View from T'other Side-Villa
Jonathan Fear as you may know runs the Vital network but is also a Villan and is editor of the Vital Aston Villa site.
What better person to ask therefore about our opponents this Saturday at Turf Moor so Fear not we did. We asked each other a few questions about our respective teams and established some information about the opposition.
You can see how I replied by clicking this link on the Vital Villa site:
An Interview with a Burnley Fan
Here are the questions we asked Jonathan together with his responses:
1. What are Villas' strengths and weaknesses. What can we exploit?
Our strength is our speed, we have very fast strikers and the likes of Ashley Young on the wing are no slouches either. We also have a very solid and capable (both ends as they've been scoring for us as well this season) defence which is hard to breach.
The weakness is down to our inconsistency. Against the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea this year, not to mention the 5-1 thumping of a woeful Bolton, we were on our game and worthy winners, however we then seem to take no confidence from those wins and mess up against a very understrength Everton, Blackburn Rovers away and Wolves which we got a draw in but appeared to stroll around half the time.
So that is what you need to hope for, the slightly switched off version of Villa, if they get on the pitch fully up for it and the likes of John Carew are on their game, watch out!
2. Can you go all the way this time and finish in the Top 4? If not, why not?
Not convinced, totally because of the consistency issue and also we do at times appear to rely far too heavily on pumping the ball up to the wings for Gabby to chase. I think we'd need Stewart Downing to get into the team and really 'click' plus possibly a couple of decent quality new arrivals in January (which is an awful transfer window really, very rarely do any teams want to sell their quality players half way through a season) to really have a chance. Still, as Jimmy Greaves once said, 'it's a funny old game' so who knows!? I'd say 5th - 8th depending on how injuries go and if the end of season loss of form like last season happens. I'll still hope and pray, would be lovely to break that four!
3. Who is the player we better watch out for the most and who might we have a laugh about?
James Milner is doing well for us, he's not 'spectacular' in his play like Ashley Young and at times John Carew can be, but boy oh boy does he work hard. Ashley Young hasn't been in great form so far this season (he's 23 and still learning, people do forget how young these folks are) but has shown a few glimpses, so he is also one to watch. Gabby has also come on leaps and bounds this season and has toughened up as well.
Not really got anyone you could laugh at to be fair. Sadly I'm not able to make it up this weekend otherwise I'd have said you can laugh at me!
4. What's your opinion of Burnley this season and the gaffer?
The gaffer seems to have you guys well set up, seems to have a level head but you get the feeling he doesn't suffer fools lightly? As for Burnley, well done I say. I really hope you can keep it up and prove the pundits wrong. Apart from when you play Villa, lets hope your home form stays solid, that could well see you stay up.
5. Can we avoid relegation and where do you think we will finish?
Yes you can, keep on getting the home points and pick up the odd win on the road and all could be rosy! Who cares this season? Higher than 17th would be nice for you but survival is survival. The second season is then the key, some fold and others consolidate!
6. Do you think MON might be tempted to bid for any of our players or even if he didn't would you like one in particular? If so name them
I'd never try to second guess MON. I don't think MON could second guess himself to be honest! No, I can't see that there are any Burnley players that MON would be eyeing up though to be honest.
7. How many do you reckon you will be bringing to Turf Moor?
We'll have sold out whatever allocation we were given, Villans on the road are a great and very noisy bunch, enjoy!
8. Go on then do your worst, predict the result!
2-1 to the Villa... if John Carew has an 'on' day it might even be more... I always worry when I predict a win mind you!
Many thanks to Jonathan for taking time out to answer these questions and good luck to Villa for the rest of the season..er after Saturday of course
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