Some weeks, we fear on Monday that we’ll find no one to preview the next match from an opposing fan’s viewpoint. Other weeks, we’re spoilt for choice. Maybe it’s their recent ascendancy, and Big Four aspirations, but Aston Villa – due at the SoL on Saturday – can play hard to get. Yet, come Tuesday, we have not one but two, and not just any two but two Villa nuts who also run important sites/networks aimed at all football fans. So let’s start early this week. First up is Stuart Young*, who also previewed last season’s Villa v Sunderland game. Stuart runs both Project Football and the A Villa Fan site. The opening is short and sweet, but dig deeper for some fascinating thoughts which include a highly surprising view of Ashley Young…..
Hello and Happy New Year to all the Mackems
This is my second year on Salut! Sunderland and like last year when I was asked to write an introduction I had no idea what to write…but here goes:
This season has been a great season for Aston Villa and for some reason we are becoming loved by football followers everywhere until we come to play there side.
When you guys visited Villa Park back in September I had very high hopes for your side. Keano had spent a few quid, and you had a strike force of Djibril Cisse and Kenwyne Jones – surely you would be pushing for a top half finish.
Your fans gave a good account of themseleves, and so did your players and we just about beat you 2-1 thanks to goals from Carew & Young. Who would of thought back then that Villa and Sunderland would be where they are now in the table?
Anyway best of luck for the rest of the season (after Saturday) and I’ll get cracking with these questions of yours:
Did you expect such a strong challenge from Villa this season? Can you make to 2nd or 3rd – or would Martin O’Neill suggest you’d been drinking?
At the beginning of the season i would of taken 5th-6th again like last season, get some consistancy before pushing for the top four. However, as the season’s progressed some fans are even suggesting theres a possibility we could upset the EPL all together and win it. Ha Ha! But seriously I’d be disappointed with anything but top four now.
If you thought about it at all, what did you reckon to Sunderland’s prospects and has Keane’s departure/results altered your view?
I’m a big fan of Keane’s playing career so I’ve watched his managerial progress. His signings in the summer made me think you could be pushing for a top half finish. Im not sure what went wrong there but even though he’s gone now I expect to be playing Sunderland again next season. I think most Sunderland fans would take 17th this season.
Any thoughts of signings made by the two clubs? Do you actually want Kenwyne Jones? Who would you love to see in a Villa shirt?
I wouldn’t say no to Kenwyne Jones but he wasn’t the name I had in my mind. I wouldn’t mind O’Neill robbing Cisse from under your noses. Otherwise Michael Owen would be a great signing imo.
You were sure of winning at home against us last season and our victory was crucial to us staying up. Fancy another prediction – for Saturday?
We are due a smashing if I’m honest. We’ve been riding our luck now for weeks. However, we can just turn it on when we want to and if we are to make the top four we must be getting points from lower placed teams (no disrespect). I would take a boring 1-0 Villa win.
You struggled a bit in the end to beat WBA. Worrying, or just an indication of how close the Premier is this season?
No not at all. I think we are just not performing at all. We could have had four in the first half against WBA if we are being honest and on our day we would beat them with ease. I think it’s a case of some players being tired, or not being pushed. We are definitely missing John Carew at the moment.
Isn’t being the first rival fan to write TWICE for Salut! Sunderland the honour of a liftetime?
Isn’t it just? Second time and you’re promoting two of my websites this time round. Lol. Naa, it’s always nice to do things like this, I enjoy discussing other clubs apart from Villa, that’s why I started Projectfootball.
Who are or were the Villa greats (excluding Ashley Young)?
Modern day greats I would say Gareth Barry, he’s played over 400 times for the club and despite the problems in the summer he will always be a hero of mine. Otherwise I love Wilfy Bouma who is currently injured and Curtis Davis. All time greats include Paul McGrath who we still sing about to this day (On the P*ss my lord), Peter Withe and Ollie Mellberg.
How good is Ashley Young? How much is he worth? Will Villa keep him for ever?
Most Villa fans will disagree with me but I think Ashley Young is vastly overrated. Don’t get me wrong; he’s a great player, but being compared to Lional Messi is just ludicrous. I think as long as Villa progress he will stay as a Villa player. He’s still got a lot to learn, like when to release the ball.
Will you be there on Saturday? If not, when will you finally get the the SoL?
I’ve visited the SoL, just not on a matchday. I won’t be there Saturday due to work. Plus I’m kinda recovering from that.
Last season, you seemed to have luck against us with the referees (the last gasp "winner’ that was inexplicably ruled out at the SoL; Howard Webb’s failure to see your goalie’s blatant handball miles outside his box at Villa Park. Yet we got four out of six points. What’s your worst/best refereering experience as a Villa fan?
Errm I’m sure like most it’s when you play the big four. Some of the decisions they get away with is very stupid. However, the Bolton game at Villa Park this year – the referee was shocking towards both sides and both sides didn’t actually know what was going on most of the time
* Stuart Young’s preview of last season’s game at Villa Park, which we won 2-1 in a game that went a long way towards buying another Premier season for the Lads, can be revisited here.
This is how he described himself then:
Resin floor layer, early 20s, one of group of pals who run the website http://avillafan.com (he has now added Project Football“Project Football to his cyber portfoloio). Paul McGrath is his all-time hero. Gavin McCann and Tommy Sorensen don’t even make the subs’ bench of his dream team: Mark Bosnich, Fernando Nelson, Alan Wright, Paul McGrath, Olof Mellberg, Gareth Barry, Ian Taylor, Andy Townsend, Dwight Yorke, Dean Saunders, Paul Merson. Subs: James, Southgate, Johnson, Hendrie, Dailly.