Vital Villan Interviews: GMVillan
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
Birth (1968). Never needed a reason why, I was brought to Villa Park as an infant. It's truly unthinkable to support anyone else.
2) Best moment/moments as a Villa fan?
Rotterdam 1982, Highbury 1981, every time I saw Paul McGrath play, beating Liverpool 5-1 in 1977, the two-goal comeback against Barcelona in 1978 (most people had left the ground), Alan Wright's goal at Spurs, Cahill's goal against the scum, Solano's goal at home versus Spurs, Dean Saunders' goal against Ipswich, meeting some of the players in Ohio two years ago, the aquisition by Randy, and the well-deserved and timely respect offered to the heroes of 1982 subsequent to that...
3) Worst moment/moments as a Villa fan?
The end of Paul McGrath's time in a Villa shirt. Relegation under Billy McFail. Having to watch Nigel Callahan and Steve Hodge in claret and blue. The tragic passing of Paul Birch. Doug Ellis' failure to back two managers (Little and Gregory) when we on the verge of pushing for the top of the league. Trevor Francis scoring a hat-trick at Villa Park for QPR. Enckleman's blunder.
4) Best and worst away ground visited?
Best - Maine Road. Decent atmosphere, reasonable home fans (not a fan of the City of Manc stadium)
Worst - The Dell (always rained, terrible atmosphere, poor views), Anfield (got shoved into the away end like sardines in 1981 and treated like crap by the home stewards and fans)
5) What did you think of last season? Good, bad or indifferent and do you think we progressed?
Good season. Yes, we progressed. The team is better and would not have wilted with Laursen in the side. His loss cannot be under-estimated - the whole team dynamic changed... Let's not forget how young this team is. With the exception of Friedel the entire squad is the right side of 30...
6) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer? And do you think Villa will spend enough this summer to progress?
A pure goal-scorer (although everybody wants one of those!) and a centre-back of proven quality who can pass the ball. We have three Ken McNaughts or Ugos but no Allan Evans or Southgate.... The dream ticket would be Torres and Vidic. BUT, realistically I think Owen would be worth a punt - his partnership with Heskey for England is excellent. At the back I am hoping we can prise Hangeland from Fulham or Lescott. The Dutch boy, Vermaelen is more likely or perhaps Beye.... If Barry goes we should pick up Bentley, play Young as a withdrawn forward/free role and Bentley on the left....
7) What do you expect next season?
Premier League: 5th
FA Cup: 1/4 final
Europa League: semi-final
Carling Cup: winners
8) Your opinion on Martin O'Neill now he is approaching his 4th season in charge?
An excellent manager who 'manages' the entire club in the old-fashioned sense. Class act. Might need a young dynamic coach with him to freshen up the tactics once in a while. He HAS to be given time to mould the club in the same way that Ferguson, Moyes and Wenger were....
9) Your opinion on Randy Lerner and his board?
Outstanding. Faultless to this stage. The envy of every foreign-owned premier league club. What a nice change to have a chairman who shies away from the media instead of one who hogs the spotlight and tries to take credit for any success the club achieves....
10) Favourite current player?
James Milner - a 'typical' villa player. Grafts, tracks and has no shortage of quality....
11) Favourite former player/s?
Paul McGrath, Kenny Swain, Kevin Richardson, Brian Little, Gary Shaw, Tony Morley, Andy Townsend.
12) Gareth Barry, will he stay or go and do you care?
Probably will go, but hope he stays. Impartial about him leaving..... when Yorke left we actually improved as a team because we became less one-dimentional. The current team is not as reliant on Barry as that team circa 1997 was Yorke, but I still think people like Sidwell, Reo-Coker and even Petrov live in his shadow...
13) Right, lets lower the tone... which celebrity would you most like to bang?! (Nicked from Vital Forest!)
Rihanna, hands down....
With thanks to gmvillan
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