Vital Villa Interviews 2012: 1958Villan
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
As my user name suggests 1958, although it was probably born in me. I grew up in Aston, in Alma St, just around the corner from the High St, where George Cummings had a shop almost opposite the Orient picture house. Dad knew George pretty well and I used to get taken into the shop every week. The whole family grew up as Villans and Dad was the youngest of 13.
The first time I visited Villa Park it just felt like home.
2) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?
If Lambert is given backing and I'm not talking the kind of silly money another manager was allowed to throw around but, as and when he decides its needed and above all else, time to build and rebuild the team and club structure. I can see no reason why he couldn't take the club all the way to the top, eventually, just as was done at Manchester United. Remembering it took Sir Alex years to start having success. Lambert was my second choice for the job, behind Claudio Ranieri. Ranieri pipped him in my judgeme3nt only because he, Ranieri, has the experience of having done the job before. So on the whole I am happy.
3) Best and worst moments of last season?
Worst moment last season was when our owner had a brainstorm and appointed a manager with the most diabolically bad CV.
Best moment of last season was when our owner came out of his brainstorm and sacked the manager with the worst CV.
4) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board, can a decent season next season make up for last season?
Mr Lerner has an awful long way to go to make up for the way he treated the fans last season and to be honest, I am unsure if he ever will manage it. His honeymoon period is well and truly over, as is the goodwill he bought with all of the regeneration at the Park and Bodymoor and the work he did with Acorns.
5) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?
Well this is down to the new manager but, seeing as you are asking my opinion. We need a Defensive midfielder badly, so it would be nice to see us go in for Mohamed Diame, who's on a Bosman. If Gennaro Gattuso's illness can be controlled for a couple of years I think he would be ideal for our youngsters to learn from. Diego Lugano is on a Bosman from PSG I believe and has always been a decent centreback.
Tonel is on a Bosman from Dinamo Moscow and I've always thought he had a bit of class as a centreback. Marko Pantelic is on a Bosman from Olympiakos and although he is 33 now, I think he still has enough class to do well in the premier. Weimann and Gabby, if he is still here could learn a lot from him about movement in the box. Christian Pander from Hannover is on a Bosman. He is a leftback/wingback who gets down the wing and has a thunderbolt in his leftboot. He is a good freekick taker too. Maxi Rodriguez could be available at Liverpool, he can play rightwing, leftwing or attacking midfield. Alan Dzagoev is on a Bosman at CSKA Moscow and is a playmaker who is excellent at 21. Although he can't move until December, he can be contacted at the end of June.
s.t FC Basel on a Bosman and although he is 32 he proved he can still play at Man Utd this season, by scoring a hat-trick against the Reds. Yohann Pele is in the his last season under contract as Toulouse's goalkeeper, so could be available fairly cheaply. He wants to come to England. There's a few to be going on with.
6) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?
Again purely my opinion but, the changes I would make are.
Hutton and Warnock aren't good out and out fullbacks but would do a good job as wingbacks, or as a holding pair in midfield.
Collins and Dunne have to go. On the playing side, they are too slow and cumbersome and make too many mistakes, which is why they have to make so many last second dives to recover the ball. They are only comfortable when they play so deep they can feel the Keepers breath on their necks. Neither one is any good with the ball at his feet, they are both typical hoofers. On the non-playing side, they are far too disruptive to team morale.
I think Bannan's best position is at the point of a midfielsd diamond, or between midfield and the attackers.
Depending on who is brought in, I would consider getting rid of N'Zogbia and possibly Ireland. They are both 'sometime' players and not team workers.
Delfouneso can go, he hasn't just stood still, he has gone a long way backwards, with nothing to show he can come on again.
Gabby needs a new challenge, he is too comfortable here because the fans love him as he is one of us. When we really needed him at the end of last season he had nothing to show but disinterest.
If Delph is put with a player who will talk him through a game he might make something of himself but, when left alone he makes diabolically bad decisions. I'd give him until January and if he doesn't show anything, then I'd let him go.
7) Favourite current player?
Eric Lichaj. I like the way he keeps on improving.
8) Favourite all time player/s?
Too many to list but, just to be getting on. Peter McParland, Gerry Hitchins, John Sleewounhoek, Andy Gray, Brian Little, God, Chris Nichol, Leighton Phillips, Bobby McDonald, Charlie Aitken, The entire 1982 squad.
9) What do you expect us to do/finish this season assuming a decent transfer window with £25m or so spent?
Consolidate at somewhere above 15th in the league and maybe have a couple of short runs in the cups.
10) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?
Q) Could I ever walk away from the Villa?
A) I have come close to it recently, simply because I don't want to see the club die, like it has looked like doing under the stewerdship of our present owner. I have hope now that he may, only may, have learned what is needed to progress our club.
11) Just to change the theme slightly, a snap shot of you outside of football, answer or ignore at your leisure: (based on our WHO ARE YOU thread!!!)
a) which celebrity/s would you most like to meet and why? Stephen Fry I think
b) age I always say when asked this question, three weeks older than God and I don't mean Paul McGrath.
c) location Location: Sitting at my computor in Bristol
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: I am and have always been a real ale drinker.
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Tea.
f) Favourite Film: Goodbye Mr Chips has always been one of my favourites, the one that stars Robert Donat
g) Favourite TV Show: QI
h) Music?: Yes. I have ecletic tastes in music, everything from Opera to Country and Western.
i) Best ever moment in your life: The birth of my kids
j) Ambitions: To leave fond memories that bring a smile to people's faces once I die.
k) Wise words: To be the first to offer violence in an argument is an admission of defeat.
now your turn, how to submit an interview:
Stephen Jay Hawkings