1) So it looks like we’ve nicked your captain, what do you think of the sale of Zat Knight to Villa?
Putney: I’ve got to say it totally surprised me. Knight had only recently been given a new contract. I’m not sure the captain tag was long term though, more a knee jerk reaction to the recent injury suffered by Brian McBride. I have to say I’m not sure what surprises me the most, the sale or the purchase! It’s a really strange and unexpected deal that has left us scampering around for defensive cover. Perhaps I could add that some of us thought he’d already signed for you after his own goal last week!
Michael Forrest: First off, he was is not our captain. Brian McBride is, Knight was given the armband as a replacement. Now, Knight has given his all for Fulham and tried his hardest for the team however ultimately this has never been good enough. Four million is good business for both teams and I fully expect Zat to perform much better at Villa, being his hometown and all than he has ever done at Fulham.
2) It always appears to me that Fulham fans are a bit split on Zat, the criticism seems to be that he is slow, but he must have done something right to become captain. What is your opinion of him, sorry to see him go or glad to see the back of him?
Putney: Zat was signed by Kevin Keegan back in 1999. Since signing he’s gone on to play for England at U21 and full levels so there must be something about him that people value. On a personal level, I find it’s not his lack of pace that lets him down occasionally but his lapses in concentration. Also, it grieves me to bring it up again but I don’t believe he did himself any favours with the supporters last season when he missed several important games in our relegation battle thanks to some foolhardy prank involving his brother – it left Zat with a broken jaw!
Michael Forrest: I wouldn’t say I’m glad he’s gone as he has tried his hardest for Fulham and that’s all you can ask from a player but Fulham will be doing good business by selling him for four million and hopefully they can bring in a replacement before Midnight on Friday and he was never our official captain, just for the odd game.
3) Are you surprised Villa have targeted a player of this level or is he the sort of quality you’d expect Martin O’Neill to want?
Putney: On the surface it looks a good buy. I don’t suppose you can argue about spending a couple of million on a player who hasn’t reached his peak and has, in the past, represented his country. On the negative side though, I can’t help thinking that when Randy Lerner took over your club you were kind of hoping that more established, more world class players would be the norm of the day when it came to transfers. Would it be churlish to suggest that this particular amateur hack has the feeling that Martin O’ Neill wouldn’t be comfortable dealing with the egos of those you’d expected to see gracing Villa Park when the Randy Lerner takeover was first announced?
Michael Forrest: O’Neill seems to be building an English team, so no, not that surprising that he has gone after a English center back but yes I am surprised it’s Zat as in the summer he signed a new deal and there was not even a whisper of this move happening until yesterday, let’s just hope the deal is done today and we can all move on.
With thanks to Putney and Michael Forrest of Vital Fulham (click here)
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