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The View From Your Lot


TheScarletPimpernel
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Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a good whatever-time-of-day-you-are-reading-this.

 

I'm a Liverpool fan visiting from our forum http://www.kopblocks.com. Before every game we try and visit one of the opposing team's forums and ask a few questions on the upcoming match, how your season is progressing etc. in order to try and learn a bit more about how fans in the Premier League view their teams.

 

I volunteered to come over here and talk to you guys because I've always had a soft spot for Villa and very much enjoyed the way O'Neill had you playing a few years ago. I'd really appreciate it if you could take a minutes to answer the questions, and I'll try and include as many people as possible in the thread on our side when I report back - which, when made, I'll link back. You're all more than welcome to come over to the forum and discuss the game or whatever else takes your fancy - we're always open to fans from other teams sticking around.

 

Without further ado, I'll get on with it.

 

Q1: This season marks the third year of Paul Lambert's reign as manager. What have you thought of him so far, and where do you think he could improve?

Q2: How do you feel about how your season has gone in the opening stages?

Q3: What are your expectations for the club in league and cups come season's end?

 

Q4: With the transfer season having just shut, do you regard your business as a success? If not, what more would you like to have seen done?

Q5: Are there any promising youngsters at Villa Park that could breakthrough this season?

Q6: If you could take one player from your past to improve your contemporary team, who would it be?

 

Q7: If you had your choice of Liverpool's squad, who would you take; conversely, who would you give away to us?

Q8: Liverpool had a busy summer in the transfer market. What are your thoughts on our dealings?

 

Q9: Where do you think the game will be won or lost at the weekend? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Q10: Finally, what do you think the result this weekend will be?

 

Thanks a lot to those who answer - and especially to your admin limpid for giving me the go ahead to post this - and I wish you luck in your season.

 

The Scarlet Pimpernel

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Q1: This season marks the third year of Paul Lambert's reign as manager. What have you thought of him so far, and where do you think he could improve?

  He's done a great job in very tight circumstances. The last 2 years of fighting relegation haven't been pretty but Lambert has uncovered a few gems, to go with the expected duds when shopping in the bargain bin.

Q2: How do you feel about how your season has gone in the opening stages?

  7 points from 9 is excellent considering the opposition but we needed a good start because of the run we have coming up. Going out in the cup was a disappointment but finishing top half will more than make up for it.

Q3: What are your expectations for the club in league and cups come season's end?

  I expect to finish in the top half, not be in danger of relegation at any time and perhaps have a decent run in the cup if we can avoid lower league opposition.

Q4: With the transfer season having just shut, do you regard your business as a success? If not, what more would you like to have seen done?

  Great transfer window by our recent expectations. Sanchez was a brilliant bit of business and Cleverley could have a part to play. Cissokho has been superb.

Q5: Are there any promising youngsters at Villa Park that could breakthrough this season?

  One name everyone will say - Jack Grealish. Shades of George Best. Bit raw but undoubtedly a big prospect.

Q6: If you could take one player from your past to improve your contemporary team, who would it be?

  Stan Collymore. We're really light up front until Benteke comes back and is in form. Agbonlahor turns up for 2 games a season and Weimann is a bit limited so we need a top quality striker to be a more complete team.

Q7: If you had your choice of Liverpool's squad, who would you take; conversely, who would you give away to us?

  Sterling. You can have Shay Given. :)

Q8: Liverpool had a busy summer in the transfer market. What are your thoughts on our dealings?

  Balotelli is great business. Almost a drop in replacement for Suarez. Liverpool are a world away from Villa with finances though.

Q9: Where do you think the game will be won or lost at the weekend? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  If we can defend and hang on, then we maybe can get 1 on the break. But as we're so light up front at the moment I fear it'll be fairly easy for Liverpool. We're looking pretty solid at the moment with our back 4 all performing, and Delph and Westwood sitting in front of them make us hard to break down. 

Q10: Finally, what do you think the result this weekend will be?

  3-1 Liverpool. Our defence is probably a bit better than yours at the moment but you have vastly more firepower up front. I expect (D|L)iverpool ;) to get at least 1 penalty.

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Q1: This season marks the third year of Paul Lambert's reign as manager. What have you thought of him so far, and where do you think he could improve?

 

He's been experimental and given things a "Right good go." I like him, he seems to be building a solid squad and we're improving, albeit slowly.

 

Q2: How do you feel about how your season has gone in the opening stages?

 

Very impressed so far, we have looked like a close-knit team and passed the ball better.

 

Q3: What are your expectations for the club in league and cups come season's end?

 

I'd like to do well in The FA Cup but ultimately I hope we finish in the top half of the table.

 

Q4: With the transfer season having just shut, do you regard your business as a success? If not, what more would you like to have seen done?

 

I would have liked to have seen a striker, or at least a player with a good goal to game ratio, come in, however the players that have came in seem to be an improvement in other areas we've needed them.

 

Q5: Are there any promising youngsters at Villa Park that could breakthrough this season?

 

Jack Grealish has flair and confidence, Daniel Johnson, currently on loan, has great heart and stamina, hopefully he comes back from his loan having learnt some good lessons with matured disposition and improved decision-making.

 

Q6: If you could take one player from your past to improve your contemporary team, who would it be?

 

Pongo Waring. We could do with his goals.

 

Q7: If you had your choice of Liverpool's squad, who would you take; conversely, who would you give away to us?

 

Sterling seems to be a brilliant player and you could have Shay Given and Darren Bent.

 

Q8: Liverpool had a busy summer in the transfer market. What are your thoughts on our dealings?

 

Pleased to see Balotelli back in The Premier League.

 

Q9: Where do you think the game will be won or lost at the weekend? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 

It may very well be a clash between our defence and your attack. At the moment both our strengths and weaknesses are the opposite to each others. So maybe it's a game for the midfield?

 

Q10: Finally, what do you think the result this weekend will be?

 

2-1 Villa.

 

Delph and Agbonlahor to score for us with Balotelli getting a wonder goal.

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Q1:

 

Be interesting to see how much constraints he is actually working under. If its a lot, then its hard to judge really. But if not, then you would have to question the guys tactical nous.

 

Q2:

 

Flattering to deceive maybe? No, thats probably a tad unfair. There are one or two promising signs of improvement.

 

Q3:

 

Might do well in both cups.......oh wait,

 

Joking aside, it would be nice to see some genuine stability and a top half finish.

 

Q4:

 

Not bad. Sanchez and Cleverly are decent acquisitions tbf and Cissokho has actually proved very popular with the supporters, who have had to put up with some dross at left back over the last couple of years.  Quite amazing, though, some of the names being bandied around by a lot of VT'ers as possible targets. We are'nt a attractive proposition these days. Hopefully it changes.

 

Q5:

 

Grealish.

 

Q6:

 

Dennis Mortimer. The guy was a powerhouse for me.

 

Q7:

 

Coutinho. Again, we were 'linked' with the player and, having seen him play, I think he would have stood out a mile here. Never have happened though.

 

As for our lot? Bent probably, or maybe Joe Bennett. Ones too lightweight and the other ones not adaptable enough.

 

Q8:

 

Hey big spender!. I suppose you had to bring in someone of Balotelli's level, if only to replace the foolish Suarez. And tbh, I did'nt think he came across as a sort of Liverpool  type of player, but you never know. Sure as eggs is eggs, though, he will screw up at some point and it will be interesting to see how you deal with him.

 

Q9:

 

I think we actually look fairly good at the back for a change. But are we missing Benteke or what? Saying that, Anfield is'nt a bad hunting ground for us, so expect the unexpected as they say.

 

Q10:

 

Difficult. Gabby had his one good game a season last week, so a Villa win looks something of a very long shot. I'm going to say draw, because its pretty galling to say anything less than positive about your own team.

 

 

 

 

 

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Q1: This season marks the third year of Paul Lambert's reign as manager. What have you thought of him so far, and where do you think he could improve?

Inconsistent and tactically inept. I'm more than happy to give him another season but if we're in another relegation battle this year with the players we now have then I think it's time he went.

 

Q2: How do you feel about how your season has gone in the opening stages?

Fantastic, much better than I was expecting. 7 points is great considering our next five games. Senderos and Vlaar seem to be a good combination.

 

Q3: What are your expectations for the club in league and cups come season's end?

As long as we can avoid any lower league teams then we might have a chance in the FA cup. For the league... I think around 13th place is reasonable.

 

Q4: With the transfer season having just shut, do you regard your business as a success? If not, what more would you like to have seen done?

My main areas of concern - central midfield and defence - have been addressed, Cissokho looks to be a good signing for us so far and I'm looking forward to seeing what Cleverley can do for us without the weight of Man Utd on his shoulders. I think he'll prove a lot of people wrong over the next few months.

 

Q5: Are there any promising youngsters at Villa Park that could breakthrough this season?

Jack Grealish. You'll get this answer from every single Villa fan.

 

Q6: If you could take one player from your past to improve your contemporary team, who would it be?

I'll try to stick to players I've watched growing up... Dwight Yorke. Top class striker to partner Benteke. 

 

Q7: If you had your choice of Liverpool's squad, who would you take; conversely, who would you give away to us?

Sterling or Sturridge. You can have Nathan Baker. The single worst defender I have ever seen in the Premier League.

 

Q8: Liverpool had a busy summer in the transfer market. What are your thoughts on our dealings?

Replacing Suarez was never going to be possible but Balotelli could be good with Sturridge. Lambert will be good back-up.

 

Q9: Where do you think the game will be won or lost at the weekend? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I'm not convinced with Liverpool's defense, but our attack is currently very poor due to Benteke and Kozak being out. Gerrard loves to score against us and I can see Sturridge getting one or two. 

 

Q10: Finally, what do you think the result this weekend will be?

3-0 to Liverpool

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Q1) I think under the serious restrictions, he's done rather well, I'd like to see how he'd get on with a decent transfer fund as he's pulled a couple gems out of nowhere on a shoestring. I think now that he has more of a squad to play with, a plan B would be nice.

Q2) Very good, the defence looks solid, the midfield are finally working together and the strikers are making the defenders work for a change, rather than lurking on the wings or trying to help the midfield out.

Q3) I'd like a decent cup run, but honestly I'd rather us concentrate on the league and let some of the subs and youth go as far as they can in the cup. I think with no serious injuries we can push for 10th/11th this season which would be a great improvement on recent seasons.

Q4) I think we had a great transfer window, I've been impressed by all of them that have played so far, Ally especially. It would have been nice to have seen a good AM come in as we've really struggled to break teams down when they sit behind the ball.

Q5) Simple, Jack. Grealish.

Q6) When I was younger my favorite player was Dwight Yorke. I loved how amazing his dribbling ability was, the way he used to turn defenders inside out and his finishing was his top attribute. Given that we've struggled for goals recently, I'd have to go with him.

Q7) I'd have to go with Sturridge, he's absolutely top draw, you can have Clarke, I don't think I've seen a worse defender for us.

Q8) I think Balotelli is an absolute coup, I think Moreno looks really promising and Lovren was definitely the defensive leader you have been missing. Good stuff.

Q9) I think the midfield battle will be the decider, if we can smother Gerrard as we did last year and stop him passing the ball through to the strikers and make him go backwards/sideways then we give ourselves a chance. We've always struggled against Balotelli, if we can keep him quiet somehow and use our pace and counter attacking threat to hit you with a bit of surprise, we may get something out of the game.

Q10) Our recent travels to Anfield have been quite good, we seem to take it up a gear against high level opposition. That being said I think your firepower and passing ability will be too much for us this time around, 2-1 Liverpool.

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Q1: This season marks the third year of Paul Lambert's reign as manager. What have you thought of him so far, and where do you think he could improve?

 

If i'm honest i was disappointed he was still in the job after last season.  The first two years have been awful and while he's had a tough job our home form and points total of 38 points last season was just too much.  Needs to improve in the style of football we play and the approach we have to most games, especially those at home.

 

Q2: How do you feel about how your season has gone in the opening stages?

 

It's been a superb start.  3 good results, unbeaten, only conceded 1 goal and we look a million miles away from the team that finished last season.  We look a solid team and when Benteke returns we should look a lot better going forward.

 

Q3: What are your expectations for the club in league and cups come season's end?

 

I don't expect much in the cups due to Lambert's attitude towards them now.  I would like to think we could finish top half but realistically I expect us to just have a comfortable season where i'm never really worried about relegation.

 

Q4: With the transfer season having just shut, do you regard your business as a success? If not, what more would you like to have seen done?

 

I think we had an excellent window.  We lost no decent players and signed some much needed quality and experience.  Cissokho has been an absolute steal and senderos has surprised a few and looked very solid in the back 4.  Sanchez comes with a decent reputation and Cleverly could now turn his career around with us.

 

Q5: Are there any promising youngsters at Villa Park that could breakthrough this season?

 

As others have said, Jack Grealish is the one we're all excited about at the moment.  Ireland's desperation to get him in the senior squad and Hull City's attack on him last week show his reputation in the game is starting to grow.

 

Q6: If you could take one player from your past to improve your contemporary team, who would it be?

 

We really struggle for goals and rely far too much on Benteke so Dion Dublin or John Carew would be superb options to have to help out.

 

Q7: If you had your choice of Liverpool's squad, who would you take; conversely, who would you give away to us?

 

It would have to be Sturridge, put a goal scorer like that in any team and they'll massively improve.  You can have Tonev, he's on loan at celtic for the year but i'm sure you wouldn't mind waiting for player as good as him.

 

Q8: Liverpool had a busy summer in the transfer market. What are your thoughts on our dealings?

 

Super Mario is a superb signing and it looks like you've added strength to the squad.  Impossible task to replace Suarez but your squad looks good for fighting for the title and champions league this year.

 

Q9: Where do you think the game will be won or lost at the weekend? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 

I think our defence will be key to us getting a result.  I think we might be able to get something with counter attacking but we'll have to come up with a way to stop your attacking players from causing major problems.  

 

Q10: Finally, what do you think the result this weekend will be?

 

Feeling pretty good about it.  I think 1-1 or 2-1 to us.  We've done well at Anfield the last couple of years and i think that will continue.

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Q1: This season marks the third year of Paul Lambert's reign as manager. What have you thought of him so far, and where do you think he could improve?

 

You'll get answers all up and down the scale for this one, opinion is divided. I think he's done decently with the very limited budget he's had to work with. In his first season with us, I thought his ability to motivate the team for our "Great Escape" was pretty masterful. Unfortunately last season that seemed to collapse. If he can get the team back to that menality we should be stronger this season, especially with our added squad depth. It's all about making the team stronger than the sum of its parts.

 

Q2: How do you feel about how your season has gone in the opening stages?

 

Great start. September is a nightmare month for us but getting 7 points from the first three fixtures is a pressure-reliever. Last season we struggled against teams around us; if our start is any indication that won't be the Achilles heel for us this year.

 

Q3: What are your expectations for the club in league and cups come season's end?

 

Already out of the League Cup, which is a big disappointment. I'd like to see us get further in the FA Cup (and not get knocked out by lower opposition), and avoid the battle at the bottom this year.

 

Q4: With the transfer season having just shut, do you regard your business as a success? If not, what more would you like to have seen done?

 

As much as I was underwhelmed by a few of our signings, they have really improved us, particularly Senderos and Cissokho. For the last three seasons we've badly needed a creative playmaker in the middle of the park, and we still don't really have that. I would have liked a striker on loan until Benteke and Kozak are back to fitness. But I'm pretty pleased with the business we've done, especially on our paltry budget.

 

Q5: Are there any promising youngsters at Villa Park that could breakthrough this season?

 

Jack Grealish. Callum Robinson is looking good also.

 

Q6: If you could take one player from your past to improve your contemporary team, who would it be?

 

Dwight Yorke.

 

Q7: If you had your choice of Liverpool's squad, who would you take; conversely, who would you give away to us?

 

Raheem Sterling. You can have any or all of the following: Darren Bent, Nathan Baker, Chris Herd.

 

Q8: Liverpool had a busy summer in the transfer market. What are your thoughts on our dealings?

 

All that money spent, and Skrtel and Johnson are still in the preferred back four, that's an oddity to me. Balotelli is a bit of a wild card, although I'm glad you guys picked him up because he is a character and I've missed him in the Premier League. Lallana might be the best player you brought in, too bad about his injury.

 

Q9: Where do you think the game will be won or lost at the weekend? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 

I think it will be the battle of the midfield. Our defense is stronger this season, which will hopefully cancel out your strong attackers. Your defense is still fairly weak in my opinion, but our attack is a little toothless without Benteke.

 

Q10: Finally, what do you think the result this weekend will be?

 

1-1 draw.

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Q1: This season marks the third year of Paul Lambert's reign as manager. What have you thought of him so far, and where do you think he could improve?

 

Considering the contraints he's been working under, I think he's done a good job.  He's been pressured from the very top not to include expensive senior players, but they've come back in this year and actually look like they care, he must have managed them well on an individual level to achieve that.

 

Q2: How do you feel about how your season has gone in the opening stages?

 

7 out of 9 with only a bore draw against Newcastle isn't too shabby.  On the whole, very pleased, yeah.

 

Q3: What are your expectations for the club in league and cups come season's end?

 

I'd love us to do something in the F.A Cup, but it does seem as though Lambert doesn't care much for them, probably due to concentrating on the league form.  I'd like us to finish around 12th though, that would be good progress.

 

Q4: With the transfer season having just shut, do you regard your business as a success? If not, what more would you like to have seen done?

 

I was unsure about a few signings such as Cole, Senderos and Cissokho, but they seem to be good.  I'm very much a pessimist about Cleverly's chances though, I really wasn't keen on him.  I guess a creative midfielder who wasn't as injury prone as Cole would have been good.  I was crying out for Ramirez from Southampton, but he's gone to Hull on loan instead, I think we missed out big time there.

 

Q5: Are there any promising youngsters at Villa Park that could breakthrough this season?

 

Yup, Grealish..

 

Q6: If you could take one player from your past to improve your contemporary team, who would it be?

 

Probably Dwight Yorke or Martin Laursen for me.  Maybe even Gareth Barry as a 28/29 year old, he was very good.

 

Q7: If you had your choice of Liverpool's squad, who would you take; conversely, who would you give away to us?

 

You can have Baker, Bent, for the laughs, but if we were to give you a player who would immediately give you something you don't currently have, it would be Vlaar, he'd be great for you.  Can we have Mario please? He's my favorite player in the PL.  I'm mad at him for leaving my other club, Milan!

 

Q8: Liverpool had a busy summer in the transfer market. What are your thoughts on our dealings?

 

Apart from Mario and that winger I know nothing of, I'd say you're slightly worse off than last year.  Because although Suarez is a top, top player, he's also a complete word removed.

 

Q9: Where do you think the game will be won or lost at the weekend? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 

It'll be defence against attack.  We'll sit deep and try to counter you, you'll have to try and break us down.  Providing you still play with attacking full backs, if we score first you'll be in trouble, the more men you commit forward, the better we play.  Having said that, if you go 1-0 up, we'll struggle to do anything.

 

Q10: Finally, what do you think the result this weekend will be?

 

I think Liverpool will win 2-1 - Mario ALWAYS scores against us, I'm also mad at him for that too :lol:

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1 and 2) If I may, I'd like to answer these two questions together. Honestly, the opening of this season has gone far better than I expected. That's not to say I'm happy, because I want us to be in a position where beating Stoke is a certainty rather than a pleasant surprise, but I can't complain about being third in the table after three matches. The thing is, I'm loathe to give Lambert much credit. He came to the club with his own team of backroom staff, his own set of principles of play and his own "young and hungry" transfer policies, and for two seasons we struggled horribly and survived by the skin of our teeth. Then last season's backroom stuff happened, with Lambert's staff being suspended and Lerner finally coming clean about wanting to sell the club. Since then we've bought in Keane as assistant manager and abandoned the "young and hungry" transfer policy in favour of getting in cheap but experienced players, which has allowed us to play more positive tactics. So to sum up: we've changed Lambert's staff and policies, and suddenly we're doing better. How much credit should I really give Lambert?

 

3) Obviously I'd like us to play well all season and win the league, but honestly, if we manage to have a comfortable season of consolidation without dancing merrily along the lip of relegation then I'll be satisfied. How I long for the good old days of tedious mid-table anonymity! ;)

 

4) If you'd asked before the season started I'd probably have been a bit more negative, but with a few games under our belt and some genuinely surprising performances from certain players I'm actually pretty pleased. Sanchez might take a while to bed into the team, but I think his signing was a great bit of business. Cissokho has been a genuine surprise given how poorly he seemed to play for you lot last season, and has been wonderfully solid and made some great blocks. Senderos has a bit of a reputation for calamity but so far he's been solid as a rock, and Cole might not have the legs that he used to but I still think he could be a good impact player. I wish we'd secured the futures of Delph and Vlaar, though; I don't like having those contract worries hanging over us.

 

5) Everyone else has already answered that for me. :)

 

6) Dwight Yorke. We need a guaranteed goalscorer at the moment, and that guy was great.

 

7) I've been impressed with Sterling's pace and dribbling, but he's a little lightweight for my personal liking so I'd pick Sturridge, who's got pace, strength and accuracy. I think with Suarez gone and Balotelli almost guaranteed to spend at least some of the season suspended, Sturridge will be very important for you guys. In return you can have Baker or Clarke. No, on second thoughts you can have both of them, and I'll throw in Bennett to sweeten the deal. Edit: To clarify, this is like sweetening a dog turd gateaux by sprinkling extra dog turd over it.

 

9) You needed someone to replace Suarez, and in the controversy stakes you've succeeded with Mario. The guy's a talented player, but he feels like a booking waiting to happen. I like Lallana a lot, and Lambert too, but I do wonder why Lambert went to Liverpool - not as any slight on the team, but because he's guaranteed to be third choice striker at best. Perhaps he'd have been better off as a big fish in Southampton's somewhat smaller pond.

 

10) Last night I dreamed a 4-2 win for LFC, so you'll understand if I hope my precognitive powers aren't up to much. I still reckon you'll win, though, so 2-1 to you guys.

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