We spoke to Jonathan Kodjia this week on a range of football topics.
Check out his answers below.
How good is Jack Grealish?
Jack Grealish is a wonderful player – but also a great guy.
He’s such a good footballer. He’s an Aston Villa fan, the supporters love him for that – and he also leaves his mark in every game.
I think in every match he proves his talent. He produces big moments. He always affects the game.
Hopefully we will see him back soon.
What was the feeling like to score in the derby match against Birmingham City?
I know that I lived the dream of every supporter.
Every fan sits and watches us in that match and imagines what it would be like to score against the big rival – I lived that dream for them.
It really was an unbelievable feeling. It makes the hairs stand up on your body.
I love scoring goals. Taking it further, I love even more to score at Villa Park. Taking it further even more than that, I scored at Villa Park in the derby match in front of a sell-out crowd, who were going absolutely crazy. I think that sums up my emotions perfectly.
I was so happy – the feelings go through my body.
But, thinking just about the match itself, it was an important goal because they could have been 2-0 up moments before when they hit the post. It was a big goal, which makes it even more special.
You seem like you’ve got a bromance going with Axel Tuanzebe?
That comes from our videos on Instagram!
It’s true – I have a good friend in Axel. I wish him well in his recovery from injury. I hope he’s back soon.
On a practical note, Axel speaks French. So it’s good for me to be able to communicate with him in that language at times.
We are very similar people. He’s a good guy. I really like him.
He’s good to be around – he has so much positive energy.
What was it like playing alongside Tammy Abraham at Bristol City – and how good is he?
When I played for Bristol City, I was only with Tammy for approximately one month.It was a short time together.
There was no real time to get to know him properly.
But he’s a good guy and a good striker. He’s showing that.
How much potential does the forward line have at Aston Villa?
Lots of potential!
We have Tammy, Anwar, Yannick, Jack, Albert – and there’s also John bursting forward to join in too.
There’s good attacking quality. Yannick and Anwar are tricky and explosive providers. Tammy and I are goalscorers.
Albert does both – as he showed last season. Jack has everything.
It’s a good threat to have in the Championship and we have to keep showing it every week. That’s our focus in the final part of the season.
Explain the nickname Jimmy Danger?
It started with my friend in Paris.
There’s a comedian called Jimmy Danger from Africa. My friend thought I was very similar to him in my personality and mannerisms and so that name has stuck.
The players call me Jimmy Danger too!
How upsetting was the Play-Off final defeat – and how determined to go up this season?
It was a very difficult moment and the emotion was raw – we wanted to go up for ourselves, for the staff, for the fans and, unfortunately, we couldn’t achieve it.
Now it’s a new start. We have Dean Smith here and his staff now.
There’s still 19 games to go. We have full focus on going up.
We want to get to the Premier League. That’s the goal of everyone.
How proud to play for Ivory Coast?
It’s important for because my mother and father are from the Ivory Coast.
I was actually born in France but my origins are very much the Ivory Coast.
Who was your football hero as a boy?
He was a world-class striker. He had everything – pace, power, the ability to score every kind of goal.
He won everything, too – Champions League, League Championship, FA Cup, League Cup.
Of course, he played for the Ivory Coast, too!
What is Yannick Bolasie like?
He’s a big player for us – and a big personality.
Yannick has huge experience – he’s played in the Premier League for many years.
It’s good to hear him speak about his experiences. He has an interesting story.
Also, he has a very good mentality – he is a winner.
On the pitch, he’s crazy quick – and he’s a crazy dribbler too. He has unbelievable talent.
Why do you always wear a cast on your arm?
It’s just for protection. It’s not superstition as some people think.
Several years ago, I broke my hand. Sometimes it can cause me some pain when I move it still so I think it’s better to wear the cast so it doesn’t create any problems for me during matches.
Dean Smith is the new head coach – what are your impressions of him?
I like the gaffer!
I have a good relationship with him. He makes things simple for us.
His messages are clear. He explains things. He speaks to us about our performances.
He has good motivation skills. He gives me good emotions and he has a good mentality.
What’s been your favourite moment as an Aston Villa player so far?
It has to be the Birmingham City goal!
It was amazing – nothing can top that for me right now.