Vital Villan Interviews: BBJ
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
My Dad moved to Birmingham for work and used to send me the SPORTS ARGUS every Saturday night. Even though the Baggies and Wolves were doing better than Villa at that time, I somehow latched onto the “Hall of Memory Team” as my Dad (a Baggies supporter) used to call them. I shudder to think that I might somehow have been attracted to Birmingham City! I’m pretty sure that the blue kits put me off as Linfield in Belfast wear that colour and I have always heartily detested them.
2) Best moment/moments as a Villa fan?
I wasn’t even there at the time but it was the day when we became Champions. I was on a beach in the west of Ireland with my family and was making regular trips to the car to listen to what was going on. The reception was lousy. No-one, including my better-half could then understand why I was so excited!
3) Worst moment/moments as a Villa fan?
BFR’s team losing the Championship to Man U. I think we lost our nerve. That loss to Oldham?!!? In the 16 years since, Man U have gone from strength to strength whilst we’ve won just two League Cups (yes, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick but still..).
4) Best and worst away ground visited?
Best – We used to live in North London and were just a few tube stops from Highbury. So I’ve been there quite a few times and always liked the atmosphere there. Some of this is also mixed up with living in that area just before and after we were married which, not surprisingly, is a time of fond and special memories.
Worst – I’ve only ever really been in fear of my health and life at one ground. Step forward, the Brandywell in Derry. I went there to watch Glentoran many years ago and did not dare open my Belfast-accented mouth such were the feelings of hatred and animosity. Several years later, during the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, Derry City had to withdraw from the Irish League and eventually ended up in the League of Ireland. (The Irish League is the Northern association whilst the League of Ireland is its counterpart in the Republic.)
5) What did you think of last season? Good, bad or indifferent and do you think we progressed?
Ultimately, it was a bit disappointing the way it ended. I suppose we flattered to deceive. Did we progress? – not sure. Did we fall back? – no.
6) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer? And do you think Villa will spend enough this summer to progress?
I think it’s much more important to hold onto the good guys we have, now that the Great Dane has gone to Valhalla and Gareth Barry has absconded to what (hopefully) might become the next Newcastle United. There are also the worrying rumours about Wilfred Bouma. I have a sneaking regard for Kevin Doyle (I know some think he’s not really Premier League standard). We could do with a winger a la Downing (or Damien Duff? – we never seem to mention him in despatches and he has gone off the boil in recent times but he has ability – if not confidence – and, here’s a bonus, CAN play at right-back!) and another central defender. We ought also to develop the younger guys better (Brad junior, Fonzie, Barry B to mention but three) as well as trying at least some gentle rotation to give the likes of Craig Gardner more game time.
7) What do you expect next season?
I expect very little but hope springs eternal!
Premier League: - top ten
FA Cup: - a decent run
Europa League:- a decent run
Carling Cup: - a serious attempt to win it
8) Your opinion on Martin O'Neill now he is approaching his 4th season in charge?
A very good manager who has yet to prove that he can be a great one.
9) Your opinion on Randy Lerner and his board?
Very good – they seem to be in it for the long-term. Perhaps they should be ever so slightly impatient every so often.
10) Favourite current player?
James Milner now that the Great Dane has gone
11) Favourite former player/s?
Paul McGrath – probably the most technically gifted player ever to pull on the claret and blue.
Others include -
Colin Withers, Nigel Spink, Mark Bosnich, Martin Laursen, Charlie Aitken, Ray Houghton, Ron Wylie, Brian Little, Steve Staunton, Tony Hateley, Dwight Yorke, Sid Cowans, David Platt, Peter Withe, Harry Burrows, Dennis Mortimer, Dean Saundersarry
12) Right, lets lower the tone... which celebrity would you most like to bang?!
I take a tablet every morning for my blood-pressure so cannot stand too much excitement. However, I’m sure I could enjoy a few hours of animated discussion with Carol Vorderman and/or Doireann Ní Bhriain.
With thanks to the gentleman otherwise known as BBJ
How to join in on the interviews: http://www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/article