August 23, 2010
“Naïve.” It seems to be the word of the moment around Aston Villa. Interim manager Kevin MacDonald used it to describe his team selection after Sunday’s 6-0 drubbing at St. James’ Park, and captain Stiliyan Petrov repeated it when asked to explain the performance. Given the euphoria of Villa fans after the season-opening win against West Ham, “naïve” might apply to them as well.
August 19, 2010
The James Milner saga reached an anticlimactic conclusion this week as the England midfielder completed a long-awaited move to Manchester City. It was a predictable—albeit disappointing—transaction, and brought Aston Villa fans back down to earth after the excitement of Saturday’s 3-0 thrashing of West Ham. So goes the emotional roller coaster at Villa Park this summer.
August 9, 2010
The timing couldn’t have been worse. On Monday afternoon—just five days before the start of the Premier League season—Martin O’Neill stepped down as manager of Aston Villa. His decision took immediate effect, and the club posted a statement announcing his departure just after 4:00pm. It was an exit as hasty as it was unsurprising.
August 4, 2010
I grew up on a farm. My father liked to be on the land as soon as the snow melted, and he’d harvest the moment the crops were ripe. Surprisingly, not all our neighbors were like that. I specifically recall one family that waited, cautious and tentative, to begin their fieldwork. And sure enough, come winter their grain was left out in the cold. It happened year after year. Martin O’Neill is like that family.