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Vital Villa Interviews 2012: GMVillan

GMVillan is next for the Vital Villa interview.

1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?

The best answer is that it was a birth rite. First game was Santos friendly (when Pele played) but my first 'real memory' was the 75 league cup run and final (Vivid memory of jumping up off that nasty wooden bench-seat at Wembley as Graydon scored the rebound!)

2) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?

Good appointment I think. I'm not getting carried away and appointing him as the next messiah as some others are doing, but I think, given time he'll turn us into a good team and will provide strong leadership. I like the fact that he has done coaching badges in Germany, thereby giving him a much more 'well-rounded' coach education. I also respect what he's done/said so far and is prepared to make tough decisions. For a while now I've questioned why it is that we always win the reserve league yet our first team is under-performing. As much as I respect K-Mac it was time for him to move on - I'd rather see the reserves bottom of the league with the youngsters being developed than a win-at-cost mentality at that level. I've also never understood why our home dugout was closer to the away fans than the Holte End - finally someone agrees with me!! :)

3) Best and worst moments of last season?

Best - Chelsea away. I (stupidly) believed we'd turned the corner. Worst - more or less the rest of the season PLUS reading all the nasty 'banter' between our own fans and personal attacks on various individuals, including the previous manager. I didn't agree with the appointment and I'm delighted to see a change, but also felt embarrassed by the fact that so many of my fellow Villans thought it OK to resort to personal insults.

4) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board, can a decent season next season make up for last season?

He's got the club at heart and doesn't have an ego that gets in the way. I still believe that Houllier would have turned out to be a good appointment had he not had the health problems (and lets be honest - he'd been in management and good health for eight years, so how could anyone have predicted that?). So, Randy has got a small black-mark from me for the McLeish appointment, but beyond that I think he has done very very well. The comparisons with the Cleveland Browns don't hold water because the reality of the NFL is that you can't get the top players unless you have an absolute stinker of a season and end up with the first or second pick in the draft.

5) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?

A goalkeeper who is an imposing presence (for me Given isn't that, and there's a reason why none of the 'big four' ever came in for him), two central midfielders who can battle, and two or three decent defenders.

6) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?

Dunne and Warnock. I think these two were/are the root cause of the 'player power' and discipline issues (the comments by Dunne about Houllier 'mistreating my mate' were pathetic). They have also cost us at least 10-12 games between them in the last 2-3 years due to catastrophic errors (I include the Carling Cup final when Dunne was dispossessed for their opening goal). Warnock refused to move house.... with the money these guys are on he could have afforded a home in Liverpool, a second one in Blackburn and a third in Sutton Coldfield.... pathetic!

IF the money was right I'd also consider offers for Ireland (too lightweight to play in a 2-man central midfield and not dynamic enough to play off the striker), N'Zogbia (selfish, doesn't care about the club, and a poor decision maker) and Collins/Hutton (I'd keep these two as squad players if we can't get our money back on them).

7) Favourite current player?

It's sad that nobody really pops into my mind on this one. I like the work-rate of Herd and the commitment of Stan/Gabby.

8) Favourite all time player/s?

Paul McGrath, Tony Morley, Kenny Swain, Paul Merson, Ian Taylor

9) What do you expect us to do/finish this season assuming a decent transfer window with 25m or so spent?

Premier 10th
FA Cup: 5th round
Carling: quarter-finals

10) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?

I'm taking a liberty here and asking two questions...


Q. Top ten most treasured/funny Villa memories:

1. Standing behind the goal at the Clock End in 1981 singing about Bosko Yankovic
2. Singing on the coach all the way from Rotterdam to Ostend while passing open toilet paper rolls over our heads
3. Seeing Cruyff and Pele play at Villa Park
4. Beating Liverpool 5-1
5. Watching John Gidman and Brian Little 'warm up' for every game by doing tricks in front of the Trinity Road Stand for ten minutes (1977-1980)
6. Beating Everton 6-2
7. Vociferously encouraging a female Canadian police officer to give John Carew her phone number in Toronto (and being told by a jealous male Canadian officer to mind our own business)
8. Meeting the entire squad at a reception in Columbus, Ohio (had a great chat with Cahill, Mellberg, Stuart Taylor, and Laursen)
9. Building my Villa shirt collection (every home/away shirt since 86/7 plus a handful from before)
10. Taking a 36-hour, 6000-mile round trip using all of my frequent flyer miles to see the Carling Cup Final (and then seeing us disgracefully cheated by Phil Dowd - whom I will never forgive for his lack of professionalism and courage)

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? Alex Ferguson (want to pick his brains!)

b) Age 43

c) Location: New York

d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Any white wine

e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Dr Pepper

f) Favourite Film/s: Aston Villa Season Review (95-6)

g) Favourite TV Show/s: NCIS

h) Music?: U2, Coldplay - and anything good

i) Best ever moment in your life: My lady telling me she was in love with me - August 1st, 2010

j) Ambitions: Win a national championship (US College 'soccer')

k) Wise words: 'Don't tell me how rocky the sea is, just bring the damn ship in'

now your turn, how to submit an interview: click here

Other interviews:
Stephen Jay Hawkings
we`re not fickle
Turkish Penguin
Draig Cymraeg
Carew AV Legend
sid is god
Green Villan
The Fear
McGrath For Pope
Steven Green
Matt Herbert
Mike Field
Mister Saxon
Bob Moore
Revd Pete
Sheriff Kimbo
Smell the Glove

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday June 20 2012

Time: 6:30PM

Your Comments

Wow, that was some 36 hours mate?! Great interview. Love the question as well, totally agree, unless we are playing them, I don't get the obsession.
The Fear
I think everybody got a second wind against Chelsea, in our case though it was a shame we didn't follow through! You lucky enough to take in any games on our US tour this time round mate?
You make some good points there GM.
Pride of Lions
Top interview, love your treasured moments but number 10 made me cry
New York - Heathrow - Wembley - Heathrow - Boston - New York. Left Saturday night - back in work Monday morning... No problem! As (bad) luck would have it, I'm locked into a work commitment from July 18-21st, so no chance of Philly/Chicago. Still working on a flight to Portland (even though its almost as far away from me as Villa Park!). Every time I see Phil Dowd to this day I want to puke!

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