With another star departing Birmingham for Manchester, one might imagine Aston Villa fans to be up in arms about it. After all, it's hard to deal with losing your best player every year, and it's happened to them again. And, to be fair, there's the usual quota of people describing Ashley Young - bought from Watford in 2007 for £10M - as some sort of traitor to the cause for daring to join Manchester United.
At 7500 to Holte, SB Nation's Aston Villa blog, Kirsten is less inclined to be angry at Young, or indeed United, for the move. It's not difficult to see that the defending champions are on a different level entirely to Villa, who flirted with relegation for much of the season, and therefore not difficult to see the motivation for a player moving onwards and upwards. Kirsten is still sad, however - Young gave the club plenty of good moments over his four years with them, and she writes that he could have helped propel them back towards respectability had he stuck around:
I'm not an Ash hater, really, I'm not. I have his kit and I find him to be an excellent player, fun to watch, exciting both on the wing and behind the striker. But it's been clear for at least half a season that he's had his mind elsewhere. And that's fine, I suppose. Better than having a player that truly doesn't want to be at the club. At the same time, I would have loved to see a Bent and Young partnership that had worked together all season, that had finally figured things out. Things could've got really interesting.
Alas, it was not meant to be. There will be plenty of time over the next few weeks to talk about who might take Ash's place, or if it will be filled at all. We can mock his corners and we can discuss how United might handle his pouts. But for now, let's just say goodbye, shall we? After all, he really did give us a few good years.
Young may not have handled his impending departure with much class, but there are at least some Villa fans who aren't responding in kind.