Date: 9th August 2011 at 9:57am
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Vital Villa Summer 2011 Interviews: Matt Turvey

Vital Villa Summer 2011 Interviews: Matt Turvey

How do you do one I hear you cry? Click here and find out! YOUR TURN: The Vital Villa Interviews..

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

Been a Villa fan ever since I was a small child. Born into a Villa family and lived in Aston till I was 8, then Handsworth Wood till I was 18. Our old house was probably about 400 yards from Villa Park, so I really couldn’t support anyone but the club. Since then, they’ve been in my blood.

2) Alex McLeish? Your opinion please?

A divisive choice, but probably the best option out there with the parameters that the board are setting out for this season. I personally would have liked Roberto Martinez, but he arguably poses more of a risk than McLeish. I know some are quick to criticise him for going down with Blues but, honestly, what do you expect Blues to do? They are a yo-yo club at best, no matter who the manager is. As for McLeish, he signed a young Arteta from Barcelona whilst at Rangers and getting in the likes of Zarate, Hleb, and Martins whilst at Blues has to be seen as somewhat of a coup. On top of that, he is known for no nonsense management and that is exactly what some of our players are in desperate need of.

3) Best and worst moments of last season?

Pretty obvious candidates really. Marc Albrighton for breaking through and making himself a first team place. That said, he still needs to work on his defensive game as he is prone to giving away sloppy free kicks. Darren Bent’s purchase was inspired, if a little short sighted. Why? Well although Darren has a fairly solid record in scoring, he doesn’t assist much, and is a concern as a single point of failure up front. After all, you have to ask yourself the question – why did Spurs sell Bent if he was that good?

The answer is because he didn’t operate well in anything other than a sole striker position, and no other sole striker of similar quality is likely to sit on the bench whilst Bent plays most of the games. Worst moments were numerous sadly – the 6-0 thumping away at Newcastle wasn’t a great away trip, our seemingly poor submission to Man City was a wasted opportunity, losing to Blues in the Carling Cup, and our abject failure in Europe again. Gerard Houllier having a relapse of his heart condition was awful to see as well. No matter what your opinion of the man, nobody could wish him ill health.

4) Your opinion of Randy Lerner?

He is a prudent business man, and an erudite bloke in my own personal experience. Where I feel he is distinctly lacking is in the football advice side of things. I know he has taken counsel from people when going about business, but the way he let Martin loose with funds was pretty much negligent, and his appointment of Gerard was far from a long term visionary plan. In reality, he needs a football man on the board. Lerner’s heart is in the right place, but sometimes I really do question the choices made by him. Take Paul Faulkner for example – he may well be a suitable candidate for financial management, but I always find him to sound like a corporate drone when he is interviewed in any Villa context. We could do with someone who actually is passionate as well as good with money. As much as I believe Faulkner does a good job financially, I struggle to believe we can’t have a money man who is a real Villa fan.

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

Well, notwithstanding the rumours that we have little/no money to spend, my prime targets would be Scott Parker on a permanent deal, followed by Danny Sturridge on loan. Whether Andre Villas-Boas would be willing to let the latter come on loan though is far from certain. Beyond those two, I think Villa would do well to utilise the loan market to supplement the team as I have real concerns about the expectation levels being put on the kids already.
6) (changed question!) Stewart Downing, now he has gone, were Villa right to get shot of him or should they have kept him against his wishes?
Ultimately it is a tough call but, in today’s game, you really will struggle to keep players at the club against their wishes.

It isn’t right, but it is how the game is at present. I personally rated Downing for his all round game, but that said I think he was at his peak of what he was capable of. He never had the talent of someone like Ashley Young, and I think he will turn out to be merely an average player at Liverpool. I can’t say I was too enthusiastic about his attitude and disrespect for the club either. Saying one week that you are grateful for the support Villa gave you during your injury, and then quickly turning that into ‘I want out’ certainly didn’t put him in the good books of most of our fans.

7) Favourite current player?

Even though he is a new signing, I am going for Charles N’Zogbia. I’ve followed his career since he was in the youth team at Le Havre and have always admired his talents. Some have accused him of being disruptive but I don’t really believe it. Yes, he fell out with Joe Kinnear after he pronounced his last name ‘Insomnia’, but I personally wouldn’t be too happy if a manager couldn’t pronounce my name either. Beyond that, his time at Wigan showed him to be a difference maker, with the game against West Ham being a prime indication of his abilities. I have to say that Wigan surely are candidates for going down without N’Zogbia and, at half the price of the sale of Downing, I think he will prove to be the bargain of the season.

8) Favourite all time player/s?

I have a few for a number of different reasons. Dwight Yorke always used to entertain me, as did Juan Pablo Angel. Mark Bosnich was great in goal for us too, even though he never could kick past the half way line. There were many games when I was sitting in my seat in the Doug Ellis, and he never managed to kick it past where I was say, which was on the half way line. However, beyond that, I have to say my all time great is Paul McGrath. Having been fortunate to see him play, I really would credit him as being world class. Sometimes I question how he was even able to keep his performances up – his body defied science.

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

Premier – Anywhere between 6th and 12th, but more realistically 8th, 9th, or 10th. I don’t think any of those positions would be considered a failure. My understanding is the board want top half as a minimum and top 8 as the aim. Given the transitory nature of our season, I think it is probably a fairly realistic aim.

FA Cup: All depends on the draw, but I think we will probably make the quarters. Semis at a push.

Carling: I think we could actually win it. Whether that is optimism speaking or reality, I’m not sure but if we focus on it, and with McLeish’s experience in the cup, I think we have a real chance. It would be great to have something in the cabinet too after nothing since 1996. I was only 17 when we last won anything, and I’m now in my thirties. It is surely considered a disappointment that we haven’t won a cup in thirty attempts (15 x FA Cup & League Cup entries). Villa really should be doing better.

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

Who do I think will be the biggest surprise/breakthrough of the team that we have is the question I’ll ask, and for me the answer is probably Barry Bannan. I think if he is given the role behind Bent, then I think he will flourish. However, he really needs to have two solid midfielders behind him, and my concern is that without someone like Parker, we are very lightweight defensively.

11) Right, lets lower the tone… which celebrity would you most like to bang and which (male I would think) celeb would you most like to thump!?!

Ha – can’t say I am that bothered about having my end away with celebrities – more than happy with the Mrs. 🙂 That said, for thumping, there are people who are prime candidates for such a suggestion including arrogant types like Cristiano Ronaldo, or Naseem Hamed. Other than that, I’m pretty laid back to be honest 🙂

Other interviews:

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Draig Cymraeg
Plastic Villain
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Virginia Villan
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beduff villan
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Astonian Villan
SE5 Villain
Football is Life

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