By Dan Summers
Aston Villa are one of the most successful clubs in England. They were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and the Premier League in 1992. The Villains have won the European Cup, English League Title, FA Cup, Football League Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. Furthermore, they have produced more England national team players than any other club. Despite struggling mightily over the past few seasons, Aston Villa still maintains a very large and passionate fan base. This is illustrated in Villa’s strong presence on the Internet. 7500 to Holte is one of a handful of Aston Villa blogs. It is one of SB Nation’s 300+ blogs, which are generally run by fans. For example, an Aston Villa fan that lives in Seattle, Washington runs this blog. This blog is named after the distance in between Seattle, Washington and Birmingham, England. As an American that has never been to England, this blog’s author and his passion for Aston Villa really drew me to the site.
7500 to Holte provides tons of information about Aston Villa, including: match previews, match recaps, match threads, and match highlights. On a typical game-day, a visitor to the site can expect to find all of these. For example, Aston Villa just advanced to the 5th round of the FA Cup over the weekend, defeating Bournemouth 2-1. 7500 to Holte delivered all of the match coverage necessary. They provided a preview of the match and a scouting report of the opponent. Furthermore, the site wrote another article detailing the recent upsets in the FA Cup and how they bode well for Aston Villa’s chances in advancing in the FA Cup. On the day of the match, 7500 to Holte had a match-thread where fans can interact and comment on what is happening during the math. This is one of my favorite places to go because it enables me to interact with other Villa fans. Finally, once the match had ended, the site provided post match coverage. This included a summary of the match, videos of the goals and information about the next match.
For fans looking for soccer coverage outside of Aston Villa, 7500 to Holte definitely provides it. For example, the site just posted an article explaining the transfer window. The transfer window is the last day that clubs can bring in transfers until the summer. For clubs eyeing promotion or looking to avoid relegation, this is a massive day. The players that they bring in on this final day could shape the club’s history forever. In England, this day is celebrated, as many last minute deals go through. In the United States, however, we have nothing similar to a deadline day. So, an article explaining the transfer deadline is useful information for all American soccer fans.
Finally, the site has tabs at the top of the page labeled “fanposts”, “fanshots”, “library”, and “odds” Each of these tabs allows fans to get information beyond the standard text articles. The “fanposts” section is very similar to an open forum. This is where Aston Villa fans can come and start new threads about whatever they choose. The majority of the time these threads are about Aston Villa, however, they do not always have to be. The “fan shots” tab is definitely my favorite part of the website. In this section, fans can post videos and pictures from the Aston Villa matches. This is a very useful section to come to if you missed the game because fans will have posted images and videos of the goals that occurred during the match. The “library” section includes instant news about Aston Villa, injuries that the Aston Villa squad has and links to other soccer fan sites. Finally, the “odds” section is linked to a bookmaker’s site. This is a really neat tab to check out because match odds fluctuate quite frequently during the week leading up to the match. Things such as injuries, suspensions, and form dictate how heavy of an underdog or favorite a particular team will be.
All in all, 7500 to Holte is a really great blog. The blog is geared towards Aston Villa fans; however, non- Villa fans can certainly find other content on the site. The great part about 7500 to Holte is that it is apart of the SB Nation blog umbrella, so, fans are easily able to navigate multiple different team blogs with one click. As an Aston Villa fan, this blog has met every one of my expectations. It is organized, concise, and insightful writing that makes for an extremely enjoyable read.