The Opposition View - Aston Villa
With huge thanks to Vital Aston Villa
editor Mike Field, we ask a few questions in the lead up to our game on Saturday. Mike answers speaks about Villa's stuttering start to the season, their new gaffer Paul Lambert and what Reading player he would like in the Villa side.
The reverse interview with Vital Villa can be found here
----------------------------------------------------------1) In a nutshell, sum up your season so far?
Disappointing so far, but not entirely unexpected. We knew it would take a while for the players to adjust and gel, but performances of late are showing some very positive signs that we're now clicking, so hopefully for us the results will reflect that. 2) Who are the player/s to look out for in your side?
Benteke has already made a name for himself and he'll be a hell of a handful for your defence, especially now that our midfield are starting to create more and more chances for our strikers. 3) Considering the stature of your club, are you surprised to be where you are or did you half expect it?
It was expected because of all the changes summer, but unfortunately it's a necessary evil as the whole philosophy has changed within the playing staff, and we are finally building the foundations that we have ignored in previous years.
In time it will benefit us but of course there are concerns about this season, unless we start grabbing results. 4) Paul Lambert certainly divided opinion when he decided to leave Norwich for Villa, what was your opinion then and what is it now?
No change really in my opinion. I think hes the right man for the job, but of course he needs time and more than one window to form his team. I was very pleased with the appointment, and I can see what he's trying to do so he has my support. 5) Who has been your best signing in the summer and why?
In my opinion it's between Ron Vlaar and Christian Benteke simply because of their impact during games. Many would also highlight Matt Lowton, who has been very steady since joining us. The benefit for us is they will only improve further, especially Benteke because of his age. 6) What position would you like to strengthen in January and any players names that spring to mind?
We could really do with an experienced midfield governer really, who would protect the defence allowing our more creative midfielders to push on. But in many ways it's not so much exact positions we need to invest in during the January window, it's bringing in experienced cover across the park to aide in the development of the youngsters that we are relying on.
I think most Villans realise that it's pointless picking names at the moment, because nobody really knows what Lambert is considering. 7) If you could offload any player from your team, who would it be and why?
Formerly it would've been Warnock or Hutton, but both of those are out on loan now, so it has to be Richard Dunne. There's a fresh outlook amongst the team now and Dickie is a reminder of darker days. 8) If you could have any Reading player in your squad, who would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Adam Le Fondre because of his goalscoring prowess. I think he's be a nice alternative for us up front. 9) Expected line up for the game?
I'd expect us to be as we were for the Arsenal game, but it's likely Baker will come in for Ron Vlaar if he isn't passed fit for the match. Probably the only other change I'd expect is for Darren Bent to return on the bench now he's fit. 10) What's your prediction for the game?
Following our recent performances I think 2-1 to us is possible, because really need the win to boost spirits.