Vital Villa Interviews 2012: H
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
I grew up being the youngest of three siblings. My elder sister was very much attached to my mother and every Saturday they`d go shopping together. My brother went down the Villa with my dad. I used to get dragged round the shops with my mum and sister, because I was a girl and girls like that kind of thing. Not so with me. So one Saturday I had a particularly lengthy tantrum about having to go shopping and my mum finished the argument with the words, 'Right. You either come shopping with us or you can go down the football with your dad.` And the rest is history. My first Villa game was that very Saturday, against Oxford, who won, and I was hooked. Been a season ticket holder for about … quick calculation … 25 years now.
2) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?
When we were at Norwich at the last game of last season and the Villa fans were singing Lambert`s claret and blue army and all the rest of it, I thought he`d be a fantastic manager yet couldn`t see it happening because I thought O`Neill would stick the knife in. Then there was the whole Ole Gunnar Solksjaer episode and I got really quite excited about the prospect of someone young and new and maybe actually looking forward to Saturdays again. When that all fell through I fully expected we`d end up with Gareth Southgate or Mick McCarthy so Paul Lambert`s arrival is truly amazing in comparison. I`m looking forward to pre-season and yes, I`m even looking forward to the start of the new season. Have to say, last season was the first time since becoming a season ticket holder that I was even considering not renewing.
3) Best and worst moments of last season?
Worst is Stiliyan Petrov`s diagnosis. Nothing more to be said.
Best moment … there`s nothing actually football related because it was just a horrible, horrible season in every respect. However, in terms of just having a good time, Norwich away was great. My new favourite away ground!
4) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board, can a decent season next season make up for last season?
I honestly believe Randy Lerner and the board take far more stick than they deserve after everything they`ve done so far, the money they`ve put in, the improvements they`ve made to and around the ground. Yes they made a mistake with McLeish but I don`t think they had as massive a choice as everyone seems to assume. Whatever McLeish had achieved or otherwise, I think it was always a losing battle due to a percentage of supporters` anti-Birmingham views. To me, I don`t care where a manager or player comes from and I care nothing for Birmingham City, which is surely how it should be. But anyway. People are quick to forget how much money has already been ploughed into the club and people are also quick to forget how Randy Lerner made his money and how the recession and economic climate will have affected him. I don`t want us to turn into a Man City personally. I just want a reason to get excited about going to Villa Park again. I want a manager that can bring good football and excitement and I just think that would be more possible if the supporters stopped getting on everyone`s back and creating such a terrible atmosphere at our home games. I want the days of Ron Atkinson to come back!
5) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?
In my head or realistically? So, so many positions to be filled here. It`s realism time again though. Top quality world class players will have clubs to choose between and how many will choose Villa? Personally I think I`d scout around the Championship and take a few gambles. We`re good at bringing people through, we always have been, and if we have to sell them in a few years time for millions of pounds then so be it. We`ll do it again.
6) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?
Every season for the past however many years I`ve sat over the summer thinking oh no, please don`t someone sign [one of our players] and yet this summer, there is no one, other than perhaps Shay Given, who I`d be bothered about leaving.
7) Favourite current player?
Stiliyan Petrov by a mile.
8) Favourite all time player/s?
Gary Shaw, Mark Bosnich, Gareth Barry, Dean Saunders, Andy Townsend, Dwight Yorke, Paul McGrath, Shaun Teale, Paul Birch, Tommy Johnson, I could go on forever.
9) What do you expect us to do/finish this season assuming a decent transfer window with £25m or so spent?
Premier: Between 8th to 11th
FA Cup: Knocked out when we draw Man Utd away again
Carling: Semi-final/final would be very nice thank you but head says quarter final is more probable
10) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?
When will Villa supporters realise their unrealistic and impatient approach to the club is making things worse for our longer term future?
Sadly I can`t answer that because this generation of Villa supporters don`t seem to take anything on board unless it involves slating Birmingham and demanding we finish in the top four.
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? Currently I`d like to shake Freddie Flintoff by the hand because I think his recent work for mental health charities has been inspiring. If I could choose someone alive or dead it would be Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Monroe but in a study setting so I could try to find out more about what was going on inside their heads.
b) Age 39
c) Location: Acocks Green, Birmingham
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Wine of any colour and gin & tonic
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee I guess.
f) Favourite Film/s: Gone With The Wind, Pulp Fiction, Moulin Rouge
g) Favourite TV Show/s: I`m a bit of a reality TV fan. Sorry. Also Friends, Dynasty, Prisoner Cell Block H, the old classics
h) Music?: The Smiths/Morrissey, Alanis Morissette, Nirvana, Oasis, Jeff Buckley, The Doors, The Wonder Stuff, The Beatles, The Jam, Terry Hall, John Denver, Johnny Cash, REM - just loads of different stuff really.
i) Best ever moment in your life: Having my children and watching them grow up every single day. Football wise, cup finals against Man Utd and Leeds
j) Ambitions: To make it through each day and keep focused and make sure my children have as good a life as I can possibly give them.
k) Wise words: Take each day at a time and tomorrow is another day.
now your turn, how to submit an interview: click here
Stephen Jay Hawkings
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