deano.avfc’s Vital Villan interview.
deano.avfc’s Vital Villan interview.
1 – How long have you been a Villa fan and how did you first get the Claret & Blue faith?
I have been a Villa fan for 16 years. My dad is a big Chelsea fan and remember watching a Chelsea v Aston Villa game and it went from there!! My first shirt came shortly after and was the Mita Copiers one which I wore with pride in Primary School as all the other kids were Man Utd or Liverpool. No family history of support for the club but my 5 month old daughter will have very little choice!!
2 – What was your first game?
It had to wait a while as I am from N. Ireland and the cost of tickets, flights and accommodation add up!! It was on April 21st 2001 in a bore 0-0 versus Southampton. DULL!!
3 – What is your most memorable moment as a Villa fan?
This might annoy a few of you but I am going to change this slightly as it is ‘Villa related’ but not a Villa game – I get over to a Villa game maybe 3-4 times a season. However, I go to all Northern Ireland games with a group of mates who support Man Utd and Spurs so it always gave me immense pride to wear my Villa shirt to the games watching N.I. captained by Aaron Hughes and the midfield orchestrated by Steve Davis (Maik Taylor and Damien Johnson also played but I largely ignored them!!) I therefore have to go with the N. Ireland 1 England 0 game at Windsor Park with Davis’ perfectly weighted chipped through ball for Healy to score the winner while Hughes had a blinding game! Very, very proud moment and I was gutted when O’Neill sold them and feel they were never really replaced!
4 – And the worst moment?
Has to be the FA Cup final 2000 v Chelsea – watching it with my Chelsea-loving dad was great as we never thought they would play in a Cup Final against each other. I was really positive and thought Dion Dublin would inspire us to victory and had a dream the night before of Southgate lifting the trophy above his head!! Closely followed by the UEFA Cup game against Athletico Madrid when Collymore scored to set up a grandstand finish – we needed another to put us through and it just didnt happen!
5 – Who are your favourite current Villa players?
Martin Laursen – our best defender since God.
6 – Which former player/s are your ultimate heroes?
Dean Saunders – my nickname is Deano because of my adoration of the guy!!
7 – Which player do you think was the worst to ever put on the team colours?
Too easy to say Balaban – going for the next easiest – Sasa Curcic.
8 – What is the best goal you have seen Villa score and which is your favourite game?
Favourite goal was Steve Staunton’s wonder goal against Man United – I cant remember when exactly it was but it was a good while ago!! Favourite game would be either of the Coca-Cola cup finals but for sheer entertainment was the 4-4 game v Chelsea last season. Just beyond belief!!!
9 – Best away ground visited?
I am going to go out on a limb here and go with City of Manchester Stadium. I know its one of the new ‘out-of-the-box’ stadiums but I liked the banter at the games and thought surrounding pubs and banter was great.
10 – Who would you like to see Villa sign this summer?
I would have said Jefferson Farfan but he recently made the move to Shalke 04. Going with the definite need for a GK, RB and RW I would say Boruc or Akinfeev, Miguel and Milner. Would really love Van Der Vaart. As for a striker I really dont mind….as long as they get 20 goals a season!!!
11 – What are your predictions for us this season in the:
a) League 6th
b) Europe Quarter Finals
c) Carling Cup Quarter Finals
d) Fa Cup 3rd round – away to Man Utd we will take the lead they will bring on the rested big guns Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez and comeback to win!!!
12 – What is your opinion of Martin O’Neill?
Absolutely excellent and I would not swap him for any other manager on the planet – even as a pundit at Euro 2008 he talks sense and shows that he thoroughly understands the game. He is tactically astute and such a great motivator. I was really chuffed and proud that we got him as I really thought when O’Leary was sacked that he would not take the job. I am not a fan of this one-year rolling contract however and would love him tied-down for as long as possible!! He is loyal and stayed five years at Leicester and Celtic but I want him here much longer!!!
A lot is said of his transfer dealings but I think he has a very rigid structure of a squad and would take the player most suited to that role which is why I think he would go for a Harewood rather than a Defoe as they suit his style of play better. Maybe that is why he thought Mellberg as a makeshift RB was more suitable than Bardsley, Hughes or anyone else he could have got last summer.
13 – What is your opinion of Randy Lerner and the new board?
Fantastic. Best foreign ownership in the country. Some excellent PR work for the club – acorns sponsor, buses to Chelsea, Holte Hotel etc. He fully supports O’Neill and does what a Chairman should do – let the manager get on with it. The five year plan is well under way.
14 – Where do you sit at Villa and are you a season ticket holder?
I am not a season ticket holder and am just grateful for the free weekend and ability to get over for a game. Anywhere really!
15 – And finally (stolen without shame from Vital Arsenal!) if you could invite 4 people connected to Villa, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be? And you can add one bit of top totty as well to make the party go with a ‘bang’ ;o)
Dean Saunders, Martin O’Neill, Randy Lerner and Paul McGrath. Megan Fox (her from Transformers) to keep refilling the beer pitchers (water for Paul) would complete the evening!
With thanks to deano.avfc
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