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Vital Villan Interviews: Glensider

Hurrah, up steps Glensider, our away match day reporter, to take the Vital Villan Interview..

1 - How long have you been a Villa fan and how did you first get the Claret & Blue faith?

Since 1962. First went to Villa Park with my uncle and cousin. Funnily enough, the week before my first Villa Park visit I wanted to go to St Andrews with my friend and his dad (Blues vs Ipswich, Blues won 1-0), but my mom thankfully said 'no'. If she hadn't, who knows? I would no doubt have been posting on Vital Blues now, singing the praises of the boys in royal blue.

2 - What was your first game?

February 1962. F.A. Cup Fifth Round. Villa vs Charlton Athletic. We won 2-1 (scoring the winner just five minutes before the end) to reach the quarter-final, where we lost 2-0 to the holders Spurs at White Hart Lane. The following Wednesday (after the Charlton game) was my first ever league game, funnily enough also against Tottenham. We drew 0-0.

3 - What is your most memorable moment as a Villa fan?

Rotterdam, got to be, although the semi-final second leg in Belgium against Anderlecht runs it close. Two great occasions. Just glad that I can look back and say that I was there on both occasions. An AVFC Travellers Club steward too on both occasions, which means I got the flights free of charge. Very nice.

4 - And the worst moment?

The first relegation I experienced from the top flight. Late 60's. It had been on the cards for a few seasons, the club was in decline. Everton came to VP for our final home game of the campaign, beat us 4-2, and sent us down. The following weekend, our final game of the season, Southampton hit us for six at The Dell. They'd only just escaped the drop themselves. I thought our demotion was the end of the world. I was crushed!

5 - Who are your favourite current Villa players?

I don’t really have any. There's those I rate more than others, those whose faults I perhaps overlook more than I ought to, but as for any set favourites, no, not really.
6 - Which former player/s are your ultimate heroes?

In no particular order, Colin Withers, Harry Burrows, Tony Hateley, Willie Anderson, Chico Hamilton, Pat McMahon, Bruce Rioch, Morty, Alex Cropley, Andy Gray, Johnny Gidman, Peter With, Gary Shaw, Tony Morley.
7 - Which player do you think was the worst to ever put on the team colours?

Got to watch this one. I once made disparaging remarks about a certain Mr Charlie Young on the forum, and lo and behold, the guy put in an appearance to respond to me. I'll pass if you don’t mind, gutless being my middle name. Add Charlie to my list of ultimate heroes if you would, that might pacify him!!

8 - What is the best goal you have seen Villa score and which is your favourite game?

Best goal I think would be Chris Nicholl's brilliant effort at Old Trafford, against Everton, in the second replay of the '76/77 season. It came about ten minutes from time, drew us level at 1-1 (a game we went on to win in the last minute of extra-time), and was an absolute stunner hit from about 30/35 yards. When he let fly I began to yell 'no', showing my annoyance at him attempting an effort from such a distance, but before I could finish the ball was in the back of the Everton net, and the joyous celebrations were in full swing.

Favourite game, Rotterdam. No explanation needed I guess. The ultimate. The last twenty minutes were the longest twenty minutes of my life, but when that final whistle blew. Well, you can guess.

9 - Best away ground visited?

Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium. We lost the game 2-1, but what a superb setting. Great stadium, great facilities.

10 - Who would you like to see Villa sign this summer?

I'd simply like us to prove our brave words aren't just hot air, by bringing in genuine quality in numbers to give us every opportunity to continue the growth, development, and improvement of the last two years.
11 - What are your predictions for us this season in the:
a) League
between 7th and 12th, depending on signings between now and the end of August.

b) Europe Its going to be tough, we've been away too long. Group stages of UEFA Cup at best.

c) Carling Cup Carling Cup - Luck of the draw dictates.

d) Fa Cup F.A. Cup - ditto.

12 - What is your opinion of Martin O'Neill?
He's in my bad books right now, solely down to the lack of positive action in the transfer market again. It could be his undoing. Overall, best manager seen at Villa Park since Mr Ron Saunders. He's transformed the playing side of the club, but just when you expect us to make that extra step forward, he dithers in the transfer market, and an opportunity is lost. Until he speculates more, we'll remain as one of the also rans.

13 - What is your opinion of Randy Lerner and the new board?

I was so desperate to witness the end of the Ellis years, that looking back I think that I'd have accepted anyone as our new owner. I had reservations initially about Mr Lerner's involvement, still maybe have one or two, but overall he and his board have been a breath of fresh air. They are professionals, experts in their field, something you could never apply to Ellis and his cronies.

14 - Where do you sit at Villa and are you a season ticket holder?

As a family we have season tickets in the Trinity Road stand, and the Doug Ellis stand. Bought my first season ticket back in '74, sat in the old Trinity Road enclosure.

15 - And finally if you could invite 4 people connected to Villa, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be? And you can add one bit of top totty as well to make the party go with a 'bang' ;o)

George B Ramsay
Pongo Waring
Willie Anderson
Tommy Docherty
and the top totty - my good lady (She reads this!!!)

With thanks to Glensider

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 20 2008

Time: 4:19PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I'm a bit surprised Paul mcGod was not in your list of heroes.
chris the villan
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20/07/2008 16:36:00

Another insight to why we are who we are... as always informative and laced with Glensiders points of view.
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20/07/2008 17:06:00

Been waiting to read this for a while ;)
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20/07/2008 18:49:00

Pity I forgot the 'e' off the end of Peter Withe's name (my apologies Pete) plus in my excitement of reliving Big Chris' wonder strike, I omitted to state of course that it was the second replay of the Football League Cup final. Thanks chaps!
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20/07/2008 19:12:00

Impressed. Someone on Vital Villa who went to a match a season before me! Hopefully that means you are older as well! On my interview I also remember that 4-2 defeat by Everton as well. I didn't go to Southampton the game after when we lost 6-0, but I do remember the feeling of depression. It was games like that, and travelling everywhere in the Third Division, that made that night in Rotterdam so memorable. I really hope that my kids (and other younger Villa fans) one day get the opportunity to experience the same. Great interview, Glensider.
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20/07/2008 20:01:00

As regards Paul McGrath chris the villan, great player than he undoubtedly was, a true Villa Park legend, I went for players more from my formative years of supporting the club. I simply had to include favourites though from the League Championship/European Cup winning era, because we will possibly never see their likes again. Great team/great individuals. By the time Paul McGrath was strutting his stuff, I guess 'heroes' as such only had a place in my more tender years. Thanks krfeskivilla. We more 'mature' Vital Villans have to stick together you know, keep these young upstarts who heavily outnumber us, in their place, and in check. Glory hunters, thats all they are! Yes, that final day at The Dell was one depressing experience. I reckon about only 150 or so of us diehards made the trip. The shambles of a performance that greeted us, was so typical of all that had gone before that season. You know, if I recall correctly, if we'd have beaten Everton and then won at The Dell, we'd have stayed up. Not that we deserved to mind.
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20/07/2008 21:36:00

Much respect Glensider...couple of questions, 1) not many of your answers involved the Premiership years, which if any has been your most memorable Premiership season? 2) out of interest, what are you one or two reservations about Randy? Cheers, yours olafthegreat.
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20/07/2008 21:47:00

I think if I'm honest olafthegreat, until RL and MON arrived, I always felt that the premiership years had been wasted time. We all too often flattered to deceive. Yes, we had one or two decent teams, some memorable games, and even the odd season where we punched above our weight. I always though though that we were going nowhere. Marking time, indeed if anything, slowly going backwards. Maybe if Mr Lerner or anyone else other than HDE had of been at the helm, then we wouldn't have allowed other clubs to pull away from us, or even worse, catch up and then overtake us. No, unashamedly, my happier memories revolve around the demise in the sixties, and the climb back of the early seventies, culminating in that wonderful night in Rotterdam. I am certainly not anti-Doug. Far from it. I believe that he was the right man at the right time back in '68, and he as much as anyone, worked 24/7 to put this great club of ours back on the map. I even supported Doug back in the days of the Bendall vs Ellis fued, backing him at the meetings with my full support (I became a shareholder in '68), and was delighted when he won back control of the club. Sadly I came to very much regret my error of judgement. I did very much enjoy last season. We were playing good football, particularly on our travels, and I have to admit that attending the away games again became a pleasure, not a chore that you felt you were doing out of duty. I do, for what its worth, definitely think that we are on the right track with MON at the helm. Yes, he frustrates when its transfer window time, but overall the guy has dragged the club up by its bootlaces. As for Randy and his involvement, I still sometimes wonder whether the guy is in it for the long haul, and I sometimes question whether the financial support that we keep being assured is there for the manager, is indeed actually there. Nothing that has been done on the surface can I find fault with. He has kept his word about updating VP and its facilities, and I applaud him for that. I dont expect us to spend millions Chelsea style, I never have, that was never going to be an option, but it does niggle with me that to date the quality of players that we were lead to believe would be arriving, haven't. Maybe that decision is solely down to MON, maybe I'm questioning Mr Lerner unfairly. Only time will tell I guess, and if in five years time Mr Lerners involvement continues, then I will be eating humble pie, and doing so with great pleasure, because it will mean that AVFC truly are back.
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20/07/2008 23:23:00

Mr Glen, great interview. Gutted you've nicked mt fave goal from me. I was at that game too, it was unbelievable.
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21/07/2008 08:17:00

Twas indeed tarzan. Brian Little's last minute extra-time winner was a very fitting way to end the three game marathon. The second replay certainly made up for the relative lack of action in the first two meetings, thats for sure.
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21/07/2008 08:32:00

As expected a great interview form a fan I admire. I didn't start my love affair with Villa until the mid 70's. I alway's supported them from a child but not with any great gusto until until the mid 1970's. I would mirror most of your answers Glensider. You have never spoken a truer word Glensider, those final 20 minutes in the Feyernord Stadium was treuly hellish. Then the euphoria of the return journey which took almost 24 hours the sleeping on the floor at Calais ferry port was an amazing day. Like you Glensider I will never forget it!
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21/07/2008 08:36:00

glensider is my favorite Vital Villain, his wisdom is infinite.
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21/07/2008 09:11:00

I think you've pulled Glen
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21/07/2008 09:25:00

Pity I'm not a few years younger tarzan to take advantage of it. Sadly 'pulling' is all but a very distant memory now. Thanks for your kind words gappy65 and DO'L. Very much appreciated.
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21/07/2008 09:32:00

With regards to the answer to question 10 and 12, i must say - i couldnt agree more. I am starting to wonder if MON has taken us as far as he can, i am not convinced he is the man to take the club past 6th, i honestly believe that is the highest we will ever finish under him, I think to break the top 4 we need a manager who is willing to utilise Lerner's millions.
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21/07/2008 09:39:00

Perhapse MON would utilise the money.....if it were there?
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21/07/2008 11:48:00

Perhaps MON will utilise the money - when we're in UEFA cup.
The Usual Suspect
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21/07/2008 12:22:00

DO'L its quite obvious the money is available. Look at the work on the ground, look at the fact General says the money is there, and MON himself has said the money is there. Why would MON say that if wasnt true?
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21/07/2008 12:43:00

I will certainly agree young_jonah that this season is I think a very big season for MON. He has to get the squad up to strength to give us a realistic chance of competing. There can surely be no more excuses? I think he has done a first rate job since his arrival, but lack of strength in depth cannot be allowed to now hold us back, particularly when we are assured that funds are readily available.
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21/07/2008 12:49:00

GS, we have had our disagreements on here, particularly in recent weeks regarding friendlies etc, but I think your comment above totally sums up how i feel on the matter. It seems we agree on something. I think MON will be shooting himself in the foot if he actually thinks he can go into next season with a similar squad size to last, he needs to bring into quality players to bulk up the squad and provide some competition. And another point to DO'L if we needed the funds so badly we would have probably allowed Barry to go on the cheap. Not the case, I actually think MON simply has a weakness, although he is a top manager he simply hasnt got the balls to buy a big star.
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21/07/2008 13:04:00

We haven't had too many disagreements young_jonah, I think we get on pretty amicably. We disagree on the merits of friendlies and how they should be approached, yes, but otherwise, I dont think that our lines of thinking have been too far apart. One thing I will add here, the climb from 16th to 6th in two seasons has I believe been the relatively easy part. Improving on sixth is where it becomes very difficult, and more importantly perhaps, very expensive. MON obviously is well aware of that fact, so hopefully before September 1st rolls around he will have spent a decent chunk of this allocated funding, otherwise failing that, I feel that this will not be the season we all hope and expect it to be.
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21/07/2008 13:26:00

At the end of last season I was buzzing, 6th was a brilliant finish and i even started a thread asking if 4th was a realistic aim for next year, as you say GS, i think improving on 6th is the real test, that top5 have made up the top6 for a long while, and with Spurs looking to compete too, Portsmouth and countless others will also fancy their chances, its going to be MONs toughest season so far. I like you hope he brings in the right players and plenty of them. But fear we will go into next season with the same numbers as last.
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21/07/2008 13:37:00

Young Jonah - the only part of your post I don't agree with is the "Balls to buy a big player" comment. Until we're in Europe, no tradtitionally "big" player will come to us anyway, so like, he hasn't really had much of a chance to show us his balls, has he?
The Usual Suspect
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21/07/2008 13:51:00

Perhaps I missed the press conference where he did show us his balls!
The Usual Suspect
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21/07/2008 13:53:00

No i think you are right no balls have been shown as yet, but i kind of mean the players who will take us to the next level, i mean players like bentley and defoe, opposed to Deco and Nasri. Imagine Defoe and Carew up front with supply from Young and Bentley, now if that cant push for 4th-6th i dont know what can. I am all for giving MON time, but there comes a time when the manager has to show more ambition than Harewood and Knight as signings. Sidwell could prove a superb signing but we will have to see who else joins him.
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21/07/2008 14:48:00

I agree but Defoe wanted to work with Harry again. And it looks like Bentley wants the bright lights of london. In the face of that what can you do?
The Usual Suspect
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21/07/2008 14:49:00

A good read. Cheers glensider. Although I hate everyone that went to Rotterdam - I missed the greatest moment in my clubs history, mainly due to the problem of it being four years before my birth - Jealousy kicks in :)
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22/07/2008 10:16:00

It'll come again Mayo_12. At least we dream about it now. When we were doing the rounds of the third division grounds, european club football was the furthest thing from our minds.
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22/07/2008 11:43:00


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