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Interview With A Villan

1) How do you think Martin O'Neil's time at Villa is going? And are you happy with your current league position?

Very happy. Can't help but look at the wasted points v Spurs and also wished we'd done what we should have and taken Man City apart, that would put us right up there, but lets face it, Villa are in transition and being in the top six (if we can keep there until Jan) will help us attract more quality players in the next transfer window which should give us a fighting chance of Europe next season.

2) Who has been the stand out player for you this season? And more importantly who is the biggest danger against us this Saturday?

Well Gareth Barry is the engine, he seemed back to his best on Wednesday night against Blackburn as well which was great. I would think the stand out though is a toss up between Ashley Young who really has come on leaps and bounds this season or Gabby Agbonlahor who has proved beyond doubt he is no one season wonder. Both are very exciting players.

With John Carew getting fitter and scoring goals again, he will also be a danger for you guys, I'd certainly not go out of my way to argue with the Hulk, that is for sure.

3) And switching things around, which Gooner will be the most dangerous against you? (bear in mind Cesc is injured)

You do have some 'ok' players yourself I guess! ;-) I am happy Fabregas isn't playing, he is (and it doesn't take me to tell you this obviously!) top drawer. I'll go with Emmanuel Adebayor mainly because he is in my fantasy football team! I also hope he is right about our summer buy Moustapha Work Permit because Adebayor said the midfielder was like Zidane!

4) How many Aston Villa fans does it take to change a light bulb?

It all depends what sort of a light bulb. You see, we'd need the details. If it was an old style light bulb then we'd have to mount a campaign first. So maybe 4000 in that case to march towards the bulb with banners and singing 'Light Bulb Out'. I'd say that Villa fans are very faithful though, so possibly you'd need to add at least 30 000 home fans to support the light bulb changer.

5) Whos' your tip for the Premiership title this season, and be honest.

Manchester United. Out of the two I'd slightly prefer them because they do have at least a few British players. I know, I know, bone of contention for Gunners fans but it is just wrong in my eyes, you've so many superb players and are the best to watch on your day, but I'm old fashioned and would like to see at least half of every team made up of homegrown players.

6) Which Arsenal player, under the age of 20, would you most like to burglarise from our squad?

God, I've no idea of ages here, so I'll just nick Fabregas and we'll call it quits. I wouldn't mind young Theo Walcott either in truth, looks a dynamite prospect.

7) Predictions for Saturday?

Well, I missed the Chelsea game (we won 2-0) due to ill health and I'm missing this game due to my mate getting married (DOH!) which is a great shame as it is one of my favourite fixtures BUT I'm hoping that in my absence it'll be another blinder and have a sneaky feeling we might end our hoodoo v you chaps with a 1-0 win. I guess a draw is more likely but I'll live in hope.

All the best for the rest of the season, hopefully it will soon be a five horse race in the Prem with a resurgent Villa back amongst the elite where we belong.

For my interview on Vital Villa - Click Here

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 30 2007

Time: 3:21PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Thanks for that JF, although Cesc is not under the age of 20. But we'll forgive you that seen as you are getting old.
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30/11/2007 15:24:00

Getting old? I've gotten old! As said, no idea on the ages, just the silky skills! How is Theo doing by the way, he seems to get on very little, is he progressing?
The Fear
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30/11/2007 15:25:00

IMO he's getting there. He's a little lax in his defensive duties, but he's very dangerous going forward, even if he's not getting the goals. However I think he still needs to wash the Thierry out of his hair, always looking to set people up rather than shoot himself. Once he gets greedy we'll see plenty of goals!!
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30/11/2007 15:31:00

The Fear, Theo is pretty crap at the moment. It doesn't matter because we all know he will be bloody brilliant. But unless he is playing up front, he is rubbish.
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30/11/2007 17:28:00

What is this about honestly?
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30/11/2007 20:04:00

lol Goofy, Theo has been quite productive this season when playing on the wing. he has set up some crucial goals in the league this season..
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30/11/2007 21:19:00

I read your interview on vital villa, rocky - good stuff. I especially agree with the part about the villa fans - they do know how to get their point across well, and hey, they dislike the spuds too.
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30/11/2007 21:26:00

Good interviews on both sites. Thanks guys!
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 01:01:00

Thank god!!! I thought he was gonna mention Nacar Barazite, Henri Lansbury, Rhys Murphy, Carlos Vela or even Fran Merida!!! Anyway, good interview from both sides, hope this happens more often. :D (except with Sp*ds fans)
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01/12/2007 05:25:00

I love these interview The Fear does one every week with whoever we are playing...Quality. As i've already said on this site, Good luck for the league as unlike JF i actually want you to win it. pe@ce
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 11:14:00

Going to be a close game today and going for a 2-2 draw.
will it ever happen
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01/12/2007 11:44:00

changing the subject,did anyone else just see john terry trying to chomp on boa-mortes thumb??
fran merida
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01/12/2007 13:10:00

Theo may have been prodictive a few times but not as much as possible
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01/12/2007 13:24:00

Yeah I saw that one! And you know Chelsea have compiled a dossier of inconsistent refereeing to appeal on the charge of failing to control their own players? That bunch includes the incident where Senderos wasn't punished for a perceived handball against Wigan. And they seem to constantly forget it's John Terry who start surrounding the ref trying to pressure him into or out of some decisions. What a classy club and a classy captain. Another reason I don't follow England at all.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 15:06:00

We're not forgetting anything.We're just curious as why only Chelsea gets fined on that rule.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 16:39:00

K_chelski, I think you will find Arsenal have the record fine of £250K for failing to control their players. Yet Chelski have been done 4-5 times now in the past 2 seasons & get ridiculous fines of about 30k!!...............As for this Villa game, Eduardo is once again completely missing from the squad. It appears Wenger thinks he has made a mistake with him, because when an experienced international player can't even get on the bench ahead of Walcott or Bendtner, you just know things aren't right!!
Ashburton Gooner
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01/12/2007 17:11:00

Hahaha we all tend to think "why only us?" when we're accused. Or we can also ask why we get charged in the first place.
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01/12/2007 18:02:00

AG, Arsene tends to protect his new recruits from physical away games. Bendtner and Walcott have been in good form, while Eduardo has yet to bring his international form to Arsenal. Good game so far, by the way. :) Glad Clichy, Hleb and Flamini came back all lively and running - and scoring!
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 18:08:00

AG, so you're saying that what Arsenal did against Manyoo, and what chelsea does, is the same thing?
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01/12/2007 18:12:00

Oh looky looky, Arsenal and Aston Villa just surrounded the ref.I wonder if the FA will fine both teams.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 18:33:00

That should of been a damn red card on Carew. Cowardly piece of ***** tackle that was 100% clear that he had not intent of playing the ball. If anyone disagrees that it should of been just a yellow then I would really really like to hear!!!
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01/12/2007 18:37:00

Plus he injured Hleb! What a ****!!
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01/12/2007 18:40:00

i hope hleb is alrite.... !
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01/12/2007 18:41:00

a win is a win.....(however scrappy).....
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01/12/2007 19:11:00

The commentators said Hleb had a gash in his ankle. So that proves how malicious the challenge was.
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01/12/2007 19:13:00

But im extremely happy with the win :)
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 19:14:00

K_chelski, what I'm saying is that the first time Arsenal were charged they received a 250K fine. Chelski's individual incidents may not be as bad, but the fact remains the charge is exactly the same & chelski clearly haven't learnt from it. By now they should've had a massive fine, but it never happens & no doubt they will get the same pathetic fine again!!
Ashburton Gooner
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01/12/2007 19:29:00

Louisa, if Wenger is protecting a new signing, then its certainly a new idea because he never used to. Besides which even if thats true, he has left him out of so many squads that there really has to be more to it. I think Eduardo has done fairly well scoring 5 goals to date, considering the fact he gets hardly any playing time.
Ashburton Gooner
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01/12/2007 19:32:00

When you said Carew "would be a danger for you guys" I didn't think you were being literal!....the gash on Hleb's leg after that rather vicious and pointless Carew attack looked pretty bad. Sad to hear the commentators on Setanta validate the challenge saying Carew had no choice to do what he did because he had been beat by Hleb...said it was worth taking a yellow. Completely missed the point - intent to injure should be straight red. Brutal
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 19:47:00

AG, Arsene only does that to players who he thinks needs to adapt to the English game. Definitely not "never" before. Look at how Hleb got injured and you see how physical some of these games are. Apart from that tackle though, it's a good game. Not everyone slots right into the team like Sagna did. Another thing said in the press (I'm not sure how true that is) is that some opposing fans might boo Croatia players for throwing England out of Euro. To be honest I saw more England players getting booed than that happening.. Another factor I can think of is that strikers tend to work in combinations. Ade/RvP seemed to be working before RvP got injured, while RvP/Theo seemed complementary, Bendtner's more of a like-for-like replacement for Ade, and we haven't seen a working combo with Eduardo just yet; he's starting to show something with Bendtner in the Carling Cup. Not sure what's happening but that's my guesses. And before this Villa game, Eduardo had 8 starts + 5 sub appearances in all competitions, while Walcott had 8+7 and Bendtner played 4+7. In the league alone, he had 3+4, Theo had 3+6, Bendtner only came on as a sub 6 times. When you have 4 fit strikers, is it really that bad for Eduardo? Let's just give him some time to adapt and Arsene to observe. He knows best.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 20:04:00

Sorry, I meant Ade/Theo seemed complementary. And by the way AG, you remember someone called Julio Baptista? Anyway, I'd love to see more of Eduardo too. If he could form a partnership with Ade, even better. :)
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01/12/2007 20:12:00

The Setanta commentary seemed to condone the Carew foul, while criticising Arsenal for surrounding the ref for that foul. What nonsense !! I thought our players were out of line for surrounding the ref and I hope it doesnt occur often, but that foul took Hleb out of the game, and he was brilliant. Overall, slightly unlucky that Villa couldnt get the draw, but a very good win to start off Dec.
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01/12/2007 20:18:00

Yeah prits, didn't like that surrounding thing either. But it was a very bad foul on Hleb. While I was surprised at his speedy recovery to play this game, I was very worried it'd take him out for some time. Fingers crossed. Good game otherwise. I'm confident about another 3 points against Newcastle on Wed, anyone?
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01/12/2007 20:23:00

I hope Hleb is ok, he ******** just came back :(
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 20:38:00

Julio Baptista was given time because he was overweight & hadn't had any playing time for months, the Eduardo situation is completely different. Wenger didn't waste anytime throwing Reyes into action & he was never one for physical challenges. I'm not questioning Wenger at all, merely pointing out that there appears to be a bigger reason behind Eduardo's absense. If Arsene doesn't think he is upto the job then I can live with that, after all he knows far better than me or anyone else on here about his players abilities. It may be you are right & that Wenger is giving him more time to adjust, but he is really getting such little playing time that I think there is more to it. Time will tell. Whatever happens though, Bendtner is not a bad back-up to have & I still can't wait to see Vela next season.
Ashburton Gooner
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01/12/2007 20:40:00

I agree prits. that has to stop. It leaves a bad taste after every good result. I expect Wenger and Gallas to address the issue. The refs should just book the 1st 2 players that approach him. Also the refs should issue RED cards for tackles like Carew's.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 20:41:00

Re Eduardo, I think it was just a decision. AW has the choice of putting Bendtner, Walcott and Eduardo as attacking options on the bench. Eduardo played 90 mins against Sevilla. This time he opted for the 1st two. I assume Eduardo will be at least on the bench for the game against Newcastle.
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01/12/2007 20:46:00

I would rather have seen Eduardo on the bench than Walcott. No offence to Theo because I desperately hope he makes the grade, but at the present time I would rather have a proven player available to come on as opposed to Walcott. I would prefer to see Theo in the home games against easier opposition so he can get his confidence up. However as I said, Wenger knows far more about his players abilities than I ever will.
Ashburton Gooner
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01/12/2007 20:58:00

AG, I think you're reading far too much into the Eduardo situation. He has started 8 games (and 5 sub appearances) in the 23 games Arsenal has played so far in all competitions.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 21:00:00

It was sad listening to McManaman and Sherwoods post match analysis on Setanta. Macca admitting that in the first half he was crying out for Villa to kick our players - bring him down - stop him any way you can. Sherwood said Villa should have broken up our game with niggling fouls constantly stopping us from playing our game illegally. Sad really but advocating breaking the rules seems to be acceptable amongst football pundits of late.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 21:04:00

Yeah, that's what I said. Maybe there's something in the Eduardo "situation", but I just feel we're thinking too much. With Newcastle in that form, I'd love to see Ade partner Eduardo or Walcott in a 4-4-2. Hope Hleb's coming back soon. I'm really glad we don't miss RvP as badly as I first thought we would. With Hleb out though, I really miss Cesc, with all due respect for Rosicky. With no natural wingers per se, we need our players a bit more.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 21:40:00

The Carew tackle was no worse than the Hoyte tackle against Sevilla he got nothing. If Whinger cannot go to the stands that sets a bad example to the players that referees 4th officials are to be contested. Moan, Moan, Moan and yellow card gesturing is not needed.
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 21:47:00

This from a Spurs fan? Sweet.
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01/12/2007 22:13:00

your reading too much into the eduardo thing AG someone has to stay off the squad of the three of them id say bendtner was getting the raw end of the deal but it changes with games, we have another game on wednesday i wouldn't be surprised to see him on the bench
Report Abuse
01/12/2007 22:14:00

In relation to what Amos said,McManaman and Sherwood are a pair of t1ts
Report Abuse
02/12/2007 00:28:00

Diarra was quite crap yesterday, and there is no way he deserves to be ahead of Gilberto in the team at the moment..
Report Abuse
02/12/2007 05:20:00

Diarra didn't play that bad, he controlled the ball and tackled well. Anyway, Arsenal must be doing really well, if these cocks comes here and looks for just about anything to criticised our club. YOU COYS, YOU SUCK!
Report Abuse
02/12/2007 07:33:00

Villa fan here, no bad blood, just want to make some points from our perspective. I'll start by saying it was a great game, and though i feel we should have had a point at least, we can't be too disappointed after that second half performance. Right, now to the stuff. 1) While i don't condone the Carew challenge, if you were really watching the game you'd note a tackle on young Gabby by Adebayor which bore a striking resemblance to the supposed "definite" red card challenge by Carew. Obviously, Gabby walked out unscathed, but it could just have easily resulted in the same outcome. I don't think there's a leg to stand on, and i don't think it was malicious either, bit unfounded that claim. 2) The Villa players did not, at any point as far as i can remember, surround the referee. 3) Setanta punditry is shocking in my opinion. Now i'm done with that, thanks again for a brilliant game chaps, and good luck for the season, a lot of my mates are Gooners, and i'm gunning for you in the title race.
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02/12/2007 08:45:00


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