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A Non Glory Hunting American Villa Fan!

As an English football and Villa fan living in America, I have the unfortunate task of having to tolerate a seemingly infinite amount of glory-hunting, FIFA obsessed, woefully ignorant, European soccer fans. When these Ronaldo-worshipping trolls learn of my passion for AVFC, they are simply overwhelmed at the thought that I would support a team like Villa who are sinfully guilty of not spending 10`s of millions per transfer window on overhyped ego-maniacs who they can watch on youtube every week and buy their jersey and feel like individuals because they like soccer.

If they`re not pretending to be born Barcelona fans, most of these people will support one of about 5 English clubs: yes, you guessed it. Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man U, and of course most recently, the oil-rich Citizens. Recently, the most annoying have been the so-called Liverpool fans. They just can`t seem to stop going on about how Liverpool are going to be "unstoppable" this year, and how Brendan Rodgers is going to be the savior of Liverpool.

It's incredible to me that the media and football fans in general (esp. Americans) are unable to see how incredibly overrated Rodgers actually is as a manager, and how criminally underrated Paul Lambert is compared to others. So it's time to set the record straight. A bit of background for Rodgers: After failing horrendously at both Watford and Reading, Rodgers took control of a Swansea side that had already been playing well under Roberto Martinez, and with an astronomically superior squad to all Championship sides, managed only to secure promotion with Swansea through the Play-offs.

Now this is a story we all know but it's worth reminding those who doubt Paul at the moment. After a short managerial learning experience at Livingston, Paul Lambert took control of League 2 outfit Wycombe Wanderers in 2006. While keeping good form in the league and leading Wycombe to victories against Premier League sides Charlton and Fulham in the League Cup, Lambert managed to get a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea in the first leg of the semi-final, despite being knocked out in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. After narrowly missing out on the League 2 play-offs, Lambert resigned from Wycombe and was appointed manager of struggling League 1 side Colchester in 2008. After leading the club to a solid mid-table finish in his first season, Colchester began their second season under Lambert with a 7-1 win over Norwich City. He was then appointed manager of Norwich city less then a month after than victory, and began his reign with a League 1 title and promotion to the Championship. However, Lambert didn't stop there. He went on to finish runners-up in the Championship, therefore securing promotion to the Premier League and being the first manager to lead a team to back-to back promotions in a whopping 11 years. There was clearly something special about this coach.

In Brendan Rodgers first season in the Premier League, while boasting a side containing stars like Scott Sinclair, Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdson, Leon Britton, Nathan Dyer, Ashley Williams, and Michel Vorm, Rodgers was able to finish in 11th place, barely beating out Norwich City by goal difference. This was seen as a massive achievement by Rodgers and resulted in him receiving a soaring reputation as a tactical mastermind with his Barcelona-esque style of play. To top it all off, Rodgers was rewarded by the geniuses at FSG with the Liverpool job after a year and a half with Swansea. Elsewhere in Wigan, Roberto Martinez reads the post, shaking his head.

In there first season in the top flight, The Canaries, under Paul Lambert, were able to finish level on points with Swansea at 12th , despite having probably the worst squad (in terms of quality) to ever survive in the Premier League for a second season, curiously finishing with the exact same record as Swansea. The decider between the two ended up being goal difference. So logically it could be concluded that Swansea were the slightly better team. The only problem with that argument is the Norwich beat Swansea in both fixtures last year, and beat them well. Yet, when Lambert was appointed Villa manager, it was hailed as only a "solid" appointment. Some imbeciles even pegged us for relegation.

It seems there's this desire in sports media today to report news in order to create a story, so that relevance is no longer a top priority, but keeping your audience thoroughly entertained is. In this case, perhaps they realized Norwich's run was infinitely more impressive than Swansea's, but it just wasn't as pretty.

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The Journalist

Writer: clbick3 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 9 2012

Time: 9:32AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Good points throughout clbick3 we have to consider what Lambert has taken over at Villa and what a wafer thin squad we had when he arrived as for relegation would stick with this guy even if the horrible happened.
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09/10/2012 10:04:00

Good read well done. I think we just need to plug away and not expect any miracles. Lose 2-0 away to Spurs and everyone has the banners written for him to leave... The players will get to know each other well and perhaps in January we can let a few leave and get a few more in.
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09/10/2012 10:30:00

I empathise with what you say but I am a great believer in leaving fans of other teams to talk about their managers. I am sure that things will turn around for PL. And after the dross of last season at least our football is exiting!
chocolate teapot
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09/10/2012 10:34:00

chocolate teapot
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09/10/2012 10:47:00

You should of called this the Rodgers bashing article and I dont think this should have been posted at all... Why lambaste another manager to make ours look better time will tell who does better and thats enough for me...
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09/10/2012 12:22:00

Great article. Adding to that about how certain clubs are portrayed do you think players like Shelvey and Sterling would have been picked for England squads if they were at any other lower table team other than Redscouse? They bring in a couple of youngsters and all of a sudden the future is bright!!! we have brought in arguably better youngsters and we are going to struggle. As a reminder, redscouse are 1 point ahead of us, have won 2 home games this calender year and are two injuries away from a relegation battle.
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09/10/2012 12:51:00

It's a big pity the article depended too much on slagging Rogers off, rather than making your case for loving Villa.
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09/10/2012 15:46:00

I made a mistake in not giving a title to the article so Fear had to come up with one for me the best he could which I appriciate. The article is not really about me being a Villa fan in America. The point I was trying to get at was that the football media in the UK and in particular the states is so biased towards the large clubs and those who play pretty football. The thing that drives me mad is the fact that Lambert wasn't even considered for the Liverpool job (not that I'm not overjoyed he came to us), even though his managerial achievements far surpass Rodgers even when he had a far inferior squad.
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09/10/2012 16:02:00

he's calling me thick but in a nice way I think!? lol
The Fear
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09/10/2012 16:57:00

Ha I was afraid it would come off that way but what I was trying to say is the content doesn't really have a common theme so I imagine it would be difficult to give a title. Sorry if I offended, Fear!
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09/10/2012 18:49:00

Don't be sorry clbick3, insulting Fear is something of an art form in these parts.
villan of the north
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09/10/2012 19:26:00

well thought out article. I too am a Villa fan living in the states. What is sad is that you see so called football fans wearing the colors of their favorite teams (Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal, etc.) and they don't even know who they are playing, if they are doing well or even three players in the starting XI. On the flip-side, their ignorance at least keeps them from pressing the panic button as regularly as our highly football Villa fan base. We are going to be fighting to stay above the relegation line all season. What we have to focus on is whether we are heading in the right direction or not. After the last few seasons I am convinced we are. If we do get relegated, and I pray to the football gods we don't, we are still building a team for the future. Once we have proven to Lerner that we have a strong foundation (core players to build on and a manager that knows how to wisely spend money), I believe he will open the checkbook again as he is still smarting from what he got from his last large investment. In Lambert we should all trust.
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09/10/2012 20:48:00

A good article that shows we have passionate fans throughout the world. I agree with frossum that we will be down there all season, but, I'm pretty sure that will mean the chequebook being well and truly let off the leash... perhaps in January, almost certainly next summer. It depends how things are looking at Christmas I'd suspect. Randy has previous with the Bent signing when things looked pretty desperate. Villa cannot afford to be in the Championship ever, but especially next year with the increased TV revenue due to kick in. There's no way Randy will allow us, and his investment, to drop out of the Prem with all that cash we'll be due.
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10/10/2012 05:11:00

Think cblick3 and frossum should kick start the AVFC fan club over there. Not wishing to insult our american cousins but unsure of how well the sport is doing in the USA. After all our very own Tom Hanks thought we played in scarlet & blue ahem untill he was put right. Does the premiership get much exposure in the USA?.
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10/10/2012 16:37:00

What is sadder still is walking around Aston Park and seeing local kids wearing the Sky 4/5 teams' strips.
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10/10/2012 21:02:00

Bravo! As another adopted Villa fan from across the pond, I'm glad you've mentioned the "glory hunters." The amount of abuse I've gotten over the past few years from these idiots has been ridiculous. When you try to talk football with someone and they find out you are a Villa fan, you'll usually get the confused scowl followed by a judgin grin. I've gotten the "Why Villa? They suck!" question more times than I can remember. Merlin, the exposure of the EPL is slowly growing in the USA, but you still have to pay for premium TV channels/Internet streams just to watch it. ESPN, our biggest sports network, only shows one game a week on it's secondary channel. Football is still seen as a game for kids and high school girls by most American sports fans.
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11/10/2012 16:17:00

There are plastic Liverpool fans in England as well and I don't think any of them truly believes Rogers is the man. Personally I don't give a stuff about Liverpool , and unless these fans talk like a crackling radio I'd certainly not take any notice of them . That goes for all "fans" who walk round in whatever shirt and never go to a game . What's the point??
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14/10/2012 08:42:00


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