Shaun Teale is perhaps most notably known for his partnership alongside Paul McGrath, and being a part of the Villa squad that finished second in the Premier League and won the League Cup just a year later. He spent four years at the club between 1991 and 1995 in what was a long and successful career.
Let’s dive right into one of the highlights of your Villa career – the amazing header in the League cup. What do you remember feeling?
My diving header was a very special goal for me, because of the magnitude of the occasion. After winning the trophy, there was a massive sense of relief around the Villa camp because we’d put in some great performances, and it would have been a shame to see them go to waste. Having Manchester United in the final was the ultimate test.
Speaking of Manchester United, what do you remember of the season that they just managed to, albeit controversially, pip us to the Premier League title?
We really handed them the title. We bottled the important games at the end of the season and they didn’t. It’s that simple.
What was it like to play with Paul McGrath?
First of all, he is a really quiet and respectful individual, who has remained a true friend despite battling his demons. As a footballer he was immense. It’s funny how you connect with certain players. With Paul, it was like that from the first game – it just worked.
Whilst we’re on the topic of Centre-Backs, what have you thought about John Terry since his arrival in B6?
I think it took time for John to adjust, but he looks at home now. What fans don’t realise is when you have played with some of the World Class players that he did at Chelsea, it can be tough to adjust to the players at Championship level – and that’s not being disrespectful to the players at Villa now.
Which of the current Villa squad would you most like to play with?
I really like Sam Johnstone. He has a calm demeanour which is important and his ability is certainly not in question. I’m hopeful that Villa can get him on a permanent deal.
What do you think of the current running of the club?
I certainly hope that Dr Xia can fulfil his ambitions for Villa and return to the level we were at while I was at the club. But unfortunately, I don’t think that just throwing money at the club will work. We need a complete overhaul, from the shop to match day hospitality. The club has lost it’s family appeal, and that is a result of the cost-cutting Lerner days.
What sets the games like Sunday’s derby day at St. Andrews apart from the rest? From a players perspective.
With derby matches, the performance is irrelevant. It is all about the result. The players are aware of the importance of winning the match for the fans, and are also aware of the desire for the bragging rights. I’m going for a 2-1 Villa win!
You’ve dipped your toes into the murky waters of management – just after the turn of the century – do you ever see yourself returning to the dugout?
Although I would like to, I think that being out for so long would make it pretty tough to get back in to it now, so I’m not actively looking to return. I suppose that if the offer came up, I’d consider it.