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Petrov Key To Cleansheets

Brad Friedel has said that Stiliyan Petrov is a key figure in Villa's quests for multiple clean sheets this season.

Speaking on the official site, Friedel (in a stating the bleedin obvious moment) explained that defending starts from the front but more importantly that the resurgent form of Petrov in his holding midfield role cannot be underestimated.

'The defensive unit received a lot of praise after the 0-0 with Liverpool but I think Stiliyan Petrov deserves real credit too.

'Defending is not only about a goalkeeper and four defenders. It starts from the front. Stiliyan is exceptional at breaking up the opponent's attack at source, before it reaches the back four.

'People can make their own assessments on the last game and a lot have, insisting that Rafa Benitez was too negative. But I think we deserve a lot of credit for making it very difficult for them.

'We got out of the blocks against Manchester City. We had a lot of changes for that game personnel-wise and then we had the disappointment of Stoke.

'And then our most solid defensive display came against Liverpool, culminating in our clean sheet.

'It wasn't just the fact we picked up a clean sheet. I was more pleased with the fact that we limited a tremendous attacking force to very few chances. That's the most pleasing aspect.

'We can build on that. We assessed our performance against Stoke and made great strides defensively against Liverpool. Long may that continue.'

Long may that continue indeed Brad. Leaking goals last season cost us 5th place undoubtedly and O'Neill has worked hard this transfer window to fortify our defence.

If the midfield, Petrov alone or not, keep chasing back, hassling and breaking up the play our defence will have a much easier life.

So far this season it seems our inconsistencies lie in a great attack = dodgy defence or great defence = dodgy attack.

Won't it be fun when everyone is firing on all cylinders.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 3 2008

Time: 8:41PM

Your Comments

Petrov can play an important role this season if he wants to, i am sure he will be a runner for Player of the Year if he can maintain current form
young_jonah
petrov has been magnificent this season so far, and tenacious, commanding, commited, and 110% effort all the way in everything he has done on the pitch this season. i think we may have all been wrong to of doubted him. if he stays fit and in this form we will have a massive player in our engine room. i am personally becomming a big fan of his because he is starting to look like the player we knew he was in scotland. and to be fair you cant doubt or question his desire to suceed at villa and in the prem, unlike the bottler maloney!!!! stan is fast becomming the man!
Stig
could he become our Makelelle type player in his new found midfield anchor/general role? holding and hovering in front of defence picking up and winning loose/2nd balls and starting moves forward? He is capable of scoring screamers aswell, just pop onto you tube and check out some of his unbelieveable goals for celtic. Barry seems comfortable with him aswell knowing Petrov is behind him.
Stig
oh my, im having headaches with the midfield we have got! where does Gardner and Sidwell fit? haha. anyways, i was disappointed that fans commented Friedel was poor in this match. POOR??? he had nothing to do, yes. but the tipping save he made from one pool cross was WORLD CLASS. now, imagine if Carson was playing, i rest my case (to anybody who bothers, LOL!)
Gruck
I'm getting Petrov on my new Villa jersey.I was a huge fan of his at Celtic and have always stuck with him at Villa. I'm extremely delighted he's back to form and hope he keeps it up. The fight to get into the starting team in our Midfield is going to raise everybody's game tremendously.
los_angeles_villan
1 thing i hated about Olof Mellberg was his big mouth, always in the press before a big game...From a couple of articles of Brad im pretty sure he is as opinionated as Olof was...Commenting about Santa Cruz last week, Now Stan...im awaiting the negative comments about the opposition, just like Olof used to....motivating them !!
Euro_Champs_82
I kept my eye on petrov last match against l'pool, and I counted, in total, over the whole game, 5 times he gave the ball away. 5 times. That's the sort of pass completion you'd have got with zidane a few years back. OK, so maybe his passes weren't quite as searching as zidanes, but the way he's so comfortable on the ball, it doesn't matter if there's a man on or not, he'll get his body in the way and then use the ball sensibley. The guys class, there's no doubt. I just hope this summers signings don't take as long to gel as stan did though.
lorenzo
los_angeles has pretty much taken words from my mouth regarding Stan. I've been a fan since he came, and although I've been very frustrated and disappointed with the majority of his form since he signed, I knew he had a quality player locked away and I've kept with him. Now I'm seriously contemplating his name and number on my jersey this season. When he came to form toward the end of last season it was great to see the fans starting to recognise what he was bringing to the side instead of getting on his back, and he's started this season where he left off last year - long may it continue! UTV...
Mayo_12
Petrov, in my humble estimation, is the key to everything. as I said on the forum, he can have the key to my house if he likes. Talented individual, arguably one of our most naturally gifted footballers.
glensider
He's continued showing the very same form in which he ended last season, really looking the business now. Brad's no fool, he knows whats what. The comments from the big man should be heeded. stans The Man!
glensider
 

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