Date: 29th July 2013 at 9:40am
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M50 to Mecca is next for the Vital Villa interview.

M50 to Mecca is next for the Vital Villa interview.

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

I was a Newport County fan from childhood as its my hometown (and they still have a huge place in my heart) but I moved my family to the Midlands for work in 1990 (though only until 1995) but it was a short hop from Redditch to one of the greatest grounds in the world and it didn’t take long for me to take my two sons along to the games more and more regularly. I don’t think my youngest son Jordan, whose now 22 has worn any other clothes other than a Villa shirt! I can look through all our photo albums and there he is, in Villa short, as hooked as I am! I count the days out with him going to Villa, home or away still as very precious time spent.

2) What is your favourite Villa moment of all time/most treasured memory?

I missed the League Cup final loss to Yanited but knowing both my sons would be there together at Wembley together, while my wife and I listened on the other side of the world was for us both special though ultimately disappointing. Being back to Wembley so soon was again a great day for me and my son, and one I want to repeat with a Trophy one day

3) If you could bring back a former Villa player into this team (at his peak) who would it be and why?

Martin Laursen (if pushed together with Olaf). Why oh why have we forgotten the art of corners? I can remember feeling under MON that every time we had a corner we were going to score. Funny, the last few years I have seen games where we have had 15+ corners and we could have 50 and still not hit the net while we defended corners almost blindfold (for how to defend corners ask Martin Laursen)

4) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?

Pleased, then disappointed (how did we conjure up that Bradford defeat) and now quietly optimistic. I now work near Dortmund and many of my work colleagues are as you can imagine Dortmund fans and they have a huge respect here for Paul. Only disappointed he couldn’t arrange a friendly with them this year but I know it will happen one day or we will draw them in the CL! I believe he really has the club at his heart and is playing the long game. Nice as it was under MON we overspent and managing our way out and back up is the right approach, not the QPR way and try to spend your way out of a mess only to create a bigger one.

5) Best and worst moments of last season?

Best was being at Anfield. I will never forget that first half and the amazing feeling amongst the Villa fans. I thought we had turned the corner only to realise it was almost all downhill from there. I guess there’s a saying ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’, wow how that was true.Chelsea was a ‘mare of game but I think being in the sun at Southampton , them having not won in the league and us chucking the second half away was possibly the worst moments and the longest journey back. We were hopeless and if Southampton could do that then the Chelsea game was inevitable.

6) Some say last season was a success, others not so much. What is your opinion?

I could not believe we were dragged so near the precipice. My son and I had this nightmare scenario of Cardiff coming up and us going down. It haunted us for weeks I think until the Sunderland game, and then I believed we would survive. So for me a success because you cant change history and whilst we might want to forget last season we all start on the same points this year

7) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board?

On the positive side its nice to have a chairman who doesn’t get into the headlines and run the club in the press. On the negative side its tiresome not to even see the occasional comment from him. When he brought McLeish in I thought he had totally lost the plot then I bought into the conspiracy theory that he had done it to take the heat away from him when it could not get any worse. Thankfully it didn’t or there would have been blood on the carpet. I hope he is as hard boiled as the press say he is in negotiations and Benteke learns the error of his (or more likely his agents) judgement call or we get rewarded handsomely for some excellent business.

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

I can honestly say Paul Lambert and his scouts are choosing players I could even begin to name. Most of the ‘names’ we have signed in the last few years have turned out to be expensive donkeys (I could pick 10 at least) whilst the ones that have either come through the youth or have been unknown have on the whole acquitted themselves well.So what additional wisdom could add? Carry on guys…in you I trust

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

Given, Ireland, Bannan, N’Zogbia and disappoints me to say it Benteke. If you dont want to wear the shirt go and take someone elses money. Christian, thank you for keeping us up, you are quality player no doubt but as someone once said; the name on the front of the shirt is far more important than the name on the back. (for Benteke read Steve Staunton and Gareth Barry – better off without them)

10) Favourite current player?

Guzan. Who would have thought when we signed Shaw the following year a relatively unknown penalty shotstopper from the US would play a big part in us staying up. I don’t think yet he is the finished article but I pleased for him and he wears the shirt with pride.

11) Who was your first footballing hero and who are your favourite all time player/s?

Of players I have enjoyed seeing in the flesh – John Aldridge. He was along with Tommy Tynan a Newport County superstar, long before he went onto Liverpool Real Sociedad. For Villa it has to be Ugo EhioguforEngland. Big heart and big engine and for me the first name on the teamsheet.

12) What do you expect us to do/finish this season?

Premier: 10th
FA Cup: 4th round
Capital One: Final

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

What do you think was the best Villa Shirt of all time?

Bring back the Muller Lite Green stripes please!

14) 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? I met Eric Cantona once socially at his hotel in Marseille, completely by chance, and he was a real good egg totally unlike his so called image. I think Randy Lerner would be a good idea to meet at a bar for a chat on strategy and vision, perhaps we have it all wrong…in my dreams. For a night out, Karen Brady because it would be worth the arguments.
b) Age
50 on St Swithins Day 2013 (wow that’s the first time I have written it and its worse than I thought!)

c) Location: now Siegen, Germany weekly for work, but I live in Newport S Wales
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Leffe Blonde
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Ginger Beer
f) Favourite Film/s: True Romance (most underrated but best film of all time – a true cult with so many stars – RIP Tony Scott), Downfall, (enjoy yhr YOU Tube parodies bt watch the fil as well absolute awesome performance by Bruno Ganz) Project X (I know I am too old but it was a laugh!)
g) Favourite TV Show/s: currently Game of Thrones but how good was Shadowlands?
h) Music?: Levellers (saw in Brum O2 last year – super show) Stranglers and now almost anything that has a catch to it! Dare I say it but I even like some German bands!
i) Best ever moment in your life: Two – seeing my two Sons being born. I cried shamelessly – doh! Awesome thanks Julie! and thanks for letting us travel for miles together watching the Villa!
j) Ambitions: Now I am 50 it all comes totally into perspective – my ambition – to be happy and I am (see below)
k) Wise words: ‘When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life’ John Lennon

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

Other interviews:

Villan in Exile
The Facehead
Draig Cymraeg
Thomas Wood
Aaron Austin-Lacy
Mike Field
The Fear
Carpe DM
Plastic Villan
Paul Wood


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