Emile Heskey Looks Back At His Second City Derby Experiences

“Villa are the bigger club, there is no ifs or buts about it” – Emile Heskey

Emile Heskey, speaking exclusively to 888sport (syndicated to MOMS) about the Second City derby, after sharing his thoughts on Steve Bruce and John Terry in the first Heskey interview post on MOMS.

What are your memories of the Second City derby?

Tough and feisty but great to be involved in because the atmosphere is wonderful. They’re just great to be in.

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Is it sad to see both clubs in the Championship now having played for both in the Premier League? 

Being two of my old clubs it’s definitely sad and especially because of where they’ve been. But the only way is up and the wonderful thing is, if they get it right they are two wonderful clubs who can get up and stay up. Then there would be two more Midlands clubs in the Premier League as well.

Was it a disappointment not to score for Villa in this particular game?

It’s always disappointing not to score no matter the game so that’s the case here too.

Can you describe the feeling when you opened the scoring for Blues against Villa back in 2005?

Ah that was wonderful. That was really great to be honest with you.

At the end of the day Villa are the bigger club, there is no ifs or buts about it. So to be at the smaller club and score at home is just a great feeling to give the fans an opportunity to gloat.

What changed at Blues under Bruce from your first season to your second?

We have a good balance in the team but then we changed a lot, selling a couple of players. The players who came in weren’t giving the same output as the ones that left, so it was difficult.

The Blues have tighten up defensively with two cleans sheets in their last two home games and Villa have one of the best defences in the league, which is more than you can say about your former team, Liverpool, in the Premier League at the moment…

It goes without saying that defensively they’re not as sound as they could be. I don’t know if it’s personnel or if it’s not fully understanding the shape of their defending. When you look at the old Arsenal sides, they would devote whole training sessions to their defensive shape. Everyone says it is personnel but only time will tell when they get someone else in and if it stays the same.

Has the title already gone after just nine games?

It’s a difficult one because they’re really falling adrift of the leaders and they’re now 12 points* behind Manchester City. The top four is a must but whether they can do it is another thing.

Any news on your family after Hurricane Irma?

Everyone is safe and sound. Obviously that’s not the case for the houses but personally they are safe and sound. They will probably be going back to Bermuda very soon to start rebuilding. They’re in Antigua at the minute and the government have put them up in housing.


*nine points at the time of interview

Read the first part of the Heskey interview on MOMS – his thoughts on Bruce and Terry

Read the full 888sport interview with Emile Heskey, including his thoughts on an Aston Villa side lacking confidence