Date: 7th December 2007 at 12:03am
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What made you support Villa mate?
JP Fear: Same as the other guys, my dad. First match I went to was 1977, I’ve not left since. We lost to the Toffees and I’ve never forgiven them.

Deanovilla: My Dad. It was either that or be a homeless child.

was_danrenshaw: My Dad, didn’t have a choice and was down Villa Park by the age of 2 and haven’t been able to leave since.

Are you happy with how your season is going so far?
JP Fear: I think so, there are the usual grumbles, nothing is ever really good enough unless you are top is it?! But we are hopefully in transition and building. If not for a very poor transfer window, I think we’d have been doing far better though.

Deanovilla: Indifferent. While the league position is beyond all expectations we still aren’t playing amazingly well. I suppose points are all that matters though and the fact we are giving the big guns a game without being brushed aside (Man United excepted).

was_danrenshaw: Hmmm (pause) Yes and No if you had asked me 3 games ago I would have said we aren’t doing as well as I would have liked but 3 games on and 3 away wins on the bounce we are doing very well. Performances haven’t been there but do you expect performances with a manager like O’Neil? I don’t think so, more let’s dig in attitude.

Martin O’Neill seems to be working his magic this season – how do you think he is doing?
JP Fear: Ask me in two seasons time. Far too early to judge at the moment, his man management appears to be second to none, the players are reacting to him, major question mark is his transfer activity but hopefully he’ll be with us for a very long time and build something special here.

Deanovilla: He certainly is a great motivator and gets the lads fighting for each other and performing possibly above expectations. Off the field his transfer dealings and contract negotiations are under question.

was_danrenshaw: Ok, simple as that not great in my eyes just yet, some of his signings for me need justification Harewood and Maloney spring to mind. I’ll have a better opinion of him come April May time. No right back has left us rather short and that needs to be addressed pretty sharpish.

How do you rate his signings so far?
JP Fear: Hit and miss. Ashley Young is a star, great signing, don’t care how much he cost! To get Scott Carson on loan was good, although I didn’t think a club of our size should really be loaning players. However it looks like we can now buy him so that is great. Stiliyan Petrov has frustrated, he has the skill but has struggled to settle. Recently he has been improving but unfortunately has now picked up an injury. John Carew is starting to look the part, hopefully he has now got over his fitness problems and has found his feet so to speak. Marlon Harewood… least said soonest mended. Curtis Davies hasn’t had a chance yet as Zat Knight has kept him out of the team. I thought Zat was an average purchase but what do I know?!

Deanovilla: Going into the season without a recognised right back at the club left a lot of people baffled. As for the people he has brought in, it’s been a pretty mixed bad. Young has been superb, as has Carson. Reo Coker, Knight and Carew have shown it in flashes, where as Harewood and Petrov have on the whole been awful. Davies, Harewood and Maloney hardly even get a game so you have to question why he signed them.

was_danrenshaw: Average, all a bit hit and miss Harewood and Maloney haven’t found their feet and Petrov after a season is getting there. Young is going to be a little gem, Carew in my eyes is no better than Baros, there is a few questions to be asked about his signings.

Will he need more in January – and will he get them?
JP Fear: Needs a right back, needs another TOP striker and basically anything else we can think of, might as well spend some of Randy’s money afterall! We do lack strength in depth.

Deanovilla: Yes, we definitely need a right back, maybe 2! I think he HAS to get one, whether it be the one he wants is another matter.

was_danrenshaw: A right back should and I would hope to be top of his list. We look dodgy down that side and that needs addressing. Another striker is needed as Luke Moore and Marlon Harewood are simply not good enough. 3 maybe 4 players are needed to get top 6. What worries me though is Martin didn’t set the world alight last summer so I won’t hold my breath!

Who is the Villa danger man that Pompey should watch?
JP Fear: I’d watch the whole pride of lions if I was Pompey, we have our confidence up. A month ago I’d have tipped you guys to win, now I’d say we are on the uppers. John Carew and Gabby will cause you problems and I doubt your defenders will be able to keep up with Ashley Young.

Deanovilla: Hard to choose one, as Agbonlahor and Young have been on fire all season, and Carew seems to be finding some form in the last 3 games also. If I had to plump for 1 I’d choose Gabby. He isn’t just about raw pace anymore his all round game is superb and he’s always likely to get a goal.

was_danrenshaw: Gareth Barry that player that didn’t want to leave Villa for you lot! Simple as that the lad has everything and is our Stevie Gerrard. Sol Campbell v Agbonlahor will be interesting as Campbell is slow as anything and Gabby is rapid can’t wait for that one. Oh and watch out for Young as well will be interesting to see.

How do you reckon Villa will go this season?
JP Fear: Any improvement on last season will be good, but I’d say we should towards the end of the season be pushing for 6th. I’m not saying we will get it, but we should be in the mix. A lot still depends on keeping our luck with the lack of injuries + a few signings in Jan to bolster the campaign.

Deanovilla: Top 8 would be fantastic but there’s no reason we can’t aim for 5th. After the top 4 I think there is a whole clutch of teams (yourselves included) who are all pretty evenly matched and I believe it will be all down to luck and injuries which of these teams finishes best of the rest.

was_danrenshaw: Top 6 I honestly think we will finish around that mark. I think the league is one of the weakest for yrs so many poor teams about it will make the fight for top 5 very more interesting and the game on sat is bigger than people think for these two clubs.

What about Pompey?
JP Fear: I’ve enough to worry about with Villa, you don’t expect me to start worrying about you guys as well do you?! I’d say top 8 is a cert.

Deanovilla: Again I think you’d be happy with top 8 but should be aiming for that 5th spot.

was_danrenshaw: What about them? Who are they?

If you could take any Pompey player from our squad and put him in yours, who would it be and why?
JP Fear: I see Matty Taylor is available, I wouldn’t mind him.

Deanovilla: Who is your right back? I’d take him whoever he is for the simple fact we don’t have one!

was_danrenshaw: That’s a tough one Kranjcar only cause he scored against the scum the other week.

Go on – who is going to win, Villa or Pompey?
JP Fear: It won’t be an easy game, but I think Villa will come out the winners 2-0. Enjoy the match mate, the journey home could well be a long and depressing one for you!

Deanovilla: With the run we are on with 4 wins on the bounce followed by defeat to Arsenal which still felt like a win because of the way we played I’m going to have to go for a Villa win. We have only lost 3 times at Villa Park this season and they were Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. Other than the big teams I always expect 3 points at home. 2-1 Villa.

was_danrenshaw: 2-0 Villa Gabby and Carew for us.

Questions answered by JP Fear, deanovilla and was_danrenshaw from Vital Villa.

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