Date: 16th July 2013 at 9:41am
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Mayo_12 is next for the Vital Villa interview.

Mayo_12 is next for the Vital Villa interview.

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

I estimate 1991-ish…whenever it was that my uncle took me to my first football game. Villa Park was just a feast for a young boys senses and I went to a few games around that age, I vaguely remember us playing teams like QPR & Ipswich Town. Growing up with just my mom, the manly duties such as getting me in to sport fell to my uncle and grandad – but my uncle pipped my grandad to the post for my team loyalty by getting me to Villa Park first (my grandad is a Baggies fan so things could have gone very wrong!).

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

Whenever I try and think of individual Villa moments, one that always stands out to me was watching the 1996 League Cup Final on TV and seeing Savo unleash a shot that two keepers wouldn’t have stopped. Up there also would be the emotion and jubilation in the ground upon our thrilling cup win over Blackburn a few seasons back…I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting nervous until Ashley slotted home a sublime little curler.

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

It’d probably be Ian Taylor. I think Ashley Westwood has the makings of a great CM who keeps the play rolling, but Tayls was capable of getting around the whole pitch and taking the game by the scruff of the neck which – last season in particular – we could really do with. If not him then Mr McGrath, I don’t need to tell you why.

4) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?

The right guy for us as far as I’m concerned. He’s been given limited funds but by the looks of things is otherwise free to run things as he sees fit and he seems fully capable of bringing us out of this extended ‘transitional period’ with a talented young squad. The signings he’s made so far have been slightly hit and miss, but the good ones have been very good indeed – Benteke, Westwood, and to a lesser extent Yacouba Sylla.

He’s obviously got an eye for a player, and in at a club that is seriously tightening it’s purse-strings compared to previous years that is really needed. I think everyone will agree that seeing business in the transfer market done early for a change has been a breath of fresh air and we’re all looking forward to seeing our new young charges bed in over preseason.

5) Best and worst moments of last season?

Best, 6-1. Worst, 8-0. Enough said.

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

It was a success in the fact we’re still in the Premier League. It was a success in that we have a young squad with a year of Premier League experience at the wrong end of the table under their belts, theoretically those players should be much more prepared for the coming campaign. In all other aspects you’ve got to say it was a disaster. Aston Villa Football Club should not be going into the last two weekends of the season praying for results in other games to help us out and take some pressure off in a relegation fight. We should be going in to the last two weekends excited about securing european football for the next season. That said, at our current level I’d be satisfied with finishing somewhere between 8th-12th this season.

7) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board?

I like Randy Lerner. I think he made a few mistakes when he first came to us, obviously gambling big on us reaching the Champions League, a bid which ultimately failed. In those seasons we produced some of the most exciting football we’ve played in a long while, yes, but we also spent big fees and big wages on some questionable players.
That said, I like the way Lerner leaves his people to run things as they see fit. O’Neill had that freedom and left us in the mire…now Lambert has that freedom, and even though it’s with more financial constraints he is using it to build a young side that he thinks can progress.

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

I think we’ve made some shrewd signings already, and with the places Lambert pulls players from I don’t think I’m qualified to say who we should sign. That said, if Benteke moves on this summer for £25m+ I’d like to see us buy another capable goalscorer without having to look at the bank balance.

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

The usual suspects that everyone talks of – Hutton, Ireland, Bent, Given. I’m on the side saying get rid of Barry Bannan too. It wouldn’t have bothered me at all to see N’Zogbia move on but I doubt we’ll get any buyers for him now he has his holiday injury.

10) Favourite current player?

Andreas Weimann. Total effort, smart player, bags of talent. In a Villa side that had been noticeably shy of trying to score by, y’know, actually having a shot, it was nice to see a player come through who knows where the goal is and shoots from instinct. The number of times over the last few seasons the crowd have begged players with openings to just test the keeper but instead got a pass to the wing and a poor cross was ridiculous. I hope to see Andy stay at the Villa for many years to come.

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

Dwight Yorke was probably my first fully fledged hero…if not it’d have been Dean Saunders before him. Favourite all time players is a tough one, unfortunately at a club like ours if we get 4-5 years service from a players thats about the maximum. Players like McGrath, Mellberg and Martin Laursen would probably make it on to a list.

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

Premier: 10th
FA Cup: Win
Capital One: Win

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

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? Morgan Freeman, to tell him he’s a legend. Rachel McAdams to snog her face off…the woman is HOT!
b) Age 26
c) Location: Usually somewhere in the West Midlands.
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: I went off it for a while, but I’m currently loving Stella again.
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Ice cold orange juice.
f) Favourite Film/s: That’s a big question.
g) Favourite TV Show/s: The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, Top Gear.
h) Music?: Metal. Anything heavy, usually with vocals that would make a virgins ears bleed.
i) Best ever moment in your life: I’m not sure it’s happened yet.
j) Ambitions: Travel round Australia, see Villa play abroad, punch Jeremy Kyle.
k) Wise words: Everyone should punch Jeremy Kyle!

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

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