Mike Field is next for the Vital Villa interview.
Mike Field is next for the Vital Villa interview.
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
This is going to be my stock answer in future years because the brain isn’t getting any sharper and I struggle to remember what I did yesterday, let alone over two decades ago!
It was the days of Platty, God, Daley and GT. Mates at the time introduced me to the notion of Aston Villa and it just stuck basically.
First game (I remember) was Trabzonspor – nothing like VP at night – although I do have programmes from before then, so I’m blaming my senility
There’s no way I was drinking at VP back then, so I can’t blame it on that 🙂
2) What is your favourite Villa moment of all time/most treasured memory?
Too many moments stick out over the years for me to pick just one.
Some of God’s thunderous own goals which Shaun Teale tried to compete with at points. The Atkinson goal against Wimbledon. The 13 pass piece against Ipswich was it? Inspiring about 40 fans in the Holte to join me in a chant of ‘you’re going for a piss and you know you are’ when a mate was caught short 20 minutes into a game. Stan scoring from a corner.
I could go on and no doubt answer the question completely differently tomorrow as I remember other things.
3) If you could bring back a former Villa player into this team (at his peak) who would it be and why?
Everybody knows I’d be tempted to say God here, or Sid. Maybe Platt in his pomp. But looking at the team as it stands I think we lack somebody in the mould of evin ‘the tosh’ Richardson more than anybody else. So I’ll go with that surprise option.
4) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?
I was delighted when he joined and overjoyed with the direction he instantly went in, but I did expect January to see the introduction of some experienced players given he’d have had half a season to assess our experienced players by that point. It was a risk that worked and he deserved applauding for that, but hopefully next season will see a bit better balance in the team as whatever anybody thinks about Vlaar’s debut season and whether he lived up to his billing or not, the fact remains that we did better when he played and a lot of that is down to nous and experience.
I think we’re in good hands going forward, but he does have to learn from his mistakes as well as at points in games last season some of the decisions really didn’t help.
But it’s as much a learning curve for him as it is the players, and having last season behind us (whilst nobody will become world class over night) should at least see steadier improvement from everyone.
5) Best and worst moments of last season?
Best moment has to be Sunderland just for the sheer relief of seeing it come together in such a spectacular fashion and having us actually annihilate a team for a change.
Failing that I’d have to go with the moment we knew mathematically we couldn’t go down.
Not a lot else to pick from really.
Worst moments, Chelsea, a fair number of the games. The majority of the months of the season?
6) Some say last season was a success, others not so much. What is your opinion?
We survived which is neither success nor failure, that is the least we should expect really. The cup runs were a nice distraction but ultimately proved to be as frustrating as the league campaign.
I think I’m content with knowing it was a season that we had to endure to lay the foundations for the rebuild we needed. We have all debated at length whether it could’ve been done without as much risk and maybe a bit more breathing space, but what’s done is done and we move on with optimism again.
7) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board?
He continues to back his managers and we now seem to have a manager who works in a way that compliments the way Randy wishes us to be self sustaining. Hopefully instead of throwing cash around as we have done in previous years to stand still, when the opportunity arises Randy will continue to back Paul should he source a player that will break the agreed budgets again, but this time move us forward to boot.
Plenty of errors have now been made, and for many that has wiped out the good, we only need look back to the last managerial appointment for examples of how wrong it could go, but if everybody is on the same page hopefully we can move forward again but in a way we can sustain the push for the top 4 and take Europe and the Cups seriously at the same time.
I imagine that’s what everybody from Randy down to little ol me want ultimately.
8) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?
Names are irrelevant because I don’t think anybody but Paul Lambert knows who he is looking at going off the signings so far. But I’d hope we are looking for at least a few 25 year olds who fit all of his criteria, but have a good 300+ games under their belt. Experience doesn’t have to mean 30+, it comes from playing games and there are players out there young enough to be enticing but with good, solid Championship level, at least, experience that would help offset youthful naivety of those with (still) barely 80 games under their belts.
9) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?
We can all list the obvious ones.
I was surprised to Lichaj go as I thought he was good cover defensively given he can play in all the positions, and I don’t think I’d be surprised to see Bannan, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Herd, and Stevens all leave if offers came in for them as they – for varying reasons – don’t appear to have impressed Lambert in the way others did during the season.
If they don’t next season they will have to show much greater improvement and live up to their earlier potential if they plan a further stay as Lambert has already shown this window he’s on the look out for young and hungry players again, so players who are pushing 24 and not figuring won’t be around long.
10) Favourite current player?
Weimann, busts a gut on the pitch and whether it’s tiredness because of the legwork he does do and he needs greater fitness, or just a touch more composure required in front of goal, when that clicks we are going to have one hell of a player on our hands.
Some great finishing in what were big games for us with the pressure on last season, and great work and team ethic given it was his proper first season. Next season he’ll be fitter, and mentally stronger and I’m convinced he’ll not only create more next season with his tireless work, but he’ll easy find the net more often as well.
11) Who was your first footballing hero and who are your favourite all time player/s?
Paul McGrath, as a kid he just made playing the game look effortless.
Then we have the aforementioned players further up the interview along with the likes of Spink, Bosnich, Ugo, Southgate etc.
12) What do you expect us to do/finish this season?
FA Cup: 4th Round
Carling: 3nd Round
13) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?
Does anybody really listen to what you say?
Who said that.
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? Those willing to donate their bank balance to me.
b) Age Yes, have one
c) Location: In front of the computer
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: You mean Carling`s alcoholic?
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee
f) Favourite Film/s: Way too many to list. From life of Brian through to Star Wars
g) Favourite TV Show/s: See above, from Chuck through to The Sopranos, Spartacus and Game of Thrones
h) Music?: Classical through to rap, depends on my mood
i) Best ever moment in your life: The two kiddies take that accolade
j) Ambitions: To keep breathing
k) Wise words: I’m open to suggestions
Now your turn, how to submit an interview: click here
Villan in Exile