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One on One: Guilbert on awesome atmosphere at the club, Play-Off Final memories and world’s best full-back

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One on One: Guilbert on awesome atmosphere at the club, Play-Off Final memories and world’s best full-back

It’s time for another One on One’ Q&A, this time with popular full-back, Frederic Guilbert.

Q] What was it like following Aston Villa at the Play-Off Final?

There were a lot of emotions.

It was an amazing day for me, my family and the football club, of course.

What really struck me was the crowd. They were magnificent. They were singing from the first minute to the last minute.

To be there at that game was very, very special.

Q] How did you celebrate after the game?

A] I went to the hotel with the other players. They were absolutely delighted.

It made me want to start my Aston Villa career as soon as possible because being there as an observer was different from being there as a player.


Q] Why did you join Aston Villa?

A] It’s a dream for me to play in the Premier League but when I joined, remember, Aston Villa were in the Championship. 

Everyone said to me ‘why are you going to the Championship?’

But for me, it was a choice I really wanted to make.

For me, Aston Villa is not a club of the Championship. I signed for the name Aston Villa – and now we are back in the Premier League.

Q] What’s it like now to play in the Premier League?

A] It’s great because the Premier League is, in my opinion, the best league in the world.

I am very proud to be playing in this division with Aston Villa.

The weather in England is very good right now. My team-mates are very friendly and they have helped me settle into life here. I appreciate it all. 

Q] How is your English? 

I actually started my lessons when I was still in France but I’m obviously continuing to do it here in England.

My teacher is perfect. She is happier every week because I speak a little more every time I see her.

I am pleased with my progress because it helps you integrate even more when you speak the language at a new club in a new country. 

What would I give myself as a mark out of 10? Perhaps a 5? I’m not bad. But room for improvement!

Q] Is there one team in the Premier League you’re looking forward to facing?

A] I’d go for Liverpool.

I admire the way they play the game and the way they see the game. 

I like the style of Jurgen Klopp. They are a very good team.

Q] Who is your football hero?

A] Cristiano Ronaldo.

He has huge talent, of course. But I admire the work he has put in to get to the very top.

It takes dedication, industry, sacrifices to reach the pinnacle and he’s shown those traits and reaped the benefit.


Q] Do you feel at home in England yet?

A] Yes I am starting to, definitely.

I haven’t been in Birmingham for a long, long time but every day I feel more at home, yes.

Q] Name one full-back you admire most in world football now?

A] For me, the best right-back at this moment is Trent Alexander-Arnold.

In terms of left-back, I really have big respect for Marcelo at Real Madrid. 

Q] Who is the best player you’ve faced? 

A] Kylian Mbappe. Also Neymar. Not bad, hey?

Q] What impresses you most about the football club?

A] I have to say the atmosphere around the place.

The players have a strong feeling for what it means to play for this great club. I’d like to think this is showing in our performances.

We may not win every game but we give everything for the shirt every minute of every match. That is so important for the fans to see.


Q] Talk us through your first Aston Villa goal in the Carabao Cup at Crewe?

A] It was magnifique, yes?

It was my first goal in two games. Normally it takes me 30!

Jack Grealish said it was a pass but, just to clarify, it was a shot!

Q] For fans going on holiday, can you recommend a nice restaurant for lunch in Caen? 

A] Ha ha! There are a lot of them!

I’d go El Olivo. 

Q] Who is the best Frenchman to have played in the Premier League?

A] Right now, I’d say N'Golo Kanté.

In the history of this league? There are so many!

Henry. Vieira. Petit. Pires. Ginola.

But if I had to pick, I’d say Henry. What a player!

Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 11th September 2019