A Few Best Men's Kris Marshall Talks About His Team: Aston Villa!
Why Aston Villa?
My Dad is a proud Nottingham Forest fan and around 1981 he took me to see Forest play Aston Villa. I was there at the age of seven to be introduced to supporting Forest, but top my dead’s dismay, I preferred the other team and I’ve supported Villa ever since!
It was to be the 1982 European Cup. I’d only been supporting Villa for about six months by then, so I assumed that Villa were a team who always won everything. Needless to say, I’ve been taught that’s not the case ever since! The club has been on a slow decline ever since then, although good old Big Ron Atkinson did his best to pick things up by winning the League club in 1994, following Brian Little doing the same two years later, but apart from them, despite being a massive club – Villa haven’t come close to winning anything since!
It has to be last season when I was at Old Trafford surrounded by jumping jubilant Man United supporters. United hadn’t even played that well but still won 4-0. We were terrible and looked like a lower league side, so it was very depressing especially as we were moving closer and closer to relegation.
It has to be Peter Withe who scored the winning goal in our 1982 European Cup Final victory over Bayern Munich. I also really liked Paul Rideout who was most famous for his time with Everton, but was a top striker for us in the early eighties. Of recent times, Ashley Young was a really exciting player who had the ability to turn a game on its head.
Over the past few years we’ve had more than our fair share of dud players. At the moment I think Alan Hutton isn’t the greatest player to wear the shirt. In fact, he’s been dreadful for us. If you’re reading this Alan, sorry mate!
I like to sit in the Holte End as it’s the noisiest part of Villa Pak. There are quite a few chants going on in there – but the chant of “We’re going down” last season tickled me, as it had more than a little element of gallows humour to it.
It has to be Birmingham City. I don’t feel pure hatred for them but it is fair to say in general, the rivalry between fans isn’t exactly pleasant! My worst memory of a derby was when ex-Villa keeper Peter Enckelman let a throw-in slip under his foot and into the back of the net. If that wasn’t bad enough, a fan then ran on to the pitch and gave him the w*nker sign right up in his face! You’ve got to love the Brummies!
Player you’d most like to sign?
I know we could really do with another striker, but I would love Paul Lambert to sign Rafael van der Vaart. He’s a classy player who I think would lay on loads of chances for Darren Bent.
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