Date: 26th July 2008 at 10:04am
Written by:

The new edition of 442 is out next week, this is the bumper edition with the pre-season supplement that this year once again features the Vital Football editors heavily in the fans opinion part of each teams preview. This is their biggest to date and as they say ‘From Aberdeen to Weymouth, 128 teams rated or slated’ including fixtures, statistics, FA Cup, TV and betting.

Vital Villa are featured with an abridged version of the following questionnaire:

What’s your greatest hope for this season?

To progress into the Uefa via the InterToto and to start to see Villa back on the map again. Also to see us build on last seasons impressive showing, to do that we need to bring in at least eight or nine players as we have five (if Barry goes) leaving an already small squad this summer.

And your biggest fear?

That we’ll not add the quality we need and that opponents teams will know what to expect from us after last seasons good showing making it more difficult to do it again.

Most important player

I would have said Gareth Barry but…. So Ashley Young, if he can build on what he did last season, he’ll be unstoppable.

Cult hero/terrace favourite

Again, if you mean currently I’d have said Gareth Barry or Olof Mellberg. The one has left for Juventus and the other might well have gone by the time this article is out. Heck, I’ll say Moustapha
Salifou, he never plays but he’s got a great song that the Holte End belt out to the old Boney M – Daddy Cool tune! Oh and to be fair Marlon Harewood has turned the Villa fans around with his decent attitude!

Keep an eye out for… (young player)

Young striker Nathan Delfouneso who looks like he might have the same impact that Gabby Agbonlahor has had at Villa.

Player you’d happily drive to his next club…

You must be joking, we need to be driving players TO the club, not out of here!

What one change would you make at your club?

I think it is time the Doug Ellis stand returned to the ‘real’ name of the Witton Lane Stand, but that is only (as time goes on) a small point, with the new board now in place we are building and apart from a small squad that must be built on, I’m happy how things are progressing.

Have you got the right manager?

I hope so, we don’t want the manager merry go rounds of years gone by that is for sure. MON has taken us from 16th to 11th in his first year and 11th to 6th in his second (so next season we finish
1st don’t we?). Now if he can prove himself astute in this transfer window, we could be building some very solid foundations and he needs time to do that.

– What advice would you give him?

I’d not be so bold to be honest, I’ve got an ego but he has a million pound a year contract, so I think I’ll leave him to the decisions, he’ll stand or fall by them. I do sit by the bench though so sometimes offer my wisdom to him on an ad hoc basis…!

Which team do you most want to beat this season?

The obvious answer is every team we face. The main one I’d like us to beat is Manchester United. We give a good account of ourselves against all comers apart from what seems to be a mental block against United. Be nice to see off the local rivals of WBA and Stoke as well.

Opposition player you despise

Any of the bling set and the mugs pictured in disabled spots in their posh cars. So that would be John Terry and Rio Ferdinand then! They should set an example as club captains and they do that by showing
respect. The R word seems to have gone out of the game and it is a shame to see.

Opposition player you secretly admire

Ryan Giggs, no secret, a sublime player and good role model.

Where will you finish?

6th. If the transfer window is a stunner then we could push 5th.