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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Villa Fan On The Final, Dunne, Fergie’s Replacement and Barry

In usual big game pre-match fashion, we’ve had a quick chat with Damian from The Villa Blog about Sunday’s League Cup final.

Scott the Red: What would constitute a good season for Villa?

Damian: A good season for us will be winning the League Cup or even, if things go our way and we get a bit of luck, the FA Cup. At the start of the season, I said it had to be progress in the league, but I am blinded by silverware at the moment and afterall, isn’t winning things, what it’s all about?

STR: Of course. Whilst achieving a higher league position is great, I doubt it would bring that same intense feeling seeing your captain lift a trophy brings. So, what for next season?

D: Our expectations should be to do better than 6th and look to challenge the top four. I hate writing that, as if the top four is the be all and end all, but in terms of realisticly what is possible – it has to be to finish top four and beat off the likes of Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool, who are losing the plot.

STR: Well there’s currently just one point between the four clubs between 4th and 7th, so to be the club that breaks away from that would say a lot. Which player stands out at someone who helped achieved your current position this season?

D: Richard Dunne. He has come in and replaced Martin Laursen and done itsuperbly. Fantastic defender.

STR: I was expecting you to say Young, Milner or Agbonlahor to be honest, as they’re the players that tend to steal the headlines, but there’s no doubting the former City skipper has come in and done a great job (just look at my fantasy football team!). How long do you think you can keep Young for?

D: Webcam will stay for as long as he believes we are progressing. For a club like us, we need to progress for players to want to stay and it is understandable. But if he keeps getting better and we stop progressing and someone comes in for him, can he be blamed for wanting to go to a bigger club?

STR: Speaking of people leaving Villa for a bigger club, Martin O’Neil is often mentioned as one of the potential managers to replace Sir Alex Ferguson. My personal preference is for Laurent Blanc but do you think O’Neil could cut it at United?

D: I really do think this is a question you should ask your own supporters and I will be bringing it up in my daily post tomorrow, to see what your fans think.

STR: Gareth Barry fancied himself as someone capable of moving up to a bigger club, yet instead opted to play for City. How have you got on since he left?

D: Gareth who? He was a decent player but he was slow, couldn’t track back or tackle and really only had a left foot and I’ve said this for years, not just since he left. A decent player for sure, but we got the best deal with him going to Man City.

STR: Who got the best deal for Fabian Delph? We were linked to the lad but he hasn’t appeared to hit the ground running in the Premiership with Villa. Was he worth the money?

D: It is impossible to say at the moment, but I am a big fan. He has vision and is not frightened of trying things. With a little more time and confidence these things will start to come off and players around him will learn. He has bags of potential and we need to nurture it and not try to change his natural game. He really could be a very special player. Ask me again in two season though, but I hope also by then, you will know if he was worth it or not.

STR: O’Neil seems to have done a decent job in the transfer market with Villa, so Delph has that on his side. If O’Neil could take any player from United, who would you want, aside from Rooney?

D: Given the choice, and taking everything into consideration, I’d take Berbatov. Say what you want about him, but the man is class.

STR: I wish all of our fans could see that! I’m a big fan of Berbatov so it’s nice to hear that fans of other clubs can see the class in him. What about your feelings on the teams at the top? Who do you want to win the league?

D: I hope you lot do. I don’t like Chelsea and dont think Arsenal have the balls and Liverpool are about to implode.

STR: How nice. I can feel the love in the room. Just to spoil that, does the thought of Federico Macheda give you nightmares?

D: It was horrible, but we learn by our mistakes. It is nice, in a way though, to see it appears to have just been his moment as we have heard little else about him.

STR: Be fair. He was only 17 when he scored that goal and he is only 18 now! It’s a bit premature to think that was the last you’ve heard of him! Anyway, more about United and Villa. What is your favourite ever Villa vs United game?

D: Dare I say it, 1994, but I hope to be able to say 2010 on Monday.

STR: And finally, what are your predictions for the final?

D: Only because you have so many players missing I am going to say us. If you were playing your strongest side, I’d be mad and I’m not convinced Sir Alex is going to even play your strongest available team on Sunday as he has more important things to think about. I also think he has a soft spot for Villa, which in no way will mean he doesn’t want to win, but we are not Manchester City – he doesn’t want to stop us winning sivlerware as much as he didn’t want them winning some.

STR: Good stuff. It should be a good game, with Villa up for it, but after our 10 man performance against you the other week, I think we’re right to be fairly confident. May the best team win, but failing that, come on United!

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.

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  1. KungFuKick says:

    calling SOMEONE berbahater is not insulting.
    But calling MAN UTD FANS, who simply don`t appreciate the player`s attitude or passion on the pitch, berbahaters can be very insulting mate.
    alright berbalovers

  2. KungFuKick says:

    AIG @ 17.22 to King Eric
    “…You have every right to give your opinion.As you said the other week certain opinions of ours will upset certain people. Dosent mean we should stop having opinions.”

    talking so much about having your own opinions… then can`t these fucking berba haters have their own opinions about berbatov??
    why can`t those who criticize berba have their opinions respected?
    why these Man utd fans need to be called …….haters when they express their opinions on this blog??

  3. Doghouse says:

    I like Villa, they’ve got a lot of heart. They are a long way out of their financial weight division and they are doing good things. Not great things, not yet, but O’Neil, like Moyes, gets everything out of his team. That said I hope we put them to the sword. Get a little something in the trophy cabinet.

    As for City they get the weekend off* to think about how much they suck and will probably have found some new reasons by Monday.

    *No way City are going to put in any sort of a show against Chelsea. It must make them so sad that they can only gift them the three points. If Chelsea go at them I reckon they’ll easily get four, maybe more.

  4. aig alex is god says:


    No player will be picked if he dosent give everything on the pitch or dosent have the right attitude. SAF wont tolerate that.

    Not that i love Berbatov or anything like that. Totally agree that he has to do better but he has done well of late and this constant slagging of his can take a backseat at least when he is doing well. he was pretty good on Wednesday.It always will be better if we start getting behind our players rather than slagging them. It can make a difference at times.

    I am sure King Eric didnt want to insult anyone or was doubting whether they are United fans

  5. Fred says:

    @King Eric – Berba-cultists, that’s right. Worshippers at the Church of Berbatology. :-D

    Has there ever been a player who divides opinion like Berbatov? The only reason I slate him so much on here is becuase there are poeple going around calling him a “King” and a “God” when he seriously doesn’t warrant such adulation. I was as excited as anyone when we signed him but the fella has been a big disappointment.

    It’s bizarre that another thread has deteriorated into the Berba-debate again. But then again, look at the very first post by AndyCR7. From the entire interview and all the topics Scott and Damian discussed, he zones in on the comment about Berbatov! This is typical behaviour of the Berba-cultists.

  6. aig alex is god says:


    Because at times people go overboard with their reactions. Why do we have to criticize players when they do well. I can understand when we dont play well.Now a days Berbatov is criticized even if he dosent play and we lose. That is what gets irritating. Every thread not related to Berbatov becomes a Berbatov slagging affair. Surely as fans do better than that

    Just me.I feel we should back every player till he is at United. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions.

  7. rooney the new king says:

    this is an interesting article on where would united be without rooney and this will suprise quiet a phew PPL including myself.

  8. aig alex is god says:


    agree with your post. The Berba topic is very divisive. At times it is a totally slagfest between fans which is disappointing to see

  9. Edge says:

    Just shut up about Berbatov already. All day everyday the same ‘argument’.

  10. rooney the new king says:

    Fred – well veron was more devided than berbatov. I was in the church of verontology I thought veron was just special shame he never did it at united

  11. King Eric says:

    Fred – Thats it mate the “church of Berbatology”. I don’t thionk for one minute he is a king or a god, not remotely but I do like the geezer. Anyway that is the last time I will mention him.

  12. King Eric says:

    RTNK – HI mate. Yeah but we HAVE got Rooney so the whole point of the discussion is moot. A pointless thread. Where would Barca be without Messi. Chav’s without Drogba, Pompey without Nugent. Oh hang on a sec.

  13. Costas says:

    @King Eric

    There’s nothing wrong with admiring a footballer. For some, Berbatov is a king because they like his style. It’s their right and they shouldn’t have to apologise for that or shut their mouths. And if someone doesn’t like him or doesn’t appreciate what he has offered, it’s their right too. That doesn’t make the former Berbatology followers and the latter Berbahaterology followers.

  14. shak says:

    Berba, I stand by wat I’ve always said n he ain’t proved my wrong yet. But he wears the united shirt so he’s got my support

  15. Fred says:

    I don’t want to give my prediction for the Final because this time last week I was on here hypothesising about us beating Everton and Chelsea dropping points to Wolves. I’m convinced I jinxed us so from now on I won’t make be making any predictions. Could try the old reverse-jinx but it’s too risky…

  16. Drew Vader says:

    Awwww I enjoyed the interview just because it took me back to that special goal and the brilliant celebration from Kiko. What a goal.

    I too have been worried by the absence of Kiko in the reserves games.

  17. Carew4ever says:

    Good luck on sunday hope you finish a close 2nd either way i think it will be a cracker .

  18. Drew Vader says:

    And did anyone see the highlights from the reserves this week? What a volley from Ctl Alt Deleat!! I like the belgian and he gave an interview after the match where he sounded like a good dude. I am kinda hoping he gets on the bench at least for sunday. But fuck me we have such a huge squad, I could say that about 10-15 players. Like Fabio!!

  19. Drew Vader says:

    And I would give the start to Foster on sunday. I mean, after this we only have league and champions league matches left for the season and I will consider those all to be must wins at this point. Therefore we need to have VdS in goal. So this is pretty much Ben’s last chance at getting off the bench all year. And then there is the matter of VdS signing that new deal…

    So give Foster, Ctl Alt Deleat and Rafael some minutes!!

    We can leave Obertan out in the cold. Don’t rate him. Hopefully he is just holding back and will prove me wrong.

  20. Drew Vader says:

    Oh, and I’ll quit rapid fire posting after this one…

    Costas mate, hows it going?? Im glad to see you are keeping safe and staying out of all that crazyness going on in Greece. Let us know how you’re doing

  21. redscot says:

    Off topic, Sorry Lads.I feel genuinely very very sorry for all Loyal Pompey fan’s It just makes me think what misery they must be feeling.Two year’s ago the height’s they reached, and the calamity they now face.
    However there is one very interesting common denominator here in my humble opinion.
    I am not causing a slur,just an observation I am sure many other lad’s have thought the same thing.
    Think Southampton, West Ham and obviously Portsmouth.I like Arry Rednaps demeanour,but mismanagement seem’s to follow him around.
    I seem to recall allegation’s involving him and Sam Allardice, something to do with football agent’s and Bung’s.We all love a cheeky cockney type character though eh, just not sure if the Man I am describing is more Del boy or Trigger.
    Anyhow good luck Portsmouth, hope to see you back 2011/2012.

  22. bchilds says:

    Nice on Scott, I do enjoy the ‘View from The Enemy’ reads!

  23. Costas says:

    @Drew Vader

    Oh hey mate. Good to see you post every now and then. I am good. I hope you are good as well. What crazyness you are refering to? We have plenty over here! The economic one? Our country’s shape resembles that of Portsmouth’s. :D

    Interesting points about Sunday. I also like Ritchie a lot. After the Fulham game he fell off the radar, but he didn’t do a lot wrong there. Choosing him instead of Hargo in our C.L squad was the right thing to do.

    I believe Sir Alex is also undecided about the goalkeeper. VDS is our number 1, Foster got some action on Tuesday and Tom Kuszczak did we ll for us last month. In fact he saved our necks in his last game at Birmingham. Here’s the team I would play:

    Kuszczak – Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra(i wish Fabio wasn’t injured and he could guve poor Pat a rest!) – Valencia, Gibson, Fletcher, Park – Rooney, Owen.

    I think Owen has played a bigger part than Berbatov in the campaign and deserves to start.

  24. Gee says:

    @ King Eric

    Alright mate, I was just reading the posts today and was thinking you have been getting loads this week too lol!! It’s funny that people are taking offence at the berbahaters comments, some proper backlashing!! Berba is becoming Utd’s version of fucking marmite lol!!

  25. King Eric says:

    Gee – Hi mate. Yeah I know, perhaps I need to change my tone but I can assure people I NEVER set out to upset or offend them.

    As for the game on Sunday I think United’s experience will tell. It is a HUGE game for the Villa lads and will they handle the pressure of a final at Wembley?

  26. Drew Vader says:

    I just thought I saw that there were riots going on in Greece. But I am quite literally on the other side of the world here in Houston so I might have been mistaken.

  27. Costas says:

    @Drew Vader

    Oh that. The riots are connected to the economic crisis. The Greek governement is forced to take many unpopular measures to deal with the country’s debt and the unions are reacting. It happens all the time…

    I actually thought you were from England. Houston sounds great though!

  28. UNITED4life says:

    i am not worried about the result after all it cc. we did great to make sure city is no where near wimbley atleast for this year. what worry me is enjury ans suspention. if we avoid both on sunday i will have nothing to complain.

  29. Gee says:

    @ King Eric

    Na it’s your opinion mate!!

    It’s a big match for us to I think pal coz it might give us that extra push to finish the season with bigger trophies. Villa will give us a good game tho, looking forward to it!!

  30. rooney the new king says:

    King Eric – well that really does intrigue me that chelsea would be worser off than arsenal and united without their key player. What would even more inrigue me is where would chelsea be without cech terry carvalho and cole, well we have had evra all season so that cancels out cashley.

  31. rooney the new king says:

    na villa are a overated and poor side, I dont see what the fuss is with them they were lucky against united

  32. manchuchu says:

    I’d play Owen over Berbz. He’s hungry, he really hasn’t put a foot in wrong. Only not being given enough time to start. I’m not saying Berbz hasn’t shown he’s hungry but between the two I think Owen still has a lot to prove and hasn’t really been given the opportunity to fully showcase that.

    He comes off as a sub and puts one away in less than 10 minutes. That has to count for something.

  33. sumzredarmy says:


  34. shaktardonetsk says:

    hey costas i think we saw you at shudehill coach station? was that you in the light blue balaclava?

  35. CroneKills says:

    Same old argument, same old comments – regarding Berba. I like how this turned into a “Do I like Berba?” session. United winning on Sunday will do wonders for the squad regarding a 2nd wind and confidence for the rest of the season. Don’t forget that SAF is greedy as hell for trophies…

  36. Wazza says:

    Bolt speaks out ahead of the clash:

    Though I must admit I disagree with him about berba..


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