Name: Conán “Scone” Doherty
For as long as I can remember, Gareth Barry was gospel. But having abandoned the most realistic Champions League mission since his career began, it’s hard to now say his name without welling up.
My favourite player tag now resides with the all-action, big hearted James Milner, who, rather fittingly, has transferred into Gazza B’s vacated position and heals my wounds with performances worthy of replacing the new Man City player in the centre of the England team. *** God Almighty! Favourite player TBC! ***
Honourable outside mentions for Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.
Favourite football memory:
1) 27/03/1994 League Cup Final: Aston Villa 3-1 Manchester United
2) 1998-99 John Gregory’s majestic 16 week gate crash at the top
3) 16/04/2006 New-boy Gary Cahill’s overhead against the Brum Scum
4) 04/08/2006 Martin O’Neill joins the club
5) 20/01/2010 League Cup Semi-Final (2nd Leg): Aston Villa 6-4 Blackburn Rovers
Worst football memory:
1) 1998-99 John Gregory’s side capitulating and finishing 6th (outside Europe)
2) 20/05/2000 FA Cup Final: Chelsea 1-0 Aston Villa
3) The Graham Taylor years
4) 2003-04 League Cup Semi Final (Bolton win 5-4 on aggregate)
5) 22/03/2009 Liverpool 5-0 Aston Villa
New entry: 28/02/2010 League Cup Final: Manchester United 2 – 1 Aston Villa
Best signing made by your club:
It’s hard to ignore the effect Ashley Young and James Milner have had on the club since their arrival, but of course we’ll never forget the outstanding contribution of the one and only, Paul McGrath.
I think it’s a pity Martin Laursen didn’t see any glory years in his hay day and had he been regularly fit, could have secured legendary status within the Premier League.
So far this season, Richard Dunne has been one of the best buys by any club but if I was to stick my neck out, my vote for best signing goes to the capture of big, bad John Carew. The Norweigan powerhouse is almost unplayable when he is in the mood and should be the first name on every team sheet. Swapped for a miserly Milan Baros, the ‘Carew effect’ has been one of the biggest bargains in a long time.
Worst signing made by your club:
Instantly, Bosko Balaban’s name jumps out at me. Not because of how he played, but because of the return we got on the 5.8million Croat. Scoring goals for fun at every level, for every other club, Balaban never hit the net once for the Villains. Of course, he was never given a starting berth, and I don’t know who was to blame for this, but the goal machine was most certainly one big disappointment.
One realistic player you want:
For years and years, Jermaine Defoe was top of my wish list. Villa have always struggled to acquire a 20 goal centre forward, but now that Defoe has hit peak form, I fear his ship has sailed.
The consistent need for a top class finisher meant I was always a fan of Michael Owen, however I believe his, along with Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s wages would be much too testing.
I wouldn’t mind chancing our arm to pinch Louis Saha and I would be sniffing around Man City’s Michael Johnson to prepare for Stylian’s departure.
If I was being greedy, and a tad ambitious: Rafael Van der Vaart.
The one that got away:
It would have to be big Crouchie wouldn’t it? David O’Leary found no use for the 6’7 hitman, but Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Spurs and even England certainly have. He’d be an excellent addition to today’s current squad.
There was a time when I would have said Arsene Wenger, but his recent ignorance and constant negligence to acquire the right players to deliver trophies (and his whinging fits) have dropped him way down in my estimation.
Right now, I wouldn’t swap O’Neill for anyone. Astute in the transfer market and on the training field, the Northern Ireland man is second to none at building his teams to play an effective style of football with a winning mentality. I’d love to see what he could do with one of the top 4 clubs, but on the other hand, I hope he never gets the chance to show me!
I’m a massive Mourinho man. I like his psychological approach to every game and his coaching skills are clearly top notch with the way he has every team set up. A charismatic, good looking man in the bargain – Jose is certainly my pick for best manager.
Cristiano Ronaldo: the man has got everything – absolutely everything. Pace, power, height, skill, technique, consistency, finishing ability, heading ability, crossing proficiency, dead ball expertise, impeccable passing range and a dynamite touch. And the one thing that ensures he is head and shoulders above the rest is his incredible desire to win. Ronaldo hates to lose and what is sometimes accused as being greedy and selfish, is his hunger to be the very best footballer this planet has ever seen.
Do you play?
5 a side
Box to box
Stamina, work rate, determination, passing, tackling
Finishing, heading, pace, skill
I always prefer 3 at the back – not sure how practical it would be, but my specialist formation is 3-2-3-2 and it works like a dream in both Fifa and Championship Manager (can’t argue with results)
Ferdinand Vidic Evra
Torres Drogba Rooney
My Villa XI (of past 21 years):
Mellberg Southgate Laursen
James Milner Ashley Young