The Vital Villa Interviews 2017: McParlandTheGreat
McParlandTheGreat takes our summer of 2017 interview...
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1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
Born to it. Growing up in Ruthin, Denbighshire, to a dad from Birmingham who was Villa mad, as was his father. There was no choice. Saturdays were tense as the results were read out. The pain started early.
2) What is your favourite Villa moment of all time/most treasured memory?
Difficult. Listening to the 1957 FA Cup when McParland won the match has stayed with me since. Of matches I was at, March 19, 1966, against Spurs at White Hart Lane. 4-1 down at half time and in a mess, 5-5 full time. Tony Hateley scored 4 of them, 1 with his foot which was almost unheard of. Great!
3) If you could bring back a former Villa player into this team (at his peak) who would it be and why?
McParland was pretty good, fast and rock hard. Think Charlie Aitken just pips him though. Massive contribution to the club, consistency over a very long period.
4) Steve Bruce? Your opinion please?
I'm worried. Think the tactics at times after he took over were strange, especially that spell in January and after. Not yet seen the team functioning really well. Think we should have seen more even allowing for bedding in. I hope he succeeds and that we storm out of the blocks this season, but we can't go too long with performances not up to scratch.
5) Best and worst moments of last season?
Worst: the 8 games in January/February when we managed just 1 draw. Even allowing for Kodjia being away that was bad.Best: the last match against Brighton, where we seemed to be putting it together more. Hope we can build on it.
6) Your opinion of Doctor Tony Xia and our CEO Keith Wyness?
Best owner and CEO for a very long time. Gone a long way to repair the shambles left by Randy and his cronies.
7) What do you think we need most in the transfer window?
Goalkeeper's a given (no pun intended!). Otherwise I'm not convinced we need more, unless some players like Amavi leave; getting the existing squad to produce the goods might be the answer. But if the odd real quality comes our way that'd be fine. Not keen on getting average players on the way down; we have young players queuing up for game time.
8) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?
Generally those out on loan, although I'd give Tish another chance. Maybe McCormack, but I suspect we're stuck with him, as with Gabby. Richards and Elphick should go for their own sake.
9) Favourite and least favourite current player? (Explanation if you wish)
Difficult. Probably Kodjia as favourite, although I have high hopes of Jack.
Least favourite McCormack, but I'll give him another go if Bruce does.
10) Who was your first footballing hero and who are your favourite all time player/s?
McParland the first. Of Villa, Aitken, Saunders, Melberg, Laursen, Barry, Young, Bent, Benteke. Of others, Best was the best, by a long mile!
11) What do you expect us to do/finish this season coming?
Haven't the faintest. But we could finish top, if things click. If. Think we have a pretty good squad compared to the competition.
12) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?
Have we turned the corner? Yep! And that's even if we don't get promoted.
Just to change the theme slightly, a snap shot of you outside of football, answer or ignore at your leisure:
a) Which celebrity/s would you most like to meet and why? Jeremy Corbyn. I understand where he's from. He's my era.
b) Age 73
c) Location: Aberystwyth
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Not much these days, doesn't go too well with a spinal injury I picked up 10 years ago. If I do, beer, especially Orkney Dark Island if it's available.
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Tea. Strangely, I changed from coffee after said injury.
f) Favourite Film/s: The early Bond films were great entertainment when they came out, and still are.
g) Favourite TV Show/s: Not a great TV watcher these days. Years ago was addicted to Dallas, Monty Python and Dad's Army. And MOTD.
h) Music?: Classical classics, mainly. Beethoven, Schubert, etc. I play a bit. Otherwise Dylan.
i) Best ever moment in your life: When I grabbed an early retirement package from Aberystwyth uni in 1998 and went off to do what I'd always wanted to, climb as many Scottish peaks as possible. Started with my first backpacking trip since my teens, to climb remote Ladhar Bheinn in Knoydart. Great!
j) Ambitions: To live another 73 years. Minimum
k) Wise words: Tomorrow never comes. It's probably already gone.
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Stephen Jay Hawkings