Vital Villa Summer Interview: Young Jonah
Young Jonah steps up for the Vital Villa members interviews. Q: When did you become a Villa fan and why?
I guess it was my birth right, but I can pin-point two important games in my life. The 1994 League Cup final was the first full game I watched televised and also my first ever game which was on Sunday 21st January 1996, a couple of weeks after my 10th birthday my Dad and Auntie took me, sat in the Upper Trinity, it was against Tottenham Hotspur and we won 2-1, Ruel Fox got theirs and my hero Dwight Yorke got one of ours and the other was from a fella called Paul McGrath. When McGrath scored my Dad said to me "he doesn`t get many son, you have witnessed something special", I was lucky enough to meet Paul McGrath earlier this season and when I told him what my dad said he replied "your Dad was joking, I used to score lots of goals".
As for why did I become a Villa fan, well that is quite simple it`s because they are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.Q: The season just gone, good bad or ugly? What did you think of it?
I think there have been some great moments this season but when it comes to the crunch we really are the "nearly men", losing two games at Wembley and missing out on 4th again.
I think overall it`s been a good season, Gabby Agbonlahor managed to better his total of goals, and we managed to gain more points than previous years. So there are positives, however the manager continued to talk about rotation and tired players, and he continued to not rotate, although bizarrely the one game he did rotate the team was away to eventual champions Chelsea. Very bizarre indeed and really got the conspiracy theorists trying to work out why he waited till THAT game to let Luke Young and Steve Sidwell start.
There were frustrations, but at the same time a lot of moments to savour, two trips to Wembley that were enjoyable well all except the result. But I think even the most optimistic of fans knew it would take something special for us to beat Man Utd or Chelsea, so we got what we expected.Q: Best and worst moment of last season?
Best moment for me was the Old Trafford win, stood in a pub on Broad Street surrounded by people in Manchester United shirts talking with Brummie accents, absolutely priceless, the last few moments of that game were a little bit stressful but the relief when the game ended was fantastic especially as we (the villa fans) jumped up and down while the plastic mancs cried into their pints.
Without doubt the worst moment of the season was the 7-1 defeat to Chelsea; it was THE most embarrassing moment of Villa supporting life.Q: James Milner... is he off do you think? If so, what price (realistically) should Villa hold out for? If off to Man City, which - if any - of their players would you want in exchange?
I think James Milner is off, and although I am not a Martin O`Neill fan at all, I don`t think O`Neill is to blame for this one. I think Martin will hate the fact he is losing his star man especially as we are wanted to battle for a spot in the top4 again. I think Lerner has told Martin we need to cash in on him and use the money made to fund our spending this summer. Just my opinion, probably wrong but no-one would convince me that O`Neill wants to sell Milner. I hope he will stay but I am 99% sure he will go.
As for price, well considering David Villa has joined Barcelona for £34million, I think Milner is probably worth £20million. I know that`s not what anyone wants to hear, but take a step back, take off the claret and blue tinted specs, Milner is not THAT good. I think £25million would be a good price for him but if the club can convince Man City to pay £30million then fair play to them.
There are only two players I would like to see in exchange, either Stephen Ireland so we have like for like and can use the money from the transfer to bag a striker or Craig Bellamy and use the money to replace Milner with a top midfielder.
So £30million for Milner or £20-25million plus Ireland or Bellamy.Q: What signings (type of player or specific name/s if you wish) would you like to see Villa buy this summer?
I think we are looking at 5-10 players leaving this summer, so I think we will need to see a few come in. To be honest with Andreas Weimann, Ciaran Clark and Marc Albrighton all having potential to develop into good players, it might be worth letting all 3 of these become more involved next season.
I think we will see Robbie Keane arrive to replace Carew who I think is off, I know some fans are not Keane on Robbie (that pun is for Jonathan) but he is proven and is a realistic signing for us. Obviously if Milner goes then we need someone to replace him, possibly Stephen Ireland as part of the deal or use the money to go in for Yossi Benayoun of Liverpool.
I would be tempted to make a cheeky bid for Darren Bent if we have money to burn but that is just me, I am sure Martin will want to use the money to bring in a few players. I would be happy with Bentley or Jenas too from Spurs.
Going to be an interesting summer transfer wiseQ: Where do you stand on Martin O'Neill (I don't mean literally, that would be assault) ?
I think he has taken us as far as he can, if you need me to be specific I am talking about 6th. I think if he stayed for another 5 years he would deliver a cup and quite possibly he maybe would be able to get us a 5th place finish, and to be fair some fans would probably take that now. But its seems to me considering the club and even O`Neill say it, we are aiming for the top4, and at the moment we are not achieving it, some think O`Neill can get us there, some don`t.
I think we can do better than O`Neill and genuinely believe there are better managers out there, there are 4 or 5 managing in the league now who have done a similar job to O`Neill - Roy Hodgson has transformed Fulham with hardly any money, Harry Redknapp has got Spurs 4th after 18 months in charge, David Moyes has Everton consistently up there having spent a fraction of what Villa have and even Alex McLeish has got Birmingham finishing about 10 places higher than anyone expected.
People can poo poo those managers, but I think it provides evidence that good managers are out there, and I have only looked at the teams around us, there are managers working all over the world too and probably a few good 'uns currently out of work.
But O`Neill is here for another year at the very least and I cannot be bothered arguing about him anymore, some like him and some don`t. But at the end of the day we all love the Villa and that`s what matters.
I am probably harsh on O`Neill at times, so I am gonna start next season off on a clean slate.Q: Your opinion of Randy and the board?
I quite like them, looking at what has happened off the pitch, mosaics, acorns deal, Holte pub etc, there has been a lot of nice things happening and Lerner must take a lot of the credit for that.
I would like to see more spent on playing squad but I think the manager has wasted about half of the money he has been given by the board. For every James Milner and Ashley Young there are two Marlon Harewood`s and a Nicky Shorey.
I like Randy Lerner and will trust his judgment, I think he has the clubs best interests at heart.Q: Favourite current player and favourite all time player/s
I don`t really have a favourite current player, I like a few but none stand out for me. Perhaps I am getting older? I really like Curtis Davies and I will be sad to see him go in the summer, if he does.
Favourite all time players, Dwight Yorke is number one, but I also have fond memories of Dean Saunders, Olof Mellberg, Paul Merson and Ian Taylor.Q: Do you expect progress next season, difficult to answer before the transfer window closes I know?
Well I think the safe bet will be 6th!!! I think the last two years presented really good opportunities to break the top4, unfortunately for us Liverpool will bounce back, Man City will spend and Spurs now have the pulling of the Champions League to help they sign better players and we all know Arry is not afraid to go in for top players. I think we will be battling it out with Everton for 7th next season.
But, who knows, I said 7th last season and we finished 6th. So I might be wrong, Milner staying will be a boast but him leaving will give us money to really improve our starting 11 so lets wait and see.Q: Right, lets lower the tone... which celebrity would you most like to bang and which (male I would think) celeb would you most like to thump!?!
I really like Rihanna and Zoe Saldana (from Avatar). I wouldn`t mind smacking Michael McIntyre, the guy is about as funny as thrush only slightly more irritating.
With thanks to Young Jonah
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