From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

D-Day 5 Days to go: Views from both sides

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Derby matches mean the most to the fans, so today I’ve invited Blues fans from Small Heath Alliance message board to comment on these questions for me, as well as The Villa Blog owner Damian and fellow Villa fan Chris Frixou, who is a season ticket in Upper Holte, K4.

How do you think the Villa have done this season?

Damian: We’ve done okay so far. By the end of the season I might change that to ‘very good’, but a lot depends on our remaining results and the results of Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool

Chris: League Cup Final, F.A Cup Semi Final, dubious decisions in both that cost us dearly and still Villa fans are not satisfied. I think we have done exceptionally well, with 4th place still a possibility. We have played brilliantly in certain matches, only a sign of things to come.

Stevedog: Some top class moaning or as it’s known at Blues M’oning , apparently ref’s favour the big clubs, so by definition the neighbours aren’t one.

Barking Poslethwaite: Pretty much as expected. They haven’t slipped back and they haven’t pressed on. Without having very silly money to spend it’s difficult to see how upper-mid table teams like Villa and Everton are ever going to break through to the next level. I look forward to many more false dawns over Witton.

How do you think Blues have done this season?

Damian: I didn’t actually think you’d stay up so from where I’m sitting you’ve had an excellent season.

Chris: The Blues have also done exceptionally well, with their supporters probably being the happier out of the two rivals. They look like an established Premier League team now and look like on improving with McLeish. They have played with spirit, with results showing this.

Kym: In the main, I think Blues have had a fantastic season. We’re now suffering from tiredness and a dollop of overachievement, but we have broken the club’s record for unbeaten games, have the best home record in the league (including thwarting all of the current top six) and have been privileged to watch the development of the finest young keeper in the country.

Bluewing: Considering we’ve only finished higher than 9th on a couple of occasions in the last hundred years, outstanding but I feel with a bit more ambition Blues could have matched 1956. Actually think the premiership is overrated and outside the top 4, it is made up of some pretty mediocre teams and several poor ones.

What did you think of the first derby this season where Birmingham lost 1-0?

Damian: You came out and played not to lose and you nearly achieved your goal. It wasn’t the best match but the football doesn’t matter when we play you. Results are all that matters.

Chris: I thought the first derby this season was a drab 90 minutes of ‘football’. Both teams cancelled each other out in the middle of the park with no real conviction in the final third. It was inevitable that the game would be decided by the odd goal.

IPF: Very evenly matched game, settled by a well worked goal from a set piece. Pretty much Viler’s season and O’Neill’s career in a nutshell.

Mickeyfizz: It wasn’t a free kick

What are your predictions for Sunday
Damian: It doesn’t matter what happened before this match to either team or what rests on this match, in terms of league position and form goes out the window. It really does come down to who wants it more and with
our support, I can’t see anything other than a home win and with our defensive record this season, I can’t even see you scoring.

Chris: It is extremely difficult to predict a derby, especially when both teams are doing so well. Form also goes out the window; but with Villa’s pace and home advantage, I predict the score to be 3-1 to Villa

number8: I hate these games and always fear the worst, I just don’t want another public spanking like last time there. We are owed a performance – even if we lose, it had better be hard fought.

Spike: Two sides not in the greatest form…I’m hoping our players make up for the shambles last time we played there and with the right team selection see no reason why we couldn’t at least draw.

What next for the Villa?
Damian: Randy Lerner is going to pump in more money to buy the two or three players we need to kick on and really challenge for a top three place and next season we will continue to watch our football develop.

Chris: Next for the Villa, I think it is imperative that Martin O’Neill signs an out and out 20 goal a season striker. Robbie Keane springs to mind. We also need a more attacking playmaker with a bit more flair as well as a natural right back as Carlos Cuellar cannot play there to save his life.

What next for the Blues?

Barking Poslethwaite: Not a clue. I think we are still very much at the crossroads. The recent run of form has shown us up for the very average side we are, aided and abetted by some wilfully bizarre teams selections. The owners seem to be either suing or being sued by everybody they have had dealings with and I think there may be some real worries as to how secure the promised transfer kitty is. This is a massive transfer window for McLeish; benefit of the doubt over January’s inaction will disappear if he doesn’t get the business done this summer. And there is a lot to do; I fear second season syndrome may hit us hard, but that’s because I’m a miserable sod.

*<):o)8 : Given some investment in the summer: consolidation in this league. Without that investment we are going to struggle. We have been incredibly lucky with injuries to a paper-thin squad this year, we can’t rely on that luck again

Thanks to everyone who answered questions for me.
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Written by Nicole Carroll

April 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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