American Born Villan

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


Brad Guzan

Aston Villa 2 – Watford 3: Game, Set, and Season?

So Next Year I’ll Have to Watch Games on Bein Sport?

Is this how our Premier League run ends? Losing 2-3 to a newly promoted side?

Or did it end with last week’s 0-4 loss to Everton, a loss so disheartening I couldn’t write about it. I had a headline—”When the Light at the End of the Tunnel Is an Approaching Train”—but nothing else.

It will likely be impossible to pinpoint the moment Villa secures relegation, and it won’t be official for some time to come. But even I, an eternal optimist and true believer, don’t believe we’ll find safety this year. And Alan Hutton’s own goal, when he nudged the ball away from an onrushing Odion Ighalo only to guide it into the corner of Brad Guzan’s goal, sums up the season well enough.

Hope is a slow-acting poison. After Remi Garde engineered a shock nil-nil draw against Manchester City, I fully believed we could engineer another draw against Everton, despite their superior record against us. Who knew? Maybe we’d even steal a win. Ross Barkley’s first goal at 17 minutes destroyed Garde’s game plan, though, starting the rout, and by the whistle I was convinced our season was over. Continue reading “Aston Villa 2 – Watford 3: Game, Set, and Season?”

Aston Villa 0 – Manchester City 0: A New Hope

All smiles at the Globe Pub
You only come to see the Villa!

That flutter in my chest—was it hope? Or merely a sign that I shouldn’t have ordered the egg-and-sausage omelet at kickoff?

I’m Not Crying

Forty degrees as I rode my bike toward the Globe at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. The wind had my eyes watering and hoping that no one saw me before I could dry them. They might think I was crying in advance of the expected result in a battle of first against worst. (Testifying for the defense: Flight of the Conchords.)

En Garde

My prediction for this game had been an 0-3 Villa loss. Granted, that was in the misty days of yore, a full 23 days earlier, back when a man named Tim Sherwood was the manager of the team. Gather round, children, and I’ll tell you the tale of a man whose magical powers were contained in his gilet. Once vanity caused him to forswear the sacred garment, his days were surely numbered . . . .

The choice of Remi Garde as the new Villa manager was an intriguing one, but with a team mired in last place and enduring a seven-game league losing streak taking on the team at the top of the table, it didn’t seem reasonable to expect much. I think I speak for most Villans when I say we were hoping not to be embarrassed too badly. At best, we wanted to see signs of improvement. And even if Villa were to get hammered 6-0, no one would have blamed Garde. Continue reading “Aston Villa 0 – Manchester City 0: A New Hope”

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”

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”

Leicester City 3 – Aston Villa 2: Two-Nil and We F*cked It Up

Whose Fault Is It This Time?

Tim Sherwood conducts the Symphony of the Damned
Tim Sherwood conducts the Symphony of the Damned (click to see)

OK, we all agree that this year’s Villa is more creative, more talented, and more fun to watch than the previous several editions. But when will that translate into actual results? Yesterday’s result was such a gut-punch that I’m tempted to bring back my “how badly does it hurt” poll. But instead, let me offer a different survey.

Continue reading “Leicester City 3 – Aston Villa 2: Two-Nil and We F*cked It Up”

Manchester City 3 – Aston Villa 2: Shall We Sing a Song for You?

Panorama 1

Act of God?

It rained all night Friday in Chicago, and poor field conditions resulted in the cancellation of the U12 and U10 games I was set to coach. I hate it when the kids miss playing time, and I actually enjoy foul-weather games, but this act of god also meant that I could head down to the pub to watch the game.

In addition to the Chicago Villans, the Globe Pub is home base for Arsenal and Manchester City supporters’ groups as well. Earlier in the week, our chairman Simon Leach had accepted a challenge from City’s chair to see which of our teams is better supported. As neither of us has a chance of outnumbering the Gooners, this would be for number-two bragging rights.

The battle played out on Facebook and Twitter throughout the week, with City’s fans exhorting their followers to show up and the Villans suggesting that they simply buy more supporters if needed. Simon even posted helpful links so the City supporters could learn their own songs. Continue reading “Manchester City 3 – Aston Villa 2: Shall We Sing a Song for You?”

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