Being an Aston Villa supporter can’t have been easy in the last few years, you turn your back for one minute and there’s a new manager in place. Any step forward seems to have been immediately followed by at least one pace back, plus your owner’s called Randy. I found a friendly Villain (Villan?) rocking backwards and forwards in his seat on the Holte End and posed him a few questions about Life Under Lambert and our game on Sunday.
So, who are you and why are you a Villa fan?
My names Stuart and I am 26 years old. I am the owner of Avillafan.com and have been a season ticket holder since I was about 10.
I am a Villa fan because they were my local side growing up and all the family supported them so it was just the done thing. Wouldn’t have it any other way – They are pretty much my life, ask the wife – we got married there just over a year ago :).
How has Villa’s season been going so far?
It has been up and down as I expected. Paul Lambert is trying to build a new side for now, and the future so that involves bringing in younger lads. So consistency will be an issue this season but as long as we get a comfortable league position without mentioning that dreaded ‘R’ word then we can push on next season.
It’s been a tough few years following Villa, four managers in four seasons I believe. What are the chances that Paul Lambert is the man to preside over a period of stability do you reckon?
I think he has much chance as Martin O’Neill did if not better. Martin wasted a hell of a lot of money and always built for the now and not the future – as it showed when he left when the going go tough.
Both Houllier and McLeish were never going to work purely because they didn’t have the fans’ backing. Soon as they slipped up people wanted their heads.
We now have a man that both the fans and the players are behind so given time we will be back pushing for a top 8 spot again.
From a distance it seems as though Randy Lerner is keeping the purse strings tight, is this the case or is he just being sensibly cautious?
Depends on who you talk to really. Some Villa fans believe he is getting ready to shut up shop and sell while others believe we are just paying the price for over spending during the O’Neill years – a little like Liverpool are now. We still spent £20 million this summer and apart from the big guns not many spent more than us – it’s just we need a complete overhaul.
Darren Bent was a bit of a conundrum at White Hart Lane. A prolific goalscorer who many weren’t unhappy to see the back of. How is he viewed by Villa fans?
Again it depends on who you talk to. Some rate him saying he will always score you goals, while people like myself believe he is very lazy and plays like the world owes him a living. On his day – he’s as good as most, but when it comes to thinking about a shot he will miss. When he doesn’t have time to think he will score – simple really. But then again that’s the reason why he has never been at one of the big four.
Same question about Alan Hutton – apart from the goalscoring bit, though he did score a belter at the Reebok a couple of years ago.
Ha! The less said about Alan, the better. He has never really settled in and never really performed. As far as I know they have put him on the transfer list.
You’ve a lot of youngsters in the line-up, any in particular you think are worth keeping an eye on?
Lowton has impressed me mostly of the younger lads and new signings. A £2million signing from League 1 Sheffield United and he’s settled in as if he’s been playing in the Premiership for years. And he will only get better!
Looking forward to seeing Spurs at all? I’m sure you’re pleased to the back of Van der Vaart, he used to enjoy our games against you.
Van der Vaart was a joy to watch but at the same time he looked like a player that wasn’t always giving his all. Sort of player who would throw his toys out the pram. I would of preferred to play you later in the year. We are still trying to find our feet while you just had a fantastic win over Man United at Old Trafford.
How is Stiliyan Petrov doing?
Firstly, thanks for asking. You are the first person to ask about him since we first found out about the news – and it’s quite bad seeing as I do these kind of things on a weekly basis.
Stan is now in remission so things are all looking up. He is still club captain although I am unsure as to whether we will see him in a Villa shirt again, especially with his contract up this season, and he is getting to that age anyway.
Expect the travelling Villa fans to give him a minute’s applause on the 19th minute this weekend. It is something that we do every game.
And a prediction for Sunday?
Can’t see anything but a home win.
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