Good afternoon and welcome to another Fannie Licker interview. For Fannie, herself, she is starting to get back to her old self and the weight is falling off her again although she still has a bit to go before she is back to the way she used to be. She is still without a boyfriend after the tragic hamstergate but claims that she doesn’t know if she could trust another guy and instead is thinking about becoming a nun. She has been to a couple of shops to try on nun outfits and she is happy that she looks good in the attire. Anyway, she will tell you a bit more about that I am sure as she is right gobby at times. So, here to introduce her next manager to be interviewed is the woman herself…… Fannie Lickerrrrrrrr.
Hey guys, Fannie’s here!! and I know how much you guys love Fannie!! I am losing weight again and if anyone wonders how I am doing it then it’s quite simple. I am not eating! I have not had anything to eat in five days and it is working an absolute treat. I am still a chubby girl but I do not give a shit. I am also young, free and single, well maybe not free so really I am young, £50 an hour and single!!! Seriously, I am off guys so much that I have been looking into entering a nunnery. As you can see below I have been checking out how I would look in a nun outfit and I hear that Versace make a wicked one.
So enough about me and it’s time for another Famous Fannie interview with a top manager in the TOP100 gameworld. Ok, a manager in the TOP100 gameworld. This week we have a manager who has had a good season but unfortunately fell short in the play offs. I hope that is all he falls short in, if you know what I mean 😉 haha. Anyway, I am delighted to tell you that today we have a guy that is very active in all things TOP100. Will you please welcome Aston Villa manager, Rahul W!!!!
Now before we get to the actual interview, here are some facts about Rahul in his personal profile –
RAHUL W – PERSONAL PROFILE
Full Name: Rahul Warrier
Marital Status: Single
Nickname: Warrier (my name’s too short for a decent nickname lol)
Favourite Sports teams: Man Utd, Tampines Rovers, Royal Challengers Bangalore
Favourite food: Greek/Italian
Favourite drink: Pepsi
Favourite band/singer: Coldplay/Banners/Stromae
Favourite all time song: Ghosts
Favourite Colour: Red
Favourite animal: Dogs
Favourite film: Number I like- no particular one
Your Car: Toyota Rush
Best Friend: My laptop
What phone do you have: iPhone 6
Best sport to watch: Cricket/football
What scares you most: Insects (cockroaches)
Phone, iPad or laptop to play SM: laptop
Embarrassing moment: Can’t pinpoint
Ever won anything on the lottery: Nope
If you could have any job in the world what would it be: Football journalist travelling around the world
Who would you most like to meet (dead or alive): Virat Kohli
If you could attend any sporting event in the world what would it be: World Cup final of course
So now that you more a bit more about Rahul, it’s time to move on to the interview. Rahul deals with the interview very well but I would like to remind him that my face is up here and it wasn’t my tits that were asking the questions.
FL: Firstly, Rahul, commiserations on your failure in the play offs. How are the players taking the defeat to Shakhtar? Do you feel you should have won the game in regular time? Any player in particular that you feel should have done better?
RW: Thanks. The players are gutted and are down on themselves. It was a tough pill to swallow as we were close to direct promotion for most of the season. We did a Brighton rather than a Burnley, I knew it would come down to this and we were unable to pick ourselves up. Shakhtar were the form side with some real difference-makers and were just able to do it in the penalties. I do not know how we missed all our penalties though. We should have done it in regular time but it’s a game of fine margins and we lost the critical moments. Blame also goes to me, I messed up the tactics and the substitutions.
There is no point in moaning about though, I gave the boys a few days off to pick themselves up, before we had a team meeting. Unlike Louis van Gaal I do not send e-mails to players detailing their weaknesses. I have spoken with the squad as a whole and in private and they have reflected and are eager to work towards our goals for next season. Football is a team game and the blame is equally divided amongst all of us. It is disappointing but not the end of the road for the club.
FL: So how do you bounce back from this? Is it going to be a difficult job lifting the players for next season and do you think their might be a hangover from the defeat that could result in a slow start?
RW: Ha, hangovers are for the big clubs. The lads are motivated to do their utmost best next season and are fired by this season’s failure. I have given the main team a one week holiday to refresh themselves for the new season. They all flew away after the thriller vs Genoa on Sunday. The youth boys will play the next two games in order to prove themselves to me. It is also important to make sure the squad is not stale, and we will work in the off-season to improve the squad where needed.
FL: You have been in charge for two seasons now and you have been improving all the time. Villa were unlucky to miss out on the play offs in Season 1 and now you have improved by reaching the play offs. Is automatic promotion the target for season 3 and if you fail to reach Division 2 for the 3rd successive season will it be time for you to seek pastures new?
RW: Indeed. I was planning on moving on this season but the lack of available jobs persuaded me to stay. I’m also attached to Villa having been here since the start and moulded it to my own liking, as you can see there are only three original Villa players- Jordan, Idrissa and Jores. This season especially has seen our squad take shape into one for the future. I look forward to next season but I have set my own stipulation of qualifying for D2, failing which I will quit Villa in order for a new manager to take them to heights I was unable to take them to.
FL: What changes are you looking at for the squad? Players like Didier Drogba are not getting any younger and in fact Drogba is now 38. Have you spoke to Drogba about his future with the club? Does he actually have a future or are you planning next season without him?
RW: I have spoken with Didier during the season and will speak to him again over the next few days. He knows his time as a player is ending and though he is playing regularly, he wants to play as the lone man, rather than part of a four-pronged attack with Scocco, Derlis and Emenike. I can understand his concern and that he wishes to score more goals at a club that can provide him regular chances. It has been great working with Didier however and his partnership with Emenike nearly took us to D2. That was what he was signed for but unfortunately it did not result in the promised land. In all likelihood Didier will leave us but his relationship with Villa is great and he hopes to be back in a coaching capacity once he retires. Unlike at Stuttgart where he was unceremoniously kicked out, he commands respect at Villa Park. He will leave us but it should be stressed that an adequate replacement will be required. Belgium may be the place for him to go, but let’s see.
FL: Have the board given you any indication of how they feel about another season in Division 3 and do they think you are the man to take them forward?
RW: The board are currently in negotiations to settle the ownership of the club to Dr. Xia. They however expressed their disappointment at missing out on promotion. The club no longer need money with Dr. Xia’s arrival but prestige is what we want. I have yet to speak to Dr. Xia but the inkling from upstairs is that they fully trust me to do my job. They are aware my man and squad management ranks among the best and will stick by my side, however a mutual agreement has been agreed wherein I will leave Villa Park if we do not secure promotion next season.
A message to Dr. Xia however, is not to get involved with renaming the ground ‘Lotus Villa Park’ and giving our squad Chinese health products, this stems from genuine advice so that he does not end up like good ol’ Randy.
FL: How do you feel about the Regional Cup and the Youth Cup? Do these competitions make it tougher for the players to play to the best of their ability and are they competitions that put to much strain on your squad or do you think they help with the development of the younger players for example?
RW: I have contrasting opinions on this. The Youth Cup for me is something we have been working towards, and our youth squad is the best it has ever been. I find the Cup a great way for the boys to play and impress the gaffer, they also improve by getting competitive gametime. Last season the trip to the Bernabeu was a great experience for the boys even though we lost. I have no qualms with the Youth Cup.
The Regional Cup, however, was a nightmare for us last season as we got drubbed by the big sides as expected, and that did a great deal to squad morale. This is only affecting their confidence and fitness levels, I have not decided but I think we will skip the Regional Cup next season in order to lessen the burden of fixtures on the players.
The Cup and Shield are also a way for our reserves to get more game time, we advanced to the 4th round of both in S1 but went out in the 1st round in S2, I am not expecting much from these cups but we could ride our luck and go deep in the tournament. Promotion is the main target though.
FL: You made plenty of signings last season without spending a barrowload of money. Has the owner been pulling in the purse strings and not making the money, you would like, available or is it you refuse to pay big money for one player?
RW: At Villa Park sensible expenditure is the mantra. Of course we were more cash-strapped with Mr. Lerner but with Dr. Xia and the new TV deal, things look more bright. They allow for more leeway through which we can conduct our deals and look towards youths. It is not the cash of the owner not making the money available, however so far the players I would like to sign are either not available for cash or are too expensive. I would not want to sign a player for lot of cash if they do not fit the team ethos. Ruben Garcia was/is our record signing for 10mil and that was a deal that helped Levante with their finances. 10mil is a lot for an 87 rated midfielder, however the other deals we can conduct offset this loss. Zielinski, Derlis, Emenike and Topal spring to mind. Smart, shrewd dealing if I say so myself.
Our scouts have also got us some quality players like Hitz and Kone. We have managed to de-Villa this squad and re-build it using the external market, and then moving into the internal market. Going back to the question, it is more of me being prudent with dealings, whether it be with cash or players.
We now have money which we cannot spend because the market has inflated as a result of the new TV deal. But our financial situation is strong which is a sign of a growing club. I am proud to be part of this process.
FL: Is their anyone in your youth squad that has impressed you? Is there anyone that you think can break into the first team and that we should watch out for in the future?
RW: Our youth policy is aimed at bringing in players who could have a bright future at the club. We do not bring in players randomly as some other managers do, we instead rely on our trusted youth scouts in getting our young players in. We have recently strengthened for the Youth Cup. The club also has partnerships with Outside of the Boot, who we rely on to get under-rated youths, and the Football Association of Singapore, through which we were able to get Irfan Fandi, son of Singaporean legend Fandi Ahmad (who once played for Gronignen and scored in the UEFA Cup, and who could have played for Ajax- Cruijff had wanted him there). So as you can see, we take our youth policy seriously.
At the moment, we have a fair few youngsters who can make the step-up in the future, not yet however as competition is tight in the first team. They have players like Derlis Gonzalez to look up to, Derlis played for our youth squad last season and has grown into his role in the team, and is now a first-team regular. With more emphasis being placed in securing the future of this club, youth will always be a cornerstone of our success as we go into Season 3.
To look forward to, Jack Grealish, Remi Walter (joining in a couple of days) and Erick Gutierrez are some exciting young talents. Jack has been with us since the start and is the captain of our burgeoning youth squad. We have also recently promoted Andre Green from our academy, a pacy, skilful winger who I’m sure will do well in this club.
Like our old badge said, we are ‘prepared’ for the future!
FL: The final question is standard for all managers. If you could manage any club in the Top 100 who would it be?
RW: Tough question to answer. I am a fan of Manchester United, so I would love to manage them. I have turned down overtures from Leverkusen, Dortmund, City, Arsenal and Liverpool to stay at Villa. Was that wise? I don’t know, but I did not want to leave the project here in its infancy. I’d take most Division 1 clubs now except for Manchester City and Liverpool. More importantly though the project has to appeal to me more than anything else. I hope to get a shot at one of the big clubs one day.
FL: Thank you Rahul, you have been a wonderful guest and I can see that Aston Villa have a very intelligent and dedicated manager and I wish you the best of luck next season.
RW: Thanks for having me here, I am happy to spread awareness of the project at Villa and the difficulties in off-loading players like Micah Richards, . It is not the easiest of jobs in terms of player, but I believe in my ability as a manager and love it here. A great place and I will always remember Villa even if I leave for a bigger club.
So, Rahul is someone who knows what he wants and even if he hails to get promotion this upcoming season, I think there will be a massive bid to get him to stay on. From the owner all the way down to the fans know they have a fantastic managerial talent at their club and they will do everything in their power to get him to stay and lead Villa on to greater things.
That’s it for another Fannie Licker interview and Gino will be back next week with his blog and I believe he has plenty of news both on the personal front and the Liverpool front. So until I return in around a fortnight’s time I want to say thanks for reading and for making my series of interviews so successful. I wish everyone luck for the new season when it comes and I look forward to the next interview with a manager from the TOP100.
p.s. If you would like to be interviewed by Fannie and given the chance to spread the word about your club then send a PM to Gordon ‘Gino’ Kinnear and it will be arranged for you to come into the studio and meet Fannie.