Aston Villa ‘Who are You?’: Shankly was wrong about football

For Methodists, the Rev Leo Osborn* is, as President of the Methodist Conference, roughly equivalent to Archbishop of Canterbury (though the church has no supreme authority). He lives in the North East but avidly supports Aston Villa, our opponents on Saturday. Leo may have regretted his instant agreement to be this week’s “Who are You?” guest when he saw how many questions we’d lobbed his way. We’re chuffed that he answered them anyway. Look out for his forecast of a Sunderland win and a challenge to Bill Shankly’s “life or death” quotation …

Salut! Sunderland: Up until last weekend, Villa had made a considerably better start than Sunderland. With what minimum and maximum expectations did you approach the season?

To be honest my expectations were extremely few. That is often how I feel at the beginning of each season anyway but, for reasons to which we will come, they were even less this season. Mid-table at best.

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