Vital Villan Interviews: JeffG_UTV
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
To be honest, I didn't 'become' a Villa fan - I was born one! I was draped in claret and blue all through my childhood and I'm happy to report that it's a trend I've managed to continue in later life. Of course, it's always fun meeting up at family functions with half of the brood being 'Nosers....
2) Best moment/moments as a Villa fan?
You've got to start with Rotterdam really, haven't you? The best goal scored off a shin that you'll ever see! Besides the obvious moments of League Cup wins, I'd also have to opt for the beautiful 5-1 demolition of Birmingham City a couple of seasons back - priceless!
3) Worst moment/moments as a Villa fan?
Stand up, Peter Enkelmann.
4) Best and worst away ground visited?
I don't really do away grounds - how can it get any better than Villa Park? - so I'll say the best I visited was Wembley Stadium where we beat Man Utd 3-1 to lift the Coca Cola Cup. The worst? Wembley Stadium after losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the FA Cup.
5) What did you think of last season? Good, bad or indifferent and do you think we progressed?
I'm more of an optimist than a pessimist so being two points better off than last season has to be improvement in anybody's eyes really. The season itself was a strange one - pure magic for the first half then whimpered out in the second. I'm proud of the team effort that was made but with a bigger squad, you can't help but think that we could've finished a little bit higher.
6) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer? And do you think Villa will spend enough this summer to progress?
With Laursen gone for good (thank you Martin, wish you could've stayed with us for longer), we desperately need some defensive cover. It's no coincidence that our poor run of form came about after his injury as he pretty much did the work of two men! Personally, I've always been a fan of Sylvain Distin and would love to see him in a Lions shirt but it's all dependant upon whether Portsmouth can steady their ship. Gary Cahill has been brilliant for Bolton and seems to love the Villa like we do so it wouldn't be the worst move in the world to try and bring him back, although it wouldn't be cheap to do so. And I hear there's a certain Swedish legend at Juventus who isn't playing as many games as he'd hope to....
7) What do you expect next season?
Based on our current squad (which I hope is bolstered by a very large number of quality additions!):
Premier League: 6th
FA Cup: Last 32
Europa League: Last 16
Carling Cup: Last 16 (providing we don't come up against any lower league teams!)
8) Your opinion on Martin O'Neill now he is approaching his 4th season in charge?
Bit of a hot potato, this one. Like most fans, I don't agree with certain things that Martin has done this season - the complete disregard for the UEFA Cup in Moscow after starting the season in July to get into it is definitely at the top of the list. That said, I've still got belief that we've got the right man for the job. This season may be the one where he has to prove it to a lot of Villa fans, but to all those asking for him to leave you have to ask yourself: who's out there that could do any better? Most teams in the Premier League outside of the top four (and if the media are to be believed, some who are in it) would give their right arms to have our manager at their club and that does speak volumes.
9) Your opinion on Randy Lerner and his board?
In a word? Incredible. The term 'breath of fresh air' can be overused at times, but in the case of Randy and his team then I think they're pretty much the ultimate definition. A chairman with a bit of money who's not afraid to back the manager with it but doesn't seek any kind of limelight, a right-hand man who spends time listening to fans via forums and reports back to the chairman, key players who can arrange deals such as having Acorns as the shirt sponsor, something which makes me even prouder to wear the Villa shirt. Who wouldn't agree that of all the foreign owners in the Premier League right now, ours is head and shoulders above them all?
10) Favourite current player?
The man who's bigger than me and you! Not the greatest player in the world but tries hard, works hard, scores goals and absolutely loves the Villa faithful almost as much as we love him! Honourable mentions also have to go to Luke Young, who I would say was our best signing of the last campaign without a doubt and 'super' Stilyan Petrov, who for me is completely undroppable on his current form.
11) Favourite former player/s?
It wouldn't be right without saying 'God' first, even if it is obvious! Ian Taylor, Paul Merson, Dean Saunders, Juan Pablo Angel, Olof Mellberg and now Martin Laursen as well.
12) Gareth Barry, will he stay or go and do you care?
I do care, and I hope he decides to stick with us. You'd have to be a complete moron to hope that one of your best players leaves your club to play for another, and Gareth is definitely one of our best. His rise to the England ranks is no coincidence and I honestly believe that he's one of the few players in our squad who could easily command a place in any top four team. For that reason alone, I truly hope he decides to stay at Villa Park and help us try to crack into those elite league places.
13) Right, lets lower the tone... which celebrity would you most like to bang?!
I couldn't possibly answer that at work......on a completely unrelated matter, what's Kelly Brook up to these days???
With thanks to JeffG_UTV.
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