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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Aston Villa fan on re-signing Young and Benteke’s transfer request

Continuing with our rival fan previews for the 2013-2014 season, Damian Dugdale from The Villa Blog talks all things Aston Villa. Follow @avfcblog on Twitter.

Scott: How did you rate 2012-2013 for your club?

Damian: Tough to answer. Obviously the final position is unacceptable for a club of our stature, even though it’s accepted by many, but from February onwards we started to play some decent football and got some decent results. If we’re back at school, I’d give us a C+ if only because of the promise.

Scott: Who was your best player?

Damian: For me it was Brad Guzan but other Aston Villa fans will pick Benteke or Lowton. For me, it’s Guzan because he saved us so many points last season and nothing was set up for him. I like Benteke and I’m happy he is staying for another season and Lowton scored some crackers, but Guzan was the difference for me last season.

Scott: Which player are you expecting most important in 2013-2014?

Damian: I’ll answer but I might change it as we’ve signed a couple of players that could impress but as of today, I’ll say Benteke, which is strange considering my previous answer. But if this season he kicks on from last season like we all hope he could, then he could be the player that helps us get back into Europe… again, if he kicks on like we all hope he can.

Scott: If you could take one United player, who would it be?

Damian: Don’t get me wrong, you’ve got players that could walk into our team but we all know Rooney or van Persie are never going to play for us as things stand so it’s sort of pointless picking one of those. I’d like
to have Ashley Young back as he offered something and I think he has matured, but I’ll pass for now.

Scott: Are you pleased Fergie’s retired?

Damian: Not really. I know I’m probably not supposed to write this next part but the man was a genius and was good for the game. I think it opens it up for everyone else and I’m not convinced with Moyes, only because everyone knows the man that followed Sir Alex was always going to fail, but that part just makes it more interesting.

Scott: Where do you think your club will finish this season?

Damian: I think we’ll finish top half. I’ll write nothing more than that and I know it’s a fairly large prediction, but if you take our form from February, we’re top 8 and if you take our form from March, we’re top six. Predicting top half is an easy way for me to play safe but also feel quite confident.

Scott: Where do you think United will finish?

Damian: If we all accept that whoever follows Sir Alex is going to fail and you’d have to be mad to not agree with that, then what we have to try and figure out is how quickly and to what degree. I know Moyes was
given a lengthy contract, but this is football and we all know contracts in essence mean nothing, but we all also know that Manchester United want consistency and see the benefits of it. You’ve also got a new CEO that will want to demonstrate he’s the boss, despite on occasion sitting next to the man with a stand named after him who we all know is the real boss at Old Trafford. Where I’m going with this is this; if you finish the season with David Moyes, I think Manchester United could finish out of the top four but I think there
is a chance you wont finish the season with him as your manager only because the new CEO has one time that he can put his foot down with your owners, so I’ll say second. But after that, Sir Alex will be
playing more golf.

Scott: How important was it that Benteke signed a new deal and have your feelings for him changed since his transfer request?

Damian: I’d have actually preferred it that we said not to the transfer and just told him to play or not play on his supposed £20k a week because we all know that if he has another good season, we’re going to go
through the same next summer. All we’ve done is stroke his ego and throw away £2m. As for my feelings, I didn’t really have any; he’s a transient figure that for now represents the Football Club I support. I think he is a very good player with lots of potential, but so was Roque Santa Cruz.

Scott: Do you take much satisfaction from seeing the likes of Young, Milner and Downing going on to be fairly average since leave Villa?

Damian: I think to an extent, it goes to show what Martin O’Neill is good at; making average players look good and above average players look very good. I never rated Downing before he came to Villa but he impressed, even though for every successful pass there appeared to be one lost. As for Milner; I wrote 100 times that he wasn’t a winger but when he played in the middle for us, he was an engine worth admiring and created opportunities too. Young; I’d have him back tomorrow because he needs to be a big fish in a small pond.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. nambuktu says:

    Love all the these ‘view from the enemy’ post. Lets me see things from another perspective. And they seem like a sensible bunch of guys too!

  2. kanchelskis says:

    Moyes out by the end of the season?! Wouldn’t have thought so…

  3. Ben says:

    Ronnie has been seen at T3. That’s the story i’ve been told. Not sure what to believe these days. Rumours and wind ups are rife.

  4. jimmymac62 says:

    Nice article, balanced and interesting perspective and the lack of tribal bigotry is most welcome. Thanks!

    Its silly season if Ronaldo re-signs for United I’ll be utterly amazed. Fellaini and one other will probably be as much as United can pull off at this stage…I’d be quite happy with that I’m not expecting a successful title defence in Moyes’ first season but an F.A. Cup run, culminating in a win over one of the top 4 in the final would be very special. Anywhere in the top 4 next season will give Moyes a foundation to push on and hopefully add another couple of players to the squad next summer. The next 2 to 3 seasons are going to see a changing of the guard don’t expect a trophy every year but the board should give Moyes at least 3 years grace.

  5. NBI Red Moyesy says:

    Like hell Moyes will be fired mid-season. Does Fergie even play golf? Woodward put his foot down? He is still lost somewhere between London and Sydney. This anti-Moyes attitude is clearly all down to the gum industry, I know Woodward is pissed to have lost Orbit, but maybe someone can chuck a wad in Rooney’s mouth while he’s sitting on the bench, might stop him dictating tweets. It’s a sticky situation.

    Now, about taking Young back….

  6. NBI Red Moyesy says:

    Interesting though how much other fans feared and respected SAF. We should put a cardboard cut out of him in the dugout.

  7. gingerprince18 says:

    Hahahah nice one NBI. Now let’s get back into a serious matter. I heard someone somewhere interested in buying Young….

  8. UNITED4Life says:

    Would love to if Villa come for Young. Not good enough for United.

  9. jimmymac62 says:

    Poor signing, we must be down to our last 3 underperforming wingers…and to think we could have had Downing if Fat Sam hadn’t been so quick off the mark….wonder if we can get Obertan back?

  10. denton davey says:

    “Young; I’d have him back tomorrow because he needs to be a big fish in a small pond.”

    Free transfer ? UTD to cover his excessive wages by NOT demanding compensation ??????

  11. Diego says:

    But what about all the tracking back?

  12. Dred says:

    Would have Young back tomorrow? Can we make that official?

  13. gingerprince18 says:

    For all the “tracking back” I never really rated Young. A decent player but not United quality though. We can keep him as a squad player but 110k/week is way too much for a squad player. Keeping him will only limit the chances given to the younger players. I for one wish we could include him in any future transfer target to sweeten the deal.

  14. jimmymac62 says:

    Never could figure out what Fergie saw in him. It’s as if Young has looked at Nani and Anderson and thought; “Couple of goals here and there, a few good games, pick up a niggly injury, pull a sickie, a few weeks/months recovery, a few weeks training, another few in the reserves, a few weeks on the bench…..then repeat the process….well they get away with it why can’t I?” Hes never going to ask for a transfer at his age, he’d be lucky to get half what he’s on at United judging by his overall performances and injuries

  15. SweetPete says:

    I’m not sure I’d take Young back – he was good player for us, never Champ League quality, but he has that big time Charlie attitude Lambert seems to want to remove. For MUFC, Moyes seems in same camp, so wouldn’t be surprised to see Young move on. He’ll sign a couple of his Everton players to add some familiarity, and improve MUFC squad overall, but I still think you’ll finish second – Mourinho and MCFC seem to have more quality. That said, I ain’t putting any wedge behind that !

  16. Stu73 says:

    17mil for a one trick cheat, thank you and you can keep him….not welcome back at villa, he is another big time Charlie who has failed when leaving Villa….

  17. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Even the villa fans aren’t having young, they’ve laughed all the way to the bank and united are stuck with him for another 2years at least as It’s more likely he won’t even be called to get his contract renewed. An underwhelming signing in the first place. Another decent footballer who has gone beyond his level and has been found out.

  18. Diego says:

    Around £60m for Young, Milner and Barry. Mental.

  19. WilliamAR says:

    Finding it really funny how people are saying young is a one trick pony lol. he’s not skillful enough to perform tricks. I think what people mean to say is he’s one dimensional and predictable as he always cut’s in, and even then he’s not tricky enough to do it unpredictably lol. He’s good enough for Villa but definitely not for united.


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