During this off-season, I thought it would be good for me to go out there and talk to a fan of every Premier League club. I wanted to get their insight on how things went last season, what they are looking forward to in the transfer market and how they thought next season was going to go for them. This whole series, you will be able to find here. In case you missed part one, you can find it here, and part two you can find here.
For my first interview, I “sat down” with Louis Knight, a diehard Villan who’s 27 years old and has been supporting Aston Villa his whole life. If you would like to see more from him, you can find his Twitter account here. So, with that said, let’s get on with the next part of the interview:
The Interview, Part 3
Do you feel like Villa can keep hold of Jack Grealish? What about other stars like John McGinn?
LK: I don’t see any reason why we can’t keep hold of Jack, the question is: will a team come in with a bid that we can’t say no to? I think if we look at his career, he has already given us the performances we knew he would as a youngster I think after the Next Gen tournament (U-18 Champions League) & the Notts County loan, every Villa fan knew we had a star. McGinn, on the other hand, has already indicated he will stay. He’s just the player we missed when he was injured, and arguably was as big of a miss as JG. He took his time getting back to full fitness after lockdown, but you can see how special a player he is, he’s Scotland’s POTY.
If your club were to lose Jack Grealish, do you perhaps feel it might even benefit your club? As a change of tactics would most certainly come into effect, that focus on Grealish would be gone and I sometimes think that would perhaps allow other players to take a bigger role. What’s your take on this?
LK: I think, if Grealish is to go it’s going to be to better his career and we would receive a healthy transfer sum for him, and as you put it I definitely think that it could actually improve the football club. In an ideal world, we could go out and purchase maybe two or three players with those transfer funds, but then there is no guarantee that whatever Smith has had his plans would actually work. I think the priority is to keep Grealish and build a team around him, and if we can’t do that then we need to look at experience from the Premier League. As I said before, there is no replacing him per say, he’s a special player. I would like to think though that we have some characters in the dressing room that can definitely seize the opportunity to step up, not just by replacing the captain, but also becoming the main man for Aston Villa, which is a big job to take on, we are not a small club.
So, looking to next season, how do you think this squad will perform and what are your expectations for that? Do you believe the side is good enough to stay up again?
LK: I think, looking at next season, we will definitely stay up, but I think we will do so more comfortably and we will have stayed up before the last game of the season, at least that is my hope and wish. Fans sometimes have a complex, where they feel we are bigger than we are, or that we are going to automatically challenge for the title like Leicester City did when they escaped relegation. I think that 14th is definitely achievable.
Do you feel that Dean Smith is still the man to take your team forward, or do you believe that a change might eventually be in order?
LK: I do think Smith is the man for the long term, he’s a Villa fan, he has Villa in his blood. He has shown at times to be tactically naïve, but we all sit there as fans and think we can do a better job. The only way I see a change coming is if results aren’t going our way at the mid-point of the season. Our owners, and Purslow specifically, are not afraid to make those calls. But If somebody asked me in August: would you take a 17th place finish and a League Cup final? I would have bitten their arm(s) off.
Millsy: That all sounds great Louis, thank you again for agreeing to come onto Millsy’s View!
LK: No, thank you, it’s been a pleasure and cheers for having me!
So then, that concludes my fascinating interview with the brilliant Louis Knight. If you too enjoyed, feel free to give it a share or a retweet, or let me know if you have a view that you would like to express! To see more interviews like this, you can find them on my blog here, thanks for reading!
To see the rest of my interviews with Premier League fans, you can visit the page here.