Date: 24th June 2013 at 10:03am
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The_Lergy is next for the Vital Villa interview.

The_Lergy is next for the Vital Villa interview.

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

I had no choice (thankfully)! I was brought up in a Villa-supporting family going back to around 1890.
I saw my first match in around 1950 (can’t remember much about that as a tiny feller!)

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

Very difficult to say – there have been *many* great magical moments over 60+ years, and nearly all of them in the 1956-1996 period.

Emotionally, perhaps it would be Johnny Dixon’s last match in April, 1961. He came back especially for his only game of the season and played amazingly well as a 38-year-old to help Villa expose the second-placed side, Sheffield Wednesday, 4-1. He managed to break his nose in the match as well as score a fine goal that I can still remember. It also turned out to be Gerry Hitchens’ last match (he scored 2 from Dixon’s assists) and was Charlie Aitken’s first-ever match in the first-team.

The memory of the huge and long-lasting applause after Dixon’s goal and his trot back to the centre-circle is still with me.

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

Brian Little! Perhaps Gerry Hitchens, but also Peter McParland.

4) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?

A man who stuck to his principles last season and succeeded in the survival game even after things looked black in January. He said Villa would not be relegated – and they weren’t. Even better, they began to impress in the last month or two.

I see him as a man of the Ron Saunders mould and perhaps even better. We’ll see over the next 2 or 3 years.

5) Best and worst moments of last season?

Easy! Best was the 6-1 win over Sunderland and the biggest down was the 3-game period when 15 goals were conceded over 3 matches in December.

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

Despite the final position (and that horrible period in December/January) I see it as one providing many positives, especially the experience gained for the younger players and even for Lambert himself.

7) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board?

I see Randy Lerner as being a person with feeling but lacking enough knowledge about Villa and its supporters. He has failed to communicate properly (and worse, when left to his CEO), but continues to show the needed financial support. I see RL as having spent money too easily on bad advice – particularly in the case of Bent and Ireland.

I feel that Paul Lambert’s appointment has turned out as a lucky one for the Villa owner and that Lambert will hide the weaknesses of the owner and the CEO.

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

I have faith in Paul Lamber on this issue.

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

Ireland and Bent for certain.

10) Favourite current player?

Logic says Benteke … but Gabby is my first choice because of the way he came back last season. Even though Benteke grabbed the limelight, Gabby’s goals and attitude helped to make a big difference as to Villa’s outcome, and he is a Villa man through-and-through. A real Johnny Dixon type.

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

Peter McParland was becoming hot property when I really started following the Villa in 1956, but in fact it was Stan Lynn that first gained my attention as a hero when I saw him blaze a 25-yard goal in the first match I saw that season against Blues.

Main favourites (from 1956): Stan Lynn, Peter McParland, Johnny Dixon, Nigel Sims, Gerry Hitchens, Charlie Aitken, John Sleeiwenhoek, Alan Deakin, Phil Woosnam, Tony Hateley, Colin Withers, Bruce Rioch, Brian Little, John Gidman, Ray Graydon, Andy Gray, Dennis Mortimer, Jimmy Rimmer, Tony Morley, Peter Withe, Gordon Cowans, Gary Shaw, Nigel Spink, David Platt, Dalian Atkinson, Dean Saunders, Mark Bosnich, Paul McGrath, Dwight Yorke, Gareth Southgate, Gareth Barry, Martin Laursen, James Milner, ‘Stan’ Petrov.

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

Premier: Mid-table.
FA Cup: Could be a good run, at least to the semis.
Carling: Could be a good run, at least to the semis.

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5 Replies to “Vital Villa Interviews 2013 – The_Lergy”

  • Question – what year did the Holte start singing Holtenders in the Sky (and therefore, after which recording of the song) ??

  • Good question, ‘malacaxeta’ … but as I was living in london for 30 years from 1976, some of that passed me by! :o(

  • Definitely singing it in the 70s. I don’t recall it in early 70s but that may have been because it was going through an unfashionable period. Not sure which recording inspired it though. With respect to heroes Brian Little is a great choice. Kicked all ov

  • Yes, JimmyG … I should have entered my reasons for selecting BL, and I had more in mind his exquisite all-round control and vision … and the ability to do the greatest things unexpectedly. But he could certainly take punishment for such a light-lookin

  • Were singing it in 1971 – the question is, as the last chart entry was about ten years before that, I am assuming they didnt choose that in 1971 out of all the other things available (Jeff Beck, Monkees, Gary Glitter etc). I seem to remember reading once

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