Date: 10th June 2010 at 4:56pm
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Vital Villa Summer Interview: coeur_de_lion

coeur_de_lion steps up for the Vital Villa members interviews.

Q: When did you become a Villa fan and why?

I suppose my first game at Villa Park sealed it. I obviously had an interest in Villa and football in general, but Bradford at home, 1988, Platty’s winner, the pitch invasion, some bloke with a blonde mullet and tache telling me Villa were the Kings. What’s not to like?

Q: The season just gone, good bad or ugly? What did you think of it?

Good. Not great. Scraped into the good category based on the cup runs. I think we all knew before the season started that it would be tough to finish in the top 6, nevermind the top 4, and all things considered, Man City’s ‘project’, Spurs return to form and the Merseyside duo’s consistent strength, we gave a good showing.

Q: Best and worst moment of last season?

Its hard to beat going to Wembley with your club, even when you’re on the losing side! I’ve watched England their loads of times and it just doesn’t compare to the feeling when the Villa first came out from the tunnel.

Perhaps we should be ‘bigger’ than to be so delighted with what was ultimately one losing final of a ‘mickey mouse cup’, but I think that’s a bit too literal. That final represented more than just one little cup final, it was Villa being back competing again which seemed so far beyond us in the preceding 10 years. For me anyway, it was the representation of the return of Aston Villa. And the first of many.

Q: James Milner… is he off do you think? If so, what price (realistically) should Villa hold out for? If off to Man City, which – if any – of their players would you want in exchange?

I think he’s off. I’ve not got any great issue with that fact. Not because I don’t rate him, far from it, I think he’s a superb player. More the fact that these players come and go. Milner would not been in many peoples top 5 when asked about Villa’s best players last season. And Barry leaving seemed to many to be a disaster, but it wasn’t. Yorke. Platt. And on and on. It’s life, and the next ‘Villa’s best player’ will either be bought or step up from within, just as Milner has done in the last 12 months.

Anything above £20m is a very good price for James Milner in terms of ability, but I think you’ve got to put £5m on top of that for the hassle of losing a player, and if we’re selling to a rival then maybe you have to put another £5m on top. Selling to a team you are competing against is effectively a ‘six-pointer’ so there has to be a cost at which you’re willing to take that hit. A transfer fee isn’t, as may seem to think, all about that player’s ability translating into worth. Rather, a transfer fee represents the price at which a football club is willing to put up with the HASSLE of losing a layer. The hassle of reduced shirt sales and season tickets. The hassle of dealing with the fall out with your own support. And then the hassle and cost of finding a suitable replacement. That’s why we’ve got demand big money, not necessarily because Milner is WORTH it, but because it’s gonna be a right ball-ache losing him.

Players I’d like as part of the deal? Ireland, Richards and maybe Hart. Ireland would slot straight in and actually provide exactly what we’ve been moaning about lacking for the last two years. Creativity! Richards is considered to be hard work but maybe a move would wake him up as we all know the player he CAN turn out to be if he gets his head straight. Plus it would solve the RB problem and MONs annoying insistence on playing a big man at full back without the reduced attacking ability ala Cuellar. Hart is a top keeper in the making, but I’ve called it a ‘maybe’ as a keeper, despite Friedel’s age, is not really a priority right now.

Q: What signings (type of player or specific name/s if you wish) would you like to see Villa buy this summer?

A goalscoring striker (heaven forbid!). Easier said than done I know. A right back (if MON really doesn’t want to play Luke Young?!?!?). Obviously a midfielder to replace Milner. In truth, if we do nothing else, buy no-one else, sell no-one, then just get me a striker. Spend every penny we have in the budget and get me a striker that scores goals.

Q: Where do you stand on Martin O’Neill (I don’t mean literally, that would be assault) ?

I like him. I think MON and AVFC are a good fit for where we are right now. You have to acknowledge his annoying habits like the lack of substitutions, the RB situation and the lack of flexibility with tactics and selections, however that doesn’t take away from the fact that he gets it right more often than wrong. Cuellar at RB definitely sacrifices some fluidity going forward. But it also makes it one of the most solid defences in the league. The lack of substitutions is frustrating when you can see something isn’t working, or a player is struggling, but then we’ve benefitted from more late goals than we’ve conceded. I suppose when of the most frustrating things is that when MON does something that you think is a bit mental, it generally works out in his favour! A lot has been made n the media of fans being on MONs back, and maybe the man himself hasn’t helped that in a couple of interviews he’s given, but it has been shown on several occasions, with polls in the local media and on vital villa, that those on his back are a rather vocal minority. I think he’s put us in a very good position. If he can just find that goal scorer, then I think we have a great chance of making an impact next year.

Q: Your opinion of Randy and the board?

Can’t fault their vision and their agenda. Can hardly blame them if richer owners have turned up elsewhere!

They’re trying to do the right things but in a tough market. We want them to spend big, but we don’t want them to put ticket prices up. And we don’t want a new shirt every year, and we don’t want to make room for corporates and blah blah blah. At some point we’re going to have to pay a premium if we want to achieve a premium product.

Q: Favourite current player and favourite all time player/s

Currently it’s John Carew. Sometimes he looks a bit lost, but I’m always confident that once he get a run of games under his belt, goals follow.

Favourite of all time is Sid Cowans. The man has done everything with this club, was a brilliant player, and in my opinion, the right kind of player, a real footballer.

Q: Do you expect progress next season, difficult to answer before the transfer window closes I know?

I don’t expect anything. You don’t have a ‘right’ to anything in this league. No-one’s too good to be relegated, and no team rolls over. You have to earn it. Circumstances will make success a relative thing. So if we spend £500m then I’d hope we might challenge for the title. If we sell half the squad maybe top half is success. But if football was predictable, and everyone finished where they ‘should’ finish and you beat all the teams you ‘should’ beat, well they’d be no point would there?

Q: 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!?!

Bang Bar Refaeli. Thump Amanda Holden.

With thanks to coeur_de_lion

For how to submit yours see: Click Here

Other summer interviews:

Lee Barnett
Kasad Ali
I am a Villan
Simon Bird
Stephen Jay Hawkings
Young Jonah
Joe Whitticase
Cheshire Villan
Villan Of The North

Previous interviews: Click Here


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