We spoke to Tammy Abraham this week as he discussed a wide array of subjects as part of our One on One feature series.
Check out the Q&A below.
Q] Has Aston Villa lived up to expectations?
Yes definitely – it’s surpassed it.
I knew what a big club it was and when I joined it was a case of appreciating that and settling in as quickly as I could.
That’s what I have done.
The lads here are really tremendous – there’s a fantastic buzz around the place – and they’ve helped me get used to my new surroundings.
I have to give fans lots of credit as as well as the players, to be fair. Their backing of me has been very heart-warming and they have offered me great support, the club great support and you can’t underestimate how much they are helping.
Q] How impressed have you been with John Terry as a coach?
It’s still weird seeing him as a coach, I’ve got to be honest – but I think he’s made a great start.
He encourages everyone. He’s a great presence around the training ground and sets very, very high standards. You can’t underestimate that.
Everyone looks up to John Terry.
Q] What’s been your favourite Aston Villa goal to date?
I’d pick the goal against Birmingham City – even though it was a penalty.
You could just feel how much that meant to everyone.
That derby atmosphere was crazy. I loved playing in that game.
I also would have to select my first goal against Rotherham because that got me up and running for the club.
Q] Discuss Dean Smith – how good is the boss?
The key for me with Dean Smith is that he knows what he wants – how he wants his team to play.
We’ve kept the ball well, been on the front foot, moved it well, made good runs off the ball, created chances and goals – and everyone wants to get involved.
It’s a very positive way he wants to play and we’ve been delivering that for him.
He’s great with the players too – he knows what they need at any given moment – he’s a good man-manager and is very encouraging.
Q] Your first name is Kevin – why do you use Tammy?
Tammy is my middle name.
I have just been called that one since I can remember.
Q] Who’s the best player you’ve ever played with – and against?
Playing with, I’d go for Eden Hazard.
He’s just so clever. Jack Grealish reminds me of him, actually – it’s the way they effortlessly dribble and use their body so very well.
They are so tough to tackle – one minute you think you’ve got the ball and then they put their body in there so quickly.
He’s so smart. He has a low centre of gravity, turns rapidly, gets goals and assists for fun. Those kind of players are ‘one in a lifetime’.
The best player I’ve played against is Neymar.
He’s so exciting to watch.
I remember being on the halfway line with him and I was just starstruck watching him – I was supposed to be tackling him!
If we’re talking about defenders I’ve played against, I’d go for Mats Hummels.
His experience is fantastic. He’s not the quickest but he’s always in the right place at the right time – his timing is impeccable. He’s so, so smart.
Q] What was your initiation song here – and who’s been the worst so far?
My choice was Boyz 2 Men and ‘End of the Road’. I was reasonably happy with my performance.
The worst I’ve seen was a few weeks ago – Dominic Revan. His was pretty bad, you couldn’t tell he was singing!
Q] How much do you want to be part of England’s bright future under Gareth Southgate?
I’ve always dreamt of playing with the England first team.
I’ve already got my first cap and now it’s about pushing for that regular place in the squad, getting into the set-up and playing more games.
Q] Diego Costa looked a terrifying character – what was he like to work with?
He was so, so entertaining.
I just remember sometimes during training when the gaffer was speaking to us as a group and he’d be running off, kicking balls, scoring goals into empty nets and celebrating.
Everyone is like ‘the gaffer is talking, Diego’.
He was an interesting character but a good guy too.
Q] How crazy was the Forest game to play in?
I can’t even put that game into words – it didn’t feel real.
We were 2-0 down but it never felt like the game was gone – at any point.
Then the goals kept flying in. It felt like a training match at times.
I thought it was probably a fair result at the end of the day.
Q] Which Young Lion has impressed you the most?
I have played against quite a few of them before – the likes of Callum O’Hare.
There are a lot of good players here. We’ve got Cal, Dom, Jake to name just a few.
When they come up to the first team group, they train very well and I’m sure the gaffer will be keeping his eye on them.
Q] No-one here has scored 20 league goals since 1981 – can you do it?
Yes, I think it’s a target.
I’ve always said that I believe in myself – and I believe in my ability to score goals.
I’m on 11 already so I’m not doing too bad.
Hopefully I can reach that milestone.
Q] Axel Tuanzebe’s progress – discuss?
He’s done brilliantly at centre-back.
He has all the attributes you need – he’s quick, strong, powerful and reads the game brilliantly.
He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He never seems to get caught out.
That’s a huge asset – allied to the pace he has if he ever does find himself out of position.
We’re all proud of him, proud of his progress. At his age, too, he will only get better – and I’m sure he’s learning a lot from playing next to James Chester.
Q] Give us one example of strong team spirit in the dressing room here?
Before we go out for every game, we always play one song and the boys stand up and are all happy, buzzing, getting into the right mood for the game – some players sing the lyrics.
I’m not going to reveal which one it is. But that song gets us all together. It’s the dressing room anthem.