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American Born Villan

Aston Villa, From Chicago to the Holte End of the World

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Ramble

Watford 3 – Aston Villa 2: You’re Nothing Special

You're nothing special

This is all I’ve got. Feel free to share.

Aston Villa 0 – Liverpool 6: Valentine’s Day Massacre

I haven’t been blogging about Villa much lately. Part of it has been that I have been busy with three very different book projects (stay tuned for more on those). Part of it has been the usual stuff of my day job, my family, and the things I love to do, like coaching my kids’ teams. But I suspect the biggest reason is that, too often, I feel I’ve run out of new things to say.

I’ve written one or two posts about what it feels like to win. I’ve written a few posts about meaningless draws. I’ve written still more about losses big and small, and the grind of supporting a terrible team. And I’ve written a lot about how, often, the only thing that makes supporting Aston Villa worthwhile has been the Chicago Villans.

I’m about to write another one of those. What’s the point? you might reasonably ask. But you could also ask that about watching our team over the past four and a half seasons. Continue reading “Aston Villa 0 – Liverpool 6: Valentine’s Day Massacre”

POLL: How will YOU remember Tim Sherwood?

Tim SherwoodWhile the search for Tim Sherwood’s replacement continues, Villa supporters debate his legacy. Years from now, how will you look back on the man who saved Villa from relegation—only to preside over their worst start to a season since they were last relegated?

Aston Villa 1 – Swansea City 2: Hitting Rock Bottom

Sherwood can’t bear to watch his managerial career slipping away.

Tim to Go

Another game, another loss. Two losses, actually—Tim Sherwood has been shown the door.

Despite the growing evidence showing that changing managers mid-season actually does little to help struggling teams (see Soccernomics and The Ugly Game), and despite the fact that sacking the manager does little to address deeper problems at Aston Villa, it’s hard to argue with this move. Yes, Sherwood wasn’t given the players he wanted, and, no, he didn’t have time to truly put his stamp on the club, but too often he created problems through naive tactics, puzzling lineups, and, above all, too-frequent changes that didn’t allow the players to gel. Continue reading “Aston Villa 1 – Swansea City 2: Hitting Rock Bottom”

American Supporters: How Did You Choose Villa?

Premier LeagueI’m always interested in finding out how other Americans have chosen the Premier League teams they follow. Actually, let me qualify that: I’m always interested in finding out how American fans have chosen to follow teams other than Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool.

The HowlerWhen the team in question is Aston Villa, I want the full story: the first year I blogged here, I interviewed a lot of U.S.-based Villans, some who were born into claret and blue, others who were called to it. (You can find my own personal origin story here.)

In The Howler, Kevin Alexander (Southampton fan since 1999) writes about “American Premier League Fans, and the Surprisingly Nuanced Art of Choosing a Club.” He asked 25 American EPL fans who they support and why. I wish he’d asked me—you can’t get much more nuanced than following Villa. But it’s worth a read, for this response if nothing else:

“Stoke. Because I’m a masochist and enjoyed watching Glenn Whelan foul people. But seriously, it was because I felt like they played American soccer. In that it wasn’t very pretty, but they were going to get the ball in the air and use their athleticism and brute force to make life very tough. Holy shit, am I a Republican?

How did you start following Villa? Were you born into it, or were you called to it? And if you’re a B6-born Brummie who’s bled claret and blue since the first time you were pricked with a safety pin, how do you feel about Johnny-come-latelies? Are you glad they share your suffering, or do you wish they’d fuck off to let you suffer in peace?

POLL: Would You Sack Tim Sherwood?

Da-da-da-da-da-da. Should he stay or should he go?
Da-da-da-da-da-da. Should he stay or should he go?

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