Today, against the backdrop of supporter discontentment, Aston Villa’s PR team had the dubious brainwave of doing a Twitter questions session with Villa left-back Joe Bennett using the #askbennett hashtag.
After being on the sidelines for most of the season, Bennett has been finding his feet back into the Villa fold despite stiff competition in the left-back spot from Ryan Bertrand and Antonio Luna.
So, for a player looking to build his confidence, was it really a good idea to feed him to the Twitter trolls?
Some of the questions were standard, some were abusive, while others were actually funny. Nobody’s interested in the abusive ones.
The Villa website published the answers to the standard ones and MOMS was lucky enough to have received an email from Bennett with his answers to the more funny ones.
Not happy that Villa had censored out his sense of humour, he wanted to make sure Villa supporters got more of an insight into his personality.
Question: On average how long does it take you to pick yourself up and go again?
Joe Bennett: Good question. As you’ll realise now, the whole team is really good at it. It’s always the most tricky thing to do in football, but we’re lucky at Villa to have a manager who specialises in it and is perhaps the best at it in European Football. We’ve got it down to an art form now, so I just hope Villa qualify for the Champions League soon to show the rest of Europe really how to ‘pick yourself up and go again’!
When you signed for Villa did you know they traditionally were not the kind of club who nearly got relegated every season?
JB: Yes, but that’s the beauty of the manager’s ‘project’. We’re trying some new things to break old boring traditions at the club. The gaffer is all for making things more exciting for Villa fans. Who wants to be just mid-table? Boring!
Who is this Helenius? I’ve heard mentioned from time to time.
JB: At the start of the season, we had no idea he was actually in the squad. I’d seen him around at Bodymoor, but I thought he was just there to hand-out and collect the training bibs and pass around the Lucozade. It wasn’t until he paid that Spurs player some cash to pull his shorts down, so he’d make all the papers the next day, that the penny dropped he was actually a fellow Villa player. That boy’s got a career in PR when he hangs up his boots!
If a bear took a sh*t in the woods… would it get more game time than Helenius?
JB: Funnily enough, that’s what I thought Nickolas was actually going to do on the Villa Park pitch when his shorts came down against Spurs!
Question: On a scale of one-to-ten how effective are Ashley Westwood’s clipped corners?
JB: I’d have to go for a three-and-a-half at best.
Why are we so inconsistent?
JB: Huh? I thought we were very consistent…
Just wondering Joe, who do you prefer? Holly Willoughby or Fearne Cotton?
JB: They’re both old enough to me my mum, aren’t they? They’ve both been knocked up too, so sorry, not interested.
Do the lads play pranks on each other and who had the best one?
JB: Normally, we’re quite serious and hard-working in training, but when it comes to the 90 minutes of a match, we really like to cut loose and have a laugh because at least the fans can enjoy our humour then. The best one? There’s so many to chose from. Tonev’s shooting always makes me laugh, as does Ciaran’s marking, but for me Nathan was hilarious all through the game against Stoke. OK, he might be a bit too slap-stick for some tastes, but I thought it was a real comedy masterclass. A real highlight of the season. Fair play to him.
Can you tell me which member of the Jackson Five Ryan Bertrand is?
JB: Well, I’ve been round Ryan’s house and he doesn’t have a pet monkey or a kid’s theme park in his backyard, so he’d have to be one of the other four that couldn’t sing.
Do you think the club signing Ryan Bertrand permanently will limit your playing opportunities next year?
JB: As if they’re going to afford him! LOL.
Are you 100% sure you’re not right-footed?
JB: When I played for Middlesborough I was never quite sure which foot was my best. I just assumed I was two-footed. The Villa boss told me I was a lefty when I signed for Villa, but after the recent Fulham game I’m not so sure.
You know some of us love you right? In a totally, non-creepy, non-stalker type way.
JB: Yes. The lads keep telling me I’m quids in to be the Supporters Player of the Year. I’m not one to get carried away with things like that, but they reminded me that Stephen Ireland also won it after just one decent game against Chelsea, a couple of seasons go. So, I’m clearly in with a shout.
Would you rather be attacked by one horse-sized duck or 10 duck-sized horses?
JB: Is the rest of the Palace team the same size as Barry Bannan? If so, I might be in a better position to answer that question after Saturday’s game.
So it has been a year since Thatcher kicked the bucket, are you still happy?
JB: To be honest, I didn’t know too much about her politics as she was really before my time. But her hair…I think that could be my next style. I might get that done for the last game against Spurs, in the spirit of the Villa supporters’ fancy dress themed final away day of the season.
In training, who is the fittest of of all your teammates?
JB: I quite fancy Andi Weimann. He also has a sexy accent.
Is it true Grant Holt piles his plate up then eats your leftovers after in the canteen?
JB: Not any more. He’s been on a strict diet since Christian got injured. It’s paid off too with his goal against Fulham. He does say he can’t wait until the end of the season though! LOL
Why did you try that idiotic back pass on Saturday you moron?
JB: Who you calling a moron? You obviously haven’t got a sense of humour Rob! See my earlier answer, it’s all part of the banter and pranks the lads like to play on each other during games. I did it just for bit of harmless fun to wind-up the midfield and get a bit of noise going at Villa Park.
Who spends more time doing their hair before the game instead of worrying about defending, you, Clark or Baker? Bet it’s you.
JB: We’re all very worried about our defending. In terms of hair, it has to be Baker, because he’s also got that whole ginger beard thing going on.
What matters more your hair or dog?
JB: My hair is my dog.
A Venglos View is a satirical (and sometimes surreal) look at the Villa. And just to spell it out to some people, some of it, believe it or not, is actually made up. Check out other Venglos View‘s