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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

An Interview With A Southampton Fan

Well we haven't done this for a while, we're off to St Mary's this weekend so I popped over to Vital Saints for a chat with Vital Saint!

With thanks!

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1) What are you expecting from the season?

Survival. There are high ambitions at the club, you probably don't know, but Adkins was talking about looking towards Europe as the clubs' ultimate aim over time, but for this season, not yoyoing I'd imagine everyone will be fine with. Doesn't matter by how many points we survive, even goal difference would work for me, as long as we can build in the Premiership for more success.

2) Were there any highlights or lowlights from your pre season?

Results were a bit of a mixed bag, but the performances were good. The highlights really would be the players we've gone after in the transfer market with the board backing Adkins with a very good amount for players who should serve us well in the future like Gaston Ramirez.

3) How do you feel your club did in the transfer window?

As above, fantastically well if you're looking at exciting signings. Jay Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez, Steven Davis, Nathaniel Clyne and then less known, but equally rated the likes of Mayuka and Yoshida.

A good blend of experience, and youth who want to push on.

4) Has anybody left who you think has seriously weakened the team?

The departure of Billy Sharp on loan was a bit of a shock really and Dean Hammond are the only two who stand out for me.

5) Who is going to be your main dangerman when we play?

Ramirez looks to have settled in quite well going off his last performance, so I'd expect him to have more of an influence next time out, but obviously Rickie Lambert will cause you most problems.

6) What are your weaknesses, any clues for the game will be appreciated :-)

Performance wise (ignoring Arsenal) we've been playing really well and have just been undone by momentary lapses. That will be our biggest weakness potentially, because we have to stop ourselves from switching off after all the hard work has been put in.

7) Will you have anyone out who would otherwise play?

Not that I'm aware of at the moment. Jack Cork is still out injured though.

Now with a slightly more Claret and Blue angle...

8) Are you surprised to see how Villa struggled last season and do you think we will again this time round?


Not particularly given the manager and his style of play, which from the little I saw, just took your best players out of the game. Lambert seems to share the same philosophy as Adkins in terms of playing the game the right way, and wanting the players to care at all times, so whilst I don't see you achieving much this season, I'd imagine you will be looking at a more comfortable league finish for him to build on.

9) Do you have any thoughts on Paul Lambert?

As above, a tough, single minded manager who is determined to get what he wants from players, but knows when an arm around the shoulder will do more than an outright rollocking. I think given time, and support, he'll do a very good job for you.

10) What have you made of our youth promotions last/this season, anybody caught the eye for you?

I really haven't seen enough to comment on your youngsters.

11) Who has stood out most from our recent acquisitions for you?

From highlights this season, El Ahmadi seems very assured, and Ron Vlaar looks to be in the mould of a typical English centre half, but more cultured.

12) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?

Darren Bent, knows where the goal is, has the experience of the league and would give us a different option upfront.

13) Who do you see as our main threat in the game?

Bent again for obvious reasons. If we switch off at the back as we have done in previous games, Bent is exactly the type of player who can capitalise on that and make us pay.

14) Where would you say our current weaknesses are in terms of how you will approach the match?

You are improving as the games go on, but I don't think you've fully clicked yet so the team's unfamiliarality with each other and Lambert's tactics should produce gaps and misunderstandings we can take advanatge of. If we can win the midfield battle and keep Bent out of the game, we should have enough to cause you plenty of problems in defence which seems to be a bit leaky.

15) Finally, a prediction please kind person...

We are desperate to pick up some points and with the home fans behind the team I do think you'll find it difficult. I'm not sure I can see an easy winner here for either team, so 1-1 maybe.

-----

Saints Forum Thread.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday September 20 2012

Time: 4:34PM

Your Comments

Good interview, fair comments and a fair prediction... A draw might be the right score Southampton will be difficult to beat after the arsenal game...
CDX_EIRE
I'm predicting a win for Villa this weekend. Think our lot have the bit between their teeth all of a sudden.
The Fear
You forgot to ask them what their pies were like MF. FFS, what is wrong with you, you don't stop and think about the important things at all do you!? ;o)
The Fear
1-1? Dream on! 4 nil to the mighty Villa!
SherlockGT
We could nick this one 2-1, I'm not getting too carried away after last weekend, but I think we could nick it
Pride of Lions
LOL Fear, I think its a Villa win for us and a sorry goodbye to Adkins as there manager with Harry Redknapp then appointed next week as manager, youve heard it here first folks 3-1 Villa win.
clivethevillan
Pies? Have I missed something? Are you wanting a more hungry feel to the Vital interviews this season lol
mike_field
Eck out. Bent should be captain and Benteke should play a link striker role like Heskey ;-)
koolbill
Bent- give me a break. It's Benteke and Gabbys pace he should be worried about and reinforce to get through our back 4.I think we'll beat these and then some though it will be a tough game.
Villa_Grizzly
Villa_Grizzly - it was an in-joke for VOTH and V444. Personally, all three are on fire and will do a job.
koolbill
An entertaining 3-2 away win I think. We aren't the finished article as stated and Saints are capable of goals which probably explains the odd goal in five. UTV.
holte ender 1969
Villa to win 2-1,with lots of chances at each end I think. And all this talk of means I'm off to Pie Face as soon as I've finished typing this !
ExpatVillaShirt
Well must admit all this pie talk got my belley rumblin, so stuck a fray bentos pie in the oven to cure this feelin all thanks to Fear CHEERS!
clivethevillan
I do the talksport predictor league and last season done well, but this season I am pants. I am predicting every Villa game to be 3 - 2. I just see the way that we are set up that we will score and concede loads. So no different for tomorrow. 3 - 2 to the good guys. And a good interview with the Saints Fan. I really like hearing the views of sensible opposing fans. Just don't let 444 give any views on the Villa though, or else everybody will think we are all moaning minnies who are never satisfied and that the club is going to hell in a hand cart. I really laughed when I saw the player that they fear most is DB9, when all week 444 has been saying 'lets see how other clubs view him'. I nearly fell off my chair laughing.
voiceoftheholte
Common sense inteview. Saints like ourselves bit of a yoyo start good performance against Man.U. was undone by the home loss to Wigan. The Arsenal result as we well know can happen to anyone in the Prem. ask Arsenal about their 8-2 loss last season. The good news for Villa is our results and performance have shown constant improvement hope that continues against Saints.
Merlin128777
VOTH: Bent is a legend and I wanted him from his Charlton days and to be fair, considering all the upheaval, many other players would have gone. Bent has stayed and I think it shows his ever growing maturity. He played well link-wise last game and if Benteke and Gab play well then he will have to produce the link play every week and show that he can be a more all round player - equally, if all he does is score winning goals then that's great too. I'm sure 444 means well and I won't speak on his behalf - to his credit, he absolutely is consistent. Regarding the team, I've just seen on SSN that we are in the Top 5 for least amount of SHOTS AGAINST, on 15. That's class as last season all we did was sit back and invite teams on, and boy, did they enjoy scoring when invited. This is a true indictment of how good PL is at turning our players and tactics around and making the Villa team HIS, with HIS style and many formations! Great times ahead.
koolbill
I think Bent has a way to go before he becomes a legend koolbill. But he does have it in his locker. And I agree with the sentiments although disagree with the stats. I think Everton had over 15 shots when we played them.
voiceoftheholte
That's SSN stats though, ON TARGET SHOTS AGAINST though. I know what you're saying about Bent though...it seems to me though that if he showed passion like Angel then he'd be a legend - we have strikers who have scored less with a higher status after leaving - Alback for one. Once he starts linking and scoring then it should cement his place.
koolbill
 

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