American Born Villan

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

Dressed for Success – and Other Eventualities

I don’t typically shill for products here, but if you’re a Villan, how can you not love this excellent T-shirt? Doesn’t the memory of decades-old success help ease the pain of our recent failures?


Certainly a better purchase than the unfortunately timed Brad Guzan T-shirt . . .  Continue reading “Dressed for Success – and Other Eventualities”


Das Reboot, by Raphael Honigstein: Engineering Germans Can Be Proud Of

Das Reboot by Raphael HonigsteinIf your interest in the game goes no further than England or America, stop reading right now. If, on the other hand, you feel your country’s national federation might have something to learn from German soccer’s remarkable transformation over the last couple of decades, you’ll find uber-pundit Raphael Honigstein’s Das Reboot: How German Soccer Reinvented Itself and Conquered the World more than worthwhile. (This despite the fact that its punny title doesn’t even scan if pronounced with a proper German accent!) I know this doesn’t have anything to do with Aston Villa—but we all need some distraction these days.

To most people, German soccer is as dominant as former England striker Gary Lineker’s joke suggests: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and, at the end, the Germans always win.” But within Germany, prior to the 2014 World Cup, there was a belief that the national team wasn’t living up to its potential, with near-misses and early exits in major tournaments since their last World Cup win in 1990.

Click here to read the whole thing.

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”

Chelsea 2 – Aston Villa 0: Plumbing New Depths

Costa and Guzan 10-17-15

Did anyone actually expect us to win? I didn’t. And, for the first time the season, I didn’t even want to watch. Instead, I spent my Saturday morning taking a bike ride and architectural tour with my wife while my sons stayed home and watched cartoons.

I suppose that makes me a bad supporter, but I don’t feel too guilty. I have spent quite a bit of time and money watching Villa play badly in recent years, and it felt strangely liberating to just opt out. The time was well spent.

When I caught up with the game later, it seemed as though it was badly played on both ends, and Chelsea didn’t win it as much as Villa gave it away. Another horrific distribution error by Guzan and an unfortunate deflection off Hutton were all the hosts needed to take three points. Continue reading “Chelsea 2 – Aston Villa 0: Plumbing New Depths”

Who Will Win the Next Five Games? Bold Predictions by Two Fearful Fans

At the invitation of Lewis Rollins, a Villa supporter who blogs under the pseudonym “Lewis Rollins” (I was able to deduce his true identity only after hiring a private investigator), I have, against my better judgment, predicted the outcome and scoreline of the next five games. Why have I done this? Because I like nothing more than to turn up at the pub and be reminded how often and how badly I’ve gotten it wrong.

No, seriously, I’m doing it for the reason Lewis suggests, which is simply to add a diversion to what promises to be a bleak run of games. Villa may be unlikely to come out on top in many of its upcoming encounters, but either Lewis or I will emerge victorious in our quest to be the most accurate prognosticator. We’ll be awarding 5 points for guessing the correct scoreline and 2 points for the correct result. Continue reading “Who Will Win the Next Five Games? Bold Predictions by Two Fearful Fans”

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