truth you probably need both. Tottenham have neither, so like Villa were, we are punching well above our weight at this time, but I do question whether it can, not will last. As things stand, there are plans to rebuild WHL, but the money will have to be found somewhere and unless there is a very rich rabbit to be pulled from a very big hat, I can only see the club suffering at least a little whilst the debt is paid. In saying that, I do believe we have an excellent and very astute Chairman, who has run the club as well as any other owner in the game, but he has to sprint to stand still unlike a few of our top four rivals, with or without UEFA Financial fair play rules.

10) Would you like to see Villa go down or ......?

I suppose I would offer a quick laugh and it would be better banter on Vital and with my Villa mates, but if I am honest, I want you to survive over others, who perhaps don`t deserve another seasons reprieve. Villa are entitled to one seasons nightmare, but that is all. I think you will get lucky this time, and now have to make some very big decisions such as sacking the manager and perhaps selling the one or two jewels you still have to fund a basic team rebuild. This will be a tough and painful road. Get it right and I believe you will actually be all the stronger for it, get it wrong once again (Houllier, McLeish) and you deserve what you get, which might well be Championship football.

11) Predictions please kind sir.

I truly can`t see a Villa win unless we fail to turn up to be honest. I really don`t see fight, organisation or quality in your side and think if we come and play to 80% of our potential, we will win by a couple of goals. Saying that, if Bolton or QPR both lose as well, you will still be safe barring some stupid set of final day results, which are almost impossible to imagine, so perhaps a happy compromise of sorts will be for us to win, Newcastle to lose, Chelsea pick up a few injuries to see a few key players miss the CL final and QPR and Bolton both lose heavily.

With thanks to OxfordSpur from Vital Spurs

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 3 2012

Time: 5:39PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Cheers Ox, fairly answered and sadly, I agree, I can't see a win either. Then again, in football, you never know!
The Fear
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03/05/2012 17:50:00

of course there is always room for an upset, but sadly for you guys, I dont see enough of anything in the Villa side to get a win, but im sure you would take a point, which I believe will be enough to secure your safety, as I cant see either QPR or Bolton getting two wins each
Report Abuse
03/05/2012 17:56:00

To be fair Ox, we are all very very very very UPSET! lol And yes, a point would do... sad to be thinking that way.
The Fear
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03/05/2012 17:59:00

good answers ox just hope for your sake coopsie doesnt see this;-p
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03/05/2012 18:10:00

I have corage of my convictions mate, but I have put my tin hat on all the same ;-)
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03/05/2012 18:26:00

I also don't really see Villa winning against us, but as Greavsie is supposed to have said, 'it's a funny old game'. Hope Villa stay up, but in the end, it's always the fans who suffer. If you're a player, you can change clubs, but if you're a real fan, you're stuck with your club through the good times and the bad.
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03/05/2012 19:01:00

Hope Spurs win but villa stay up!
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03/05/2012 19:17:00

German efficiency on the 19th? Don't bet on it!
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03/05/2012 19:23:00

Let me start by saying I have a lot of respect for Oxfordspur, he does a fine job on the VitalSpurs site and is a wholehearted and thoroughly supportive fan of THFC. I of course start like this because I am about to disagree massively with something he says here.

Without covering ground that has been done to death on VitalSpurs- if anyone is interested pick any thread, chances are the same debate is being had on it- but Ox knows full well that those of us who have a problem with Harry Redknapp's management of our club has very little to do with "one big slump of form for one quarter of [one] season". Apart from that, a nice interview to read, good work both of you.

I used to live pretty close to Birmingham, and used to watch Villa a fair amount. I truly feel for the hardcore fans for what you are having to endure at the moment. It's dismal, dire, depressing football. Well, maybe it isn't football, but it certainly is the other things. You guys deserve much better than that, and I hope you stay up(I think you will, but I don't think you'll be getting any points from us now we seem to have decided to start playing again).I say the hardcore support because ...well, you Villa fans don't need me to explain about the...erm...idiosyncracies...of a portion of your fanbase!

Hopefully next year this fixture will take place with two managers who understand a little more about the standards required of men who lead teams like ours.

Spurs have played some beautiful, stunning football at times the last couple of years. I hope you guys get to see your team do some of that next year. You deserve it.
Report Abuse
03/05/2012 19:33:00

What a shambles our club has become? to be praying that you get a draw against spurs. We have had some great games over the years. I felt confident then. But now I just don't see us winning. Spurs used to be our nearest rivals for league, cups etc. Its a sad realisation. I really ******** hate spurs fans down here ( south coast) deluded *****ers! Ox you make valid points , i salute you sir. here's to a 0-0 draw!
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03/05/2012 19:43:00

Oh please, please, please let it be a 0-0 draw. I love those!
Stephen Jay Hawkings
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03/05/2012 20:54:00

Spurs have been a very good counter attack team against the lesser teams in the league until Feb. but the propaganda from the press has been shameful. They are a counter attack team and you can easily play against them if you're not Eck. We will fail dismally but I hope that Chelsea win the Champs League ( even though they will be another to join the elite crew) just so I don't get told by the press that Spuz are so so so good to watch when they'd be pony without Bale and Modric ( whom they'd lose if they don't make top 4.)
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03/05/2012 22:01:00

People like to make their own opinions up without being TOLD by a spurs run press machine.
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03/05/2012 22:03:00

Aaaarrrrggg thanks oxfordspur!! Good to know other fans think we complete crap also, what a depressing read!! Roll on summer roll on...... Martinez please
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03/05/2012 22:12:00

I'm pretty sure Spurs would love to have Richard Dunne.
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03/05/2012 22:45:00

Oh well villan444 IF we were to lose Bale and Modric we would still have quality and not be as 'pony' as Villa!! and we have been so so good to watch at times this season its not rocket science if you watch!! or have you become blind by your own disgusting brand of non-football...its that or just sour grapes!!
only 1 spurs
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03/05/2012 23:22:00

Good article though...Good luck.
only 1 spurs
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03/05/2012 23:24:00

Great interview! I just feel depressed about the fact I used to read the polls saying 89% of our fans backing villa to win again teams such as Spurs but now only 6% of us expect to win against spurs. I think even other fans of other clubs should join in with getting Eck out!
Avfc94 we do
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03/05/2012 23:30:00

It is sad that the best we can hope for is 0-0 safe in the knowledge that we can't score for s**t and our best/only hope is that Spurs don't either!
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04/05/2012 00:35:00

As for spurs fans.... you've had a cracking season even if you don't make the champions league (which I happen to think you will). You've had a bit of a bad patch but come on! You don't have much to compain about! Come play with us at this end of the table and then you can have a whinge! We talk from experience - two seasons ago we were all whinging because we were ONLY going to finish 6th AGAIN! I don't think there is a Villa fan who wouldn't bite your arm off for a 6th place finish this season!!
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04/05/2012 00:40:00

Good read there. And reading the responses, we all know we are turd and we have to put up with Idiots' brand of anti-football. And yes, all we can hope for is a draw. Sad times................
Pride of Lions
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04/05/2012 01:21:00

It would be a dark day for english football if a club of your magnitude got relegated.
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04/05/2012 02:00:00

can't see Villa going down. would be a real shambles if it does happen. Ash Spurs.
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04/05/2012 04:32:00

Also hope Villa can stay up, but a win for SPURS this weekend though. I predict the bottom 3 is going to stay like that as in I think you guys, QPR and relegation escape expert Wigan will all be safe. All the best .....but not this weekend.
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04/05/2012 04:40:00

ox's answer to question 2 is complete tosh, why then did redcrap state in the media that offers were made for rossi, cahill etc. yes he has been aware of sell before you buy, but daniel levy was quoted as actually telling him to spend big on a forward. looks like ox is spouting his bull on here as well! COYS FOHR!
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04/05/2012 09:28:00

Think spurs are much improved with Freidal & Parker in the side they have had a rough patch but depending on who Arsenal have left to play cannot see why they shouldnt make third only 1 pt. behind. Should be talking about our own prospects somehow I think it better left till next season. As for Chelsea in the champs league final sorry will always support any British side in these games,got to be better for this countries league if one of our clubs win this sort of final.
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04/05/2012 10:43:00

Can't believe Harry gets stick from Spurs fans, they have extremely short memories it seems. Be careful what you wish for, some people wanted MoN gone...
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 11:01:00

Se. It's not just Villa fans who can't see a good thing when it's happening.
chocolate teapot
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04/05/2012 11:19:00

@ jabbatheyid, you can talk of bids going in for players, but how competetive were those bids? also it seems common knowledge that we have mads bide and looked at big money players, but interestingly we have failed in every one, why is that?
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04/05/2012 12:15:00

oxfordspur, simple answer, wages.
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04/05/2012 12:55:00

I don't know why, but I have an irrational dislike of Spurs. Having said that, their fans are often intelligent and articulate on forums and some of the football they've played this season has been brilliant to watch. I think the only player that would get in their first team from Villa would be Given. I'm sure one of our central defenders and Bent would make their squad stronger though. It's one thing to secure a top 4 place, but another to keep it. Spurs have a great 1st team at the moment and the challenge will be to keep it, let alone strengthen. I think a draw is the best we can hope for. Things could get ugly for AMc on Sunday, which is a shame as, although he's failed, as OxfordSpur points out, it's the board who are culpable for his appointment.
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04/05/2012 13:35:00

'Arry is better than juanday but no better than Jol. They already had the squad to make 4th without a lasagne before he turned up so this "'Arry turned them round" rubbish is wrong. He just got them back on track. They bottled it last year for the top 4 at the same time of year, in the same way that we ran out of steam under MON, whilst flying high in third, 10 points clear of the Gooners. Long ball merchants at the start of the season. Their weak link in Assou-Ekoto is out though, shame...
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04/05/2012 13:51:00

Villan444, you wont get many spurs fans being critical of Jol, but although I happily accept he did a very good job, I also feel that the wheels were about to fall off and Spurs were proactive in mking the change, even though that change didnt work out. for me, I think the manner in his removal was terrible and if anything should have been done at the end of the previous season, because for me things were slipping, nuch as some of your fans wanted O'Neil to be sacked before he decided to walk.
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04/05/2012 14:43:00

Fair point oxfordspur, I drink with several Spuz ST holders and they were happy that 'Arry was off to England but now seem OK with him staying. I was a big fan of MON and don't blame him for leaving. Think that he'd work wonders with your squad but still have the same Feb-Mar slump. No-one is bigger than the club and at least your board know what's what and look after you fans. They are fans themselves who obviously still want to make money, rather than JUST wanting to make money like ours.
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04/05/2012 14:57:00

Who said we'd have Richard Dunne? He may not be old enough yet to be on Harry's radar. Excellent interview, very classy and respectful answers, and I too want Villa to stay up and rebound from here, hopefully a new manager is top on your list this summer. COYS
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04/05/2012 16:20:00

Good read Ox', agree with you about our board getting the stick other than McLeish.
Green Villan
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04/05/2012 19:32:00


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