LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: "Dad of the Year" John Terry lays hands on Gabriel Agbonlahor, mistaking him for a teammate's wife. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Listen you, if you're going to commit to following God's Own Club Aston Villa with us here at 7500 to Holte, you need to know that we are the best club in all of England. Don't let Stuart James and last season's league table (or any actual "analysis") fool you. We're the best. And everyone else is dirt, get it? Not just Birmingham City. It's easy to hate Birmingham City, because they're terrible and we beat them all the time. That's not to say that you shouldn't hate them, because you absolutely should, but you need to build on that by hating every other club that has the misfortune to not be God's Own Club Aston Villa. Fortunately, you have me to guide you by the hand, and show you why every other club in the Premiership is worth nothing more than a sneer of thinly veiled contempt. Join me, after the jump.
- Arsenal: The Gunners (or "Gooners", or "Frog-eating Sissypants") are a bigger bandwagon club than Manchester United. Why? Because some bald-headed ponce wrote a book about how much he loved them, and it got remade into a really poor American movie about an equally unlikeable baseball team starring a thoroughly unlikable actor. If you've heard American soccer fans complain about a "Eurosnob mentality," they are probably referring to Arsenal fans. The club and its fanbase are currently up in arms because of media-feuled rumors that a player that they poached from Barcelona's youth academy might like to return to his home club. A club that, it should be said, plays Arsenal's "style" (anyone who talks about Arsenal has to mention their style) about a million times better than Arsenal does. They also claim to have been Invincible once, provided you exclude Cup matches and European competition.
- Birmingham City: Is there a reason not to hate the Scum? Not-so-fearsome local rivals of God's Own Club Aston Villa, the Blues were once owned by porn baron David Sullivan and porn-baron-accessory David Gold. (see: West Ham United.) They haven't beat us in a league match since 2005. They are managed by ruddy-faced Scotsman Alex McLeish, who was last seen being run out of Glasgow for losing a Scottish Cup match to a team that wasn't Celtic (although he'd also be run out of town for losing to Celtic, but they're basically the only other team of quality north of Manchester.) You should read Aaron's profile to find out more about the Brummie Bootlickers, because I'm already sick of talking about them.
- Blackburn Rovers: One of the ugliest teams to watch in the Premiership. Fat Sam Allardyce is a devout practitioner of long ball (or "hoofball"), a style of play that reached its absolute apex when the game was played by men named Ebenezer on muddy pitches in the North until everyone had to go fight the Germans in the Great War (coincidentally, that's as close as Blackburn is getting to "European competition.") The Rovers also employ El Hadji Diouf, a thoroughly dislikable striker who would spit in your face if given the opportunity.
- Blackpool: If you're looking for an argument against playoffs for promotion, this will be your example. A tiny tangerine club which, by virtue of a well-timed run of good form, got promoted at the expense of three teams that almost certainly deserved it more. They now exist to give reporters an excuse to put a microphone in front of Ian Holloway, and are a guaranteed six points for the nineteen other teams in the Premiership.
- Bolton Wanderers: Managed by Owen Coyle, the Judas of Burnley. Bolton is home to lots of ex-Villans and Stuart Holden's hair. They play about twenty minutes away from Old Trafford, so you can probably guess just how many local fans they have.
- Chelsea: Cleverly nicknamed "Chelski," after their Russian
mafiosoowner, Roman Abramovich. They were Manchester City before Manchester City was. They once prised a promising English midfielder who had just won the PFA Young Player of the Year award away from his previous employers, a universally likable club that was challenging for a Champions League place. The player was Scott Parker (now of West Ham) and the club was Charlton Athletic (now of the second division.) For what it's worth, they didn't even need Scott Parker because of foreign acquisitions, and he spent most of the season on the bench. Take note, James Milner. They field a fearsome strike partnership of a whiny diver (Didier "F***ing Disgrace" Drogba) and a French revolutionary (Nicolas "Le Sulk" Anelka.) Their captain, John "Dad of the Year" Terry, lists his hobbies as "making last-ditch tackles and spending time with the wives."
- Everton: Tim Cahill and David Moyes seem like two of the angriest men in football, so I don't want to cross them. Also known as "the Toffees," which is positively ridiculous. If you don't like Landon Donovan (and there are a lot of you), it might become easier to hate Everton as soon as they can pull him out of Don Garber's clutches.
- Fulham: One of the most likable clubs in Europe. Fortunately, I don't like Clint "Deuce" Dempsey (and I'm not American, so I can.) As for you, good luck. Hugh Grant likes them. Is that good enough for you?
- Liverpool: Trading on past glories. Steven Gerrard is no longer anywhere near "best player in the world" status, and the club that some people still refer to as the biggest club in England hasn't won anything recently and finished beneath us in the league. The English media is heavily populated by ex-Liverpool players, and so they get a lot of credit despite not necessarily deserving it. Defender Jamie Carragher famously quit international football, saying he wanted to commit to Liverpool, then unretired for the recent World Cup, and got absolutely roasted when everyone realized that he wasn't quite as good as they thought he was. Which is a pretty effective metaphor for Liverpool, when you think about it.
- Manchester City: If you DON'T hate Manchester City, there is something wrong with you.
- Manchester United: See above, but replace "City" with "United."
- Newcastle United: Classic example of a team whose reputation exceeds their quality. They play in one of the biggest stadiums in the country, but haven't even challenged for anything in years and years. Their fans are called "Geordies," or the "Toon Army," or basically anything that makes them sound as silly as they are for vociferously supporting a club that once hired a striker-turned-analyst to make his managing debut and save them from relegation. It was, predictably, unsuccesful.
- Stoke City: Dirty bastards. Their vice-captain, Ryan Shawcross, is viewed as England's heir apparent to John Terry. Particularly apt when you consider his reputation as a crippling tackler. Unsurprisingly, their players get in lots of fights, even with each other. Managed by Tony Pulis, who looks like the lovechild of a FM radio DJ and a particularly ugly rodent.
- Sunderland: Don't call them Geordies, call them Mackems. However, you can dismiss them just as easily. They employ Rio Ferdinand's less talented brother, Anton. Managed by old lesbian Steve Bruce.
- Tottenham Hotspur: Managed by Harry "Oi Guv'nor, can I tap up some of your players" Redknapp, darling of the English tabloids, despite being investigated for corruption and probably partly responsible for Portsmouth's dire situation. Once comforted then-striker Darren Bent by telling the press that his wife Sandra could have made a shot that Bent missed. They have a reputation for choking which will become evident as soon as their Champions League campaign starts, causing Redknapp to complain that "it's like a whole 'nother country out here, innit."
- West Bromwich Albion: Every few years, when this yo-yo club pops back up into the Premier League for a bit, they are also local rivals of God's Own Club Aston Villa. They're called "the Baggies," which rivals "Toffees" for dumbest nickname. Captained by mistake-prone English goalkeeper Scott Carson. They are sponsored by a phone number.
- West Ham United: Currently owned by porn baron David Sullivan and porn-baron-accessory David Gold. This double-headed porn monster inspired confidence by posting a rant about their underperforming club on the club's official website (preceding Dan Gilbert and his beloved Comic Sans by several months) and telling the press that all but one of West Ham's players are up for sale. Stereotypical cockney hooligans tend to support West Ham, as exemplified by last year's East London derby with Millwall. If you ask them, they'll tell you that West Ham won the World Cup in 1966. When you point out that club teams don't participate in international competitions, they will stab you in the eye with a dart.
- Wigan Athletic: Dave Whelan owns Wigan and, yes, the "DW" in "DW Stadium" are just his initials. Whelan is a big Manchester United fan, which is odd, because Wigan also plays in Greater Manchester and it's probably difficult enough to build up a fanbase. It would, however, be completely insane to call Wigan and Manchester United "rivals," because Wigan is, quite frankly, not very good.
- Wolverhampton Wanderers: Managed by northern crank Mick McCarthy, who decided to basically forfeit a midweek league game to Manchester United by resting his best players for the weekend. Also local rivals of God's Own Club Aston Villa. Winger Stephen Hunt once fractured Petr Cech's skull, and, thanks to his last name, is probably the player featured in the most dirty chants across England. They were once known as "Champions of the World," after beating a number of other clubs that - like Wolves - are not very good anymore.