Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday March 2 2009
1. Villa are in a deserved Champions League place in the table, fully 20 points clear of City going into this season's return fixture at Eastlands. You are in a good position to cement your place in the top four by the end of the season. Can you do it?
Well, if you'd asked me whilst 2-0 up against Stoke (the worst team I've seen at Villa Park for years) I'd have said we are 8 points ahead of Arsenal and yes we can. I still think we can BUT don't know if we will. I feel - along with some other fans - a bitter taste for us throwing the UEFA Cup in the week and it has left me feeling a bit de-spirited. Hopefully it hasn't left some of the players 'rested' feeling the same. We have two tough games - Liverpool away and Man Utd away. The first is winnable but history shows we don't win there often and the second is frankly not winnable, think it is over 23 years since our last win there which is a terrible record for a big club.
If we beat you guys on Wednesday, then I fancy a nice little run again, it would certainly settle the nerves. If we lose against you then I will start to seriously worry that all the hard work might be coming to nothing. Plenty to play for and I have a feeling we might just do it, then again when I'm tired I have the feeling we might just blow it. Ain't football grand! lol
2. Following Stoke's late show on Sunday at Villa Park you are now obviously about to head into a late season nosedive starting at City. Ahem. Do you see City as a future threat to the English and European football establishment and can we emulate the terrific success you have experienced under Martin 'Touchline Mad Professor' O'Neill?
I see City as a confusing club, each time you seem to be on a roll something goes wrong! With the money you have, I would be surprised if you can't buy your way up amongst the big boys, it is all down to the manager you have - whether Mark Hughes or a.n.other - and if they can mix the great youth players you have with the stars you are constantly now being linked with.
Are you a threat? Yes, to Villa's ambitions and to the established top four.
3. If you were O'Neill, what would be the gist of your team talk before sending your players out at Eastlands this Wednesday?
Attack, SHOOT, run into the box and stop trying to walk the ball into the net BUT most importantly stop hoofing the ball up, it is naive and it doesn't work. I'd also have a massive smile on my face in the knowledge I was on a million a year no matter what!!!!!!!!!!! I think our team talk should centre on us throwing it away against Stoke, we HAVE to win this week now to settle things down. The players will know that by the time they come out onto the pitch I hope!
4. What's your verdict on the vitriol recently dished out to City, most notably by sports hacks this past transfer window?
Jealousy, that said I hated the way Chelsea did it (not criticising the fans, just the splash the cash culture) and no doubt won't enjoy watching Man City inflate the transfer market, however City has got good fans and it isn't their fault that the club have become super rich! Be interesting to see if the new owners respect English football, I would very much doubt it.
5. 'The City Three Step challenge:' What comes into your head when you think of Manchester City....?
- A club who get in the position to challenge and then blow it.
...Give us first the image you see,
- Peter Reid.
...second the feeling you get
- no feeling at all in all honesty.
...and third the word that sums us up....
- before it would have been 'wannabees' now it would be 'rich!'
6. 'Six Plus Five:' FIFA President Sepp Blatter is continuing his campaign to impose a maximum quota of five overseas players on every English team. Do you agree or disagree with his proposal?
I think the top quality players like Zola, Henry, Bergkamp and Djemba-Djemba (!!!!!) have blessed the Premiership but the over importing has cursed the league.
Just look at Robinho, he came for money, he didn't even know what club he was at when he landed after so clearly expressing he wanted to play for Chelsea....!
So anything we can do to cut it down would be fine by me. I think some clubs will panic though!
7. What's your prediction for Wednesday?
A scruffy game, a 1-0 that could in truth go either way, but as a Villan, I'll say 1-0 to us.... gulp!
Very many thanks and respect to The Fear and The Vital Villa team. Another brilliant interview.
**CLICK HERE FOR BLUEMOONER's Q&A WITH VITAL VILLA**
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE CARL RAMSBOTTOM APPEAL:
On 27 November 2008, Carl travelled over to Germany to watch his beloved side play Schalke in the UEFA Cup, however due to a tragic incident at a German train station, Carl suffered life threatening injuries.
Due to this horrendous incident, Carl ended up in a coma for three weeks. He is currently in a rehabilitation unit in Germany while his family remain by his bedside.
The family are hopeful that Carl might be in a position to be repatriated to a rehab unit within the United Kingdom, hopefully sometime in March.
If you would like to make a donation, please make cheques payable to P&W MCFCCSA and send it to Ian Ramsbottom. 12 Plant Hill Road Blackley M96NH.
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Date:Monday March 2 2009
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