Hello there! You might remember me from such places as the comments, or this post wherein I declared my allegiance to the Claret and Blue. I was thinking some more about the team and this community lately, and I realized I'm probably not the only new Villa fan in these parts. So I've decided to write a little series for the season. I'll take you through the ups and downs of adopting a new team from 3,600 miles away. Hopefully other Villa fans, new and old alike, can chime in in the comments section. Additionally, I'm sure you'll see some of my confusion as the season goes on.
There's bound to be stuff I don't understand (despite the heroic efforts of Kirsten and Aaron to help the new kids), and I'm sure that will come across in the posts. My hope is that some of that (as well as that which confuses other commenters) can be explained in the comments by the more knowledgeable members of the community. If you're familiar with Lookout Landing, think of these as something akin to the posts that used to go up every now and again for people to ask about SABR stuff. Nothing is too basic, and this'll be a safe place to ask things without getting mocked. In short, it'll be a bit like this blog. I emailed Kirsten and Aaron to make sure I wouldn't be stepping on any toes by essentially writing a blog within a blog, and Kirsten reminded me of that. It's almost exactly what I was thinking of, but had forgotten the source.
So now to the real stuff. I've had this idea kicking around for a few days, and I decided to go for it this morning. What a day I picked! The MON news is thoroughly perplexing to me. I enjoyed the idea of coming into a fanbase where most people generally had trust in the manager. It's nice as a new fan to think that (in general) if MON does _____, I'm OK with _____. So that is a bit annoying: my crutch is gone. The person behind Aston Villa Central kindly replied to my tweet asking him what he thought of interim manager (is caretaker manager actually a thing in England? Why not just interim? He strikes me as a bit like the Ben Olsen hire for DC United) Kevin MacDonald: "meh."
But the part of this that really frustrates me is the worry that it may have something to do with Ash. I've gotten to watch one game, and Ash was one of two players who really caught my eye. He was energetic, he made opportunities, and he was just a joy to watch. And if Graham is to be believed, he's the future of the English wing. When you combine the fact that his name is even appearing in rumors with the rumor that MON wasn't going to be able to spend the Milner money on another player, this looks like a team locked into sell mode. And this may be my first big sign of being a newcomer. I don't get why AV would be selling. They seem positioned to make a push for CL play, and they're in European play now. Everything is lining up for the team. Why blow it up now?
That said, this may temper my excitement for the season some, but not totally. I was thrilled to get to watch the Valencia match last week. The team looked good, if not great. There really were some flashes, and Stewart Downing really impressed me. One of the advantages of being a new fan is that I can enjoy his performance without the baggage of heartbreak that apparently accompanies him. He was really doing a lot to create his own opportunities in the box. I loved it.
So that's it for this week. I'll be back next week with the newby take on week 1 action. God I hope we can get a win, because nothing would ease this turmoil more than a great start to the season.