The Twang are set to release their third album 10:20 on October 29th, so Football Burp caught up with the band’s front man Phil Etheridge for a hobnob about his beloved Aston Villa. First, though, check out this video for the LP’s lead single…
What do you think of the start Paul Lambert’s made?
You know what, it’s such a new team that we’ve got to give it time. I think we’ll be okay, and that people who say we’re going to go down after seeing one game on Match of the Day are mad. I don’t know why he’s not playing Darren Bent, though. The thing about Villa is that we’ve sold an England midfield, you know – James Milner, Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Gareth Barry. That midfield would have been one of the best in the league so you’ll struggle if you lose those players.
Do you like the look of Karim El Ahmadi and Christian Benteke?
I like the look of El Ahmadi but I’m not one hundred per cent sure on Benteke. If he’d scored that header against Tottenham Hotspur when it was still 0-0, it would have been a different game. I think Bent would have scored that – it was an open goal, really. He’s just a big striker, isn’t he? Lambert must see something in him, though.
Do you think Charles N’Zogbia will ever come good?
That’s a weird one, isn’t it? You’d think he’d have been an ideal replacement for what we need, the supply, and I don’t know why he hasn’t come good. He promises to – I saw an interview with him not that long ago where he was saying he was going to turn it around, but we’ll see.
Which of the youngsters have stood out for you?
I like the look of Joe Bennett. Barry Bannan and all of them have to come good, haven’t they? Otherwise they’ll end up dropping down leagues. I think Fabian Delph could come good. It’s hard to tell, because none of them look like a Rooney in waiting, straight away “he’s class”, know what I mean? That Bennett looks good, though.
Do you remember the first game you ever went to?
I can’t! I’ve been going all my life, as has my granddad and everyone. I remember I was quite young when we played Inter Milan – they had Dennis Bergkamp playing for them, and Ray Houghton scored for us. I remember Bergkamp was the only one of the Inter team with white socks, so I must have been quite young for something that stupid to stay in my head! It was probably just tape. That wasn’t definitely one of my first games but it’s one that I can remember.
What about a best and worst game?
I’ve been to Wembley quite a few times with the Villa – when we beat Manchester United 3-1 in the 1994 Coca-Cola Cup final, that’s one of my favourites, but the semi-final against Tranmere Rovers at Villa Park which we won on penalties was amazing. We were all on the pitch, it was mental. That was when the Holte was still standing – I remember standing on this little white wall. That game was emotional, a few tears. I also watched us beat Leeds United 3-0 in the 1996 Coca-Cola Cup final, and beat Bolton Wanderers in an FA Cup semi-final.
Losing to Chelsea in the final after that, the last ever final at the old Wembley would be one of the worst ones. There was just no magic that day. It was a really long drive home. It’s rubbish when you lose at Wembley.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team comprised of players you’ve seen in your time as a Villa fan, who would you pick?
Peter Schmeichel, Paul McGrath, Paul Merson, Gordon Cowans and Dean Saunders.
Phil Etheridge, thank you.
The Twang’s third studio album 10:20 will be released on 29th October. For more information, please visit www.thetwang.co.uk