THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DUGOUT
In Everton manager David Moyes’ press conference for the Villa game, the questions seemed to concentrate on Everton’s fine 1-0 win against Manchester United in their opening game. He didn’t actually get much chance to talk about Villa.
New regime at Aston Villa with Paul Lambert, how do you think he’ll get on?
It is a big job for Paul, but I’m sure he’s aware of it, but Aston Villa is a great club, a big club and once he gets his teeth into it he will be fine. He did really well at Colchester, he did well at Norwich and he’s got a big club to work with now. Given time and the chance, he’ll make Aston Villa into a really strong club.
How do you see Villa at the moment?
Villa have had a young team for quite a while. They have had some really good young up and coming players coming through the Academy set-up they have there. So it is definitely a transitional period at Villa. It was last season when Big Alex was there and now with Paul taking over this year.
It’s a great ground, supporters like going there and players like playing there…
Yeah, it’s a great ground. It’s a bit like Goodison. It’s the sort of ground you’d see semi-finals and big games at…they had the charity shield final there a couple of weeks ago.
But it’s been an unhappy hunting ground for Everton (Everton’s last victory at Villa Park was 3-1 in February 2005), will it be time for a change of luck?
There’s no easy place to go in the Premier League.
Below a lot more detail from Everton’s captain Phil Neville, as compiled from Everton’s official website.
“Villa Park is one of my favourite away grounds and I don’t think we’ve won there in the last seven games. It’s a tough place to go for Everton. But I think we’ll kick ourselves if we don’t follow on the form we showed on Monday.
Obviously when you beat a top team like Manchester United, it gives you confidence. There’s been a buzz about the place this week and to be honest with you, we all had a feeling before the game that we had a chance of winning. We didn’t see it as a fluke.
Sometimes when a top team comes and you’ve not beaten them for a long time, you’re surprised. But I think our form is good and we’re a strong team – it’s just about us showing that.
It’s their [Villa’s] first home game of the season with their new manager. They’ve got young, hungry players. They’ve got a young squad. I know they’re in a little bit of a transition, but when you put young players in there, you never know what you’re going to get. But you also know that you’re going to be up against a tough team.
But away wins are vital. Back when I first started my professional career, a draw away from home was probably what you aimed for when going to a place like Villa. But now, the way the Premier League is going, three points is a necessity. You’ve got to go out and attack.
You saw it in the first week of the season and all of last season. There’s a much more attacking feel to the league nowadays. That’s because there are quicker players, players with better technique and teams are setting out systems to go and win games rather than to go for the draw.
We go into every game to win it. We’ll go from a strong solid foundation like we always have – that’s our strength – but with the attacking players we have got – and we’ve got options on the bench as well – we’ll be going all out for the win.”
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