New for 2014, we bring you our ‘fan of the fortnight’ feature. First into the hot-seat is Jeff Goodby from Longleat.
In Cilla Black style, what’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Jeff and I’m from Longleat in Wiltshire. I’ve been a Somerset boy almost all my life.
When and how did you come to support Villa?
I proudly inherited my love of Villa from my father. Both my dad and his dad used to watch from the Holte and Witton ends. My father’s side of the family are all Brummies through-and-through so it was a natural thing for me to do. I am a firm believer in heritage and loyalty so being in the Holte where previous generation have been feels very special to me. I plan to get my son following the Villa as soon as he’s ready!
Since we are in panto season, who is your all-time Villa hero and your Villan?
Being a goalkeeper in my earlier years, it has to be Nigel Spink. Even now he is still Villa and proud. He was a great goalkeeper and although everyone remembers his finest hour in the European Cup it’s his nineteen years’ service that’s remarkable.
I honestly can’t say I have an absolute Villan. There have been many players who haven’t given their best for the club but if I was pushed I would say Martin O’Neill for walking out on us when he did. He could have worked through the differences and issues; he’s achieved next to nothing since then.
Describe your proudest moment as a Villa fan.
Every game, when I slide on those colours, still means the world to me and getting my first season ticket this year was special. It felt like I “belonged” after that.
With regard to a game, it has to be Sunderland last season. Villa Park and the Holte were just amazing that night.
Describe your darkest hour as a Villa fan.
The FA Cup final versus Chelsea. We had a day from hell that day and the performance was so poor that it sits heavy even now.
What are your thoughts on Lambert and the current state of affairs in B6?
I find the club in a state of flux at the moment – trying to run itself on a budget and survive while other clubs of similar size and stature are extending themselves. The culture at Villa is not connected with the reality of the harsh league we play in. While it’s a lovely pipe dream to achieve greatness with youth, it just isn’t working out and, as much as I hate to admit it, seeing clubs like Everton, Newcastle and Southampton progressing is very painful. It should be us.
Paul Lambert is working under heavy restrictions and I can see the value in the arguments that his hands are too tied for him to be effective. However, I find his stubbornness and lack of playing style equally worrying and there is a definite issue here too. He is the manager and the football style and tactics are his crosses to carry.
Money is no object and you can sign one player for Villa this January. Who would that signing be and why?
Ross Barkley – a traditional fighting midfielder with speed and talent. He never gives in and battles hard. They seem to be a dying breed these days but they rip open defences with their aggressive movement and talent.
What should Lambert’s New Year’s resolutions be?
To look beyond one dimension and not to let stubbornness get in the way of progress.