Randy_Stand takes the Vital Villan interview.
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
Became a Villa fan from birth really…born into a Villa family….no other choice. Got my first season ticket back in the late 90’s and haven’t looked back.
2) Best moment/moments as a Villa fan?
Wins over Blues have been great moments for me. The FA Cup run of 2000 was memorable but most away games i have been to have been so enjoyable. Much more than home games actually.
3) Worst moment/moments as a Villa fan?
There probably isn’t a lot worse than losing to Blues. Going to school the following day enduring those taunts from the Bluenoses. Guess thats what rivalries are all about but i don’t particularly like the derby games. Hate the build up.
I’ve also seen Villa lose heavily away a few times and that isn’t a pleasant feeling.
4) Best and worst away ground visited?
Best – Hamburg
Worst -Worst with Villa has to be Fratton Park. That far and what a dump it is.
5) What did you think of last season? Good, bad or indifferent and do you think we progressed?
A tough one. Great first half to season which tailed off quite miserably. Sitting pretty in 3rd/4th for the first half of the season was great. A little run in the Uefa Cup/Fa Cup was good too but the Moscow debacle was what started this bad run for me. We lost mometum after that. Fans were not happy with the manager and that decision i believe really cost us. However, it almost paid off as i’m confident if we had beaten Stoke we would have clinched champions league football for next year with 8 points between us and Arsenal but it wasn’t to be. Arsenal clearly had more strengh in depth than us which hopefully we can rectify this year. Obviously it will be hard with Man City/Spurs also coming forward but we said that last year so you have to see what happens. Any time you increase your points tally you have improved so yes we have progressed, on and off the pitch. Maybe it didn’t end as we all had dreamed of back in December but we weren’t good enough in the end.
6) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer? And do you think Villa will spend enough this summer to progress?
Well firstly we need a world class centre half as a replacement for Laursen. That is key. I’m not sure who i could say sign for the centre half position. We need a replacement for Barry if he leaves, which i still don’t think he will do. I can see David Bentley coming. I can also see Danny Sturride coming and Michael Owen wouldn’t surprise me either. Who knows? Will we spend enough? Hopefully, but he needs to spend i wiseley. Man City and Spurs both will be spending money so we need to. We probably will spend enough but he probabl won’t use the money wiseley again.
7) What do you expect next season?
Premier League: 6th. I can’t see anyone breaking the top four
FA Cup: Quarters: Were a good team, we could win this competition.
Europa League: First knockout round. This competition has way too many games in it. Too many for a club competing in 38 prem games topped with Fa Cup and Carling Cup Games so i don’t expect too much to be honest.
Carling Cup: This is the one that baffles me. We could definetly win this. Its a trophy with Europe guranteed again. Why the hell do we keep surrendering to the likes of QPR and Leicester City. if it were me i’d go all out to win the Carling Cup.
8) Your opinion on Martin O’Neill now he is approaching his 4th season in charge?
I’m still 100% behind the man. He has rapidly improved Villa since he came. It will be almighty hard to break into the top four but we have to have a go. I think all the criticism is over board about him. No way should people be calling for the guys head. People should go down memory lane to the summer of 06 when O’Leary was still around, now that was dull. His signings need to improve, its never been his strongest point but he has to spend money wiseley and bring in good players.
9) Your opinion on Randy Lerner and his board?
Couldn’t be happier. He backs the manager. He stays out of the limelight usually. He tries to give something back to the fans and us fans usually get something every season. People may say its an American PR stunt but if it makes the fans happy then so be it. Breath of fresh air he is. Rebuilding the Holte ( Pub, Hotel, Stand, Car Park, whatever it is), the new mosaics, stain glass windows, new signage around Villa Park and the capacity is set to be increased within the next two years. A far cry from his predecessor.
10) Favourite current player?
John Carew. Love the guy. Scores goals, loves fans, we love him and more importantly he’s bigger than me and you.
In all seriousness, 15 goals for a man who was out for 3 months is good going. Lets hope he can stay fit for a good while.
11) Favourite former player/s?
I didn’t grow up in an era with great legendary players. My favourites were David James, Gareth Southgate, Juan Pablo Angel, Dion Dublin, Olof Mellberg and more recently Martin Laursen.
12) Gareth Barry, will he stay or go and do you care?
Hmm. I do think he will stay. But if it was up to me i’d let him go. Re-coup some money. He didn’t have the bestest season at Villa this year. Hes approaching his 30’s. His best days are behind him. He’s been with us for 11 years and i just feel its perhaps time we let him move on.
13) Right, lets lower the tone… which celebrity would you most like to bang?! (Nicked from Vital Forest!)
With thanks to Randy Stand
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