Vital Villa Interviews 2012: Philo
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
I became a Villa fan sometime in Junior School - it was during the late 80s/early 90s when most of my friends supported Liverpool. I guess I did, until I really understood what supporting a team meant. I had one friend who was a Villa fan, he became one of my best friends and I started supporting Villa. I also liked the fact that Villa won the European Cup on the day I was born!
2) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?
Paul Lambert...seems to be well-liked and well respected. As with last season, I'd rather reserve judgement until he's actually had the job a while! My concerns, as with the last few managers (except Houllier), is the knowledge of Europe. Villa's scouting network is not known for finding unknown players, so a manager that knows Spain or Germany (or Scandinavia) would have possibly been an advantage. But Lambert now has Prem experience, has a more exciting outlook on how football should be played and should continue to bring the young players through - I'm optimistic!
3) Best and worst moments of last season?
Best moment was beating Chelsea - a good friend of mine is Chelsea fan, who likes to remind me of a few scores from recent seasons. He didn't talk to me for a week! My worst moment was Stan's illness (my 2nd best moment was the 19th minute applause).
4) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board, can a decent season next season make up for last season?
It's tough to have an opinion of the board because so much of what they do we don't see and Randy Lerner is an incredibly private man. What we have seen is a lot of work (and further plans) on facilities around the ground and at Bodymoor. There have been some great gestures like the support of Acorns and other local institutions, as well as laying on free travel to important games. Lerner is a successful businessman, so I respect that and I think Villa are in good hands. I think Lerner has had a lot to learn about football - perhaps backing O'Neill too much and maybe not McLeish enough. One season always erases memories of previous seasons on the pitch - here's to a good season!
5) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?
I've always like Adam Johnson, but looks like other teams are sniffing around. Grant Holt is obviously going to be linked, and might be a useful signing. I personally think we need strengthening in several areas and will probably have to take a risk on some foreign players - some Spanish creativity or Dutch flair would be nice!
6) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?
Quite a few, I'm afraid...not going to name names, and some might get a new lease of life under a new manager.
7) Favourite current player?
I love Ciaran Clark. I met him at Bodymoor just after he'd scored twice against Arsenal and was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. He works hard, loves Villa can play in lots of different positions and possibly scored the goal that kept Villa up.
8) Favourite all time player/s?
I loved Juan Pablo Angel - Villa could do with some South American passion again! I also think James Milner was another player who worked incredibly hard and is a very clever player. I would have put him in question 5, but don't think we could afford him.
9) What do you expect us to do/finish this season assuming a decent transfer window with £25m or so spent?
An improvement on last season is all I am hoping for - a solid mid-table (12th or higher maybe) would be good. The Premiership is so strong these days. Not that fussed about cups - as long as we beat the teams from lower leagues, I can cope with losing to a Prem team. Villa is a long term project - not sure O'Neill was right for that - although he does tend to bring instant success. Houllier might have done it, and AM was a non-starter. I'm looking for top 6 in the next few seasons...hopefully!
10) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?
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? Big fan of Nick Levett - many may not know him, but he's doing wonders for grassroots football in this country. I did get to spend a morning with him at Wembley, but could chat to him for hours about football.
b) Age You should be able to work that out from question 1 - I turned 30 on 26th May 2012
c) Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire - there's quite a few Villa fans around here.
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Jack Daniels and Coke
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Pepsi (Other brands are NOT acceptable)
f) Favourite Film: I really like Shawshank Redemption and quite like The Blindside.
g) Favourite TV Show: West Wing - the best thing to have EVER been on TV
h) Music?: Not fussy about music
i) Best ever moment in your life: Getting married was pretty good, spending the morning at Wembley was cool and meeting the players on a tour at Bodymoor was also brilliant
j) Ambitions: My ambitions change on a regular basis - I like helping people, more than that, I like helping people to help people...I wanna be prime-minister, no, ruler of the world!!!
k) Wise words: If in doubt, DON'T put it out - pass it to someone in space
now your turn, how to submit an interview: click here
Stephen Jay Hawkings
we`re not fickle