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Marka Ragnos

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    Eastern Pennsylvania, USA

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  1. I wanted to wait a day or two to absorb the shock of that ending before I posted, so I don’t make a complete fool of myself. I’m just an enthusiastic American fan of Villa, and I don’t have a sophisticated understanding of tactics or any grasp of club coaching staff machinations, so I can’t really speak to those things. That said, this felt like another painful but probably necessary lesson and an anomalous result. I hope we will learn from this, but I still feel so incredibly excited about Villa this year, and I know we’ll have better results. I was watching the match as my United supporter best mate was watching his world crumble, too, and it was honestly kind of hilariously absurd. We were both just kind of wtf?!?! I still feel a lot of confidence in Dean Smith, a lot more than my friend has for Ole now, not that I would know what was wisest anyway. I’ve been thinking a little bit about Murphy’s Law. I’m thinking, well, this can’t now happen again for the rest of the year, right? This can’t happen twice. It’s like a lightning strike. So, in a wack way, we’ve achieved a stunning feat of utter stupidity. We are towering giants of the grotesque defensive collapse. It will at least be memorable, right?
  2. Yes, I agree completely. It’s become a source of sympathetic embarrassment for me. A joke told too often. Not sure where Football Weekly ranks in UK, but among soccer podcasts in the USA, it’s second only to ESPN’s, which I’ve never heard, I confess. I like the tension between the regulars. I’m a huge Barry fan and the intense sniping between Barry and Wilson.
  3. I like this very empirical, stats-based approach to the madness of football guesses, especially followed by the battle-cry-like "that day is not today!" Didn't Aragon or someone say that in LOTR before facing a million snaggle-toothed orcs? I'm gonna run with that.
  4. I don't know if any response strikes me as more obligatory and perfectly English than "let's not get carried away" after Saturday, but ... I'm all for getting carried away, today, on a Claret-hued wave of manic excitement. I guess I'm practically begging to have my hubristic dreams smashed to bits, but I think we're going to win. That said, this match feels less consequential than, say, the Everton match. That seemed like a kind of fulcrum or tipping point. This feels like it could go either way, but Tottenham definitely is in the hot seat, so I fear they might be more motivated than us.
  5. Well, Gunners' supporter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan of Talksport and Guardian Football Weekly really seems to have thrown down the gauntlet this week in pretty unmistakable fashion. Any of you catch this? Max Rushden: "I'm going to call it now, Jordan. Your [anti-]Villa pantomime is over now." JJB: "It's never done, Max." Rushden: "You can't keep it going now. You've got nothing to cling to." Rushden goes on to praise Dean Smith and the club's development, but that doesn't slow down JJB's slagging us off. JJB: "I'm just upset that these good times are happening to this group of supporters -- that's my only regret." JJB then went on to trash Villa supporters as basically the worst in the Premier League if not the FA. There's never much of a basis for this given, which makes it all feel slightly absurdist. Given the tongue-in-cheek, running-joke quality to the whole thing, I don't take it too seriously. I don't mind Jarrett-Bryan one bit. He's bringing us attention, and he does seem genuinely impressed with Villa --- just not us fans. At times, JJB's jIbes at Villa fans actually seem to flatter us a bit. Which seems better than indifference. I guess?
  6. Can I ask you all something for a non-expert here. I didn’t understand what Martinez was doing before the penalty. There was this pushing back-and-forth between united players and Martinez. Honestly don’t understand what was happening. Fernandes, Fred, and Cavani all put their hands on Martinez’s chest and shoved him back. All I can think is that Martinez was doing something or saying some thing that was pretty bad? Or were the United players doing wrong?
  7. You're not supposed to admit that -- we're sunk now.
  8. As I understand it, with quad injuries, ain't it true that rest is critical to ward off a more horrendous injury and long-term problems -- BUT, quads do heal, especially in the young? I'm no physio, so this is all a mystery to me. Hope he's OK.
  9. I was watching an Atalanta Serie A match a few days ago, and I kept thinking about how much more robust and energetic Villa and dangerous are on a good day compared to Atalanta who are of course in the Champions this year. We really have to find a way to Europe! The Premier League seems a higher overall standard, and if what you say is true -- and I think it is -- we could surely beat many clubs in other good leagues, too.
  10. I'm no expert on keeping goal, but do goalkeepers normally ever need to rotate out and "rest"? Not sure I understand why Martinez wouldn't simply be an ironclad option in goal for this whole week (with no disrespect meant to Steer).
  11. Thoughts on Mings vs. Ronaldo? In terms of bodies and physicality, it seems like a tense match-up of giants, but how likely is it that they will be in close quarters? Is Mings' style a good foil to Ronaldo?
  12. Absolutely must go for it, and only rest players if they need it medically or in terms of physio. It doesn't feel like we should go for the cup because we can't otherwise win a European spot. Not ready to concede that. To me it feels more like we need to go for it because nothing succeeds like success, and a winning squad mentality is something to practice and exercise at this critical stage. We're like a band that needs to rehearse in live situations until we get road-tight ... and I want to see Chelski lose lol.
  13. Soaking in every second of this glorious moment in club history ... stunning.
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