Aston Villa: The Neutral's Club

Chris RowlandsCorrespondent INovember 8, 2008

If (like most people) you do not support Aston Villa, perhaps we should take a look at the club often know as the Villains—as they are far from it.

Their manager, Martin O'Neill, is one of the most talented British (when Villa win—British, when Villa lose—Northern Irish) managers in the Premier League, and he has built his squad with an emphasis on youth. At one point last season you could even field a decent English XI using Villa players (Scott Carson left, but Stuart Taylor is in the squad, so it is still possible). Players such as Reo-Coker, Barry, Knight, Agbonlahor, and Young give Villa an excellent mix of technical ability, intelligence, and work rate.

Villa are constantly on the threshold of breaking into the top four, and reach Europe often enough to be considered a big team. Last year they were knocked out of the second qualifying round in the UEFA Cup, after winning in the third round of the Intertoto Cup.

Aston Villa are a sleeping giant of a club, with a past full of success; which includes a European Cup.

Villa's owner is Randy Lerner, also owner of the Cleveland Browns NFL team. Since he purchased the club from Doug Ellis, he has been perhaps one of the only foreign owners not to cause any major controversy. As a result, Villa have flourished, becoming one of the best six clubs in the country.

Villa play entertaining football, at Villa Park. Their main rivals are West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City, and in the recent past there has always been at least one of these clubs in the top flight, meaning Villa fans always get a derby game. There is little doubt that Villa are one of the best clubs in the Midlands.

If that wasn't enough, they play in claret and blue, wonderfully eclectic colours that actually make the club's kit look very good. The away kit is sometimes a bit off, but this season's blue and black is not too bad.

After all is said and done, you know you want to be a Villa fan now, who doesn't?