Writer: Dan Jones
Date:Wednesday February 18 2009
Last season was a rollercoaster ride to be enjoyed by all. We had some great wins - beating Chelsea, Birmingham City, Derby County and Newcastle along the way, as well some disappointing results including the embarrassing 4-4 against Tottenham.
But what has changed? Why are Aston Villa riding so high in the league?
One word - Brad Friedel
Granted we have Martin O'Neill who has masterminded some great results and upsets over the last two and a half years. But Thomas Sorensen and Scott Carson both made mistakes that cost Villa games in O'Neill's first two seasons at the helm.
Around February 2008 it became increasingly evident that Villa would not look to sign Scott 'Frank' Carson on a permanent basis and much debate was had here on Vital Villa as to who we would like to see between the sticks, names such as Ben Foster, Chris Kirkland, Jussi Jääskeläinen, Carlo Cudicini and Boaz Myhill were thrown around, among others.
For me I remember being stood in the pub watching Blackburn Rovers play Manchester United in April 2008, and Brad Friedel was amazing making save after save, it was the best goalkeeping performance I had seen in my life, I turned to my friend and said 'I would love him at Villa'.
I was more excited when we signed him than I had been about any signing for a long time. I was at the Madjeski Stadium for his debut against Reading in a pre-season friendly. A few games into the season though I did start to think that maybe Friedel was past it, but since about October he has been incredible.
He commands his area, he is as solid as any keeper to have plied their trade in the Premiership, I do however feel given his age that Friedel may be somewhat of a stop gap, but what a stop gap he is!!!!
Having a top keeper between the sticks (something I would argue Villa haven`t had since Mark Bosnich left ten years ago) fills the defence with confidence, which in turn helps the rest of the team. The belief that if a mistake is made Friedel will be there to cover it, is a relief to a defence that had a shaky young lad in Carson behind them last year.
As for Brad Guzan, I cannot think of a better player for him to train alongside than Brad Friedel and if he can become half player Friedel is, then Guzan will become a very good keeper indeed.
Date:Wednesday February 18 2009
Sanchez Talks Manchester City (Monday April 27 2015)
Aston Villa Transfer Talk - One Link Is Half Decen (Monday April 27 2015)
Guzan Gets Sherwood Backing (Monday April 27 2015)
Sherwood On Manchester City Loss (Sunday April 26 2015)
Video/Audio - Manchester City Reactions (Sunday April 26 2015)
All Hail Tim Sherwood - The Messiah (Sunday April 26 2015)
Full Facial (Sunday April 26 2015)
Stats: Man City v Aston Villa (Saturday April 25 2015)
Darn It. Results Not Gone Aston Villa's Way Today (Saturday April 25 2015)
Aston Villa Taking On Man City - Starting Line-ups (Saturday April 25 2015)
|1.||Pride of Lions||971|
|Man City||3||-||2||Aston Villa|
|Man Utd||3||-||1||Aston Villa|
|12. Crystal Palace||33||11||9||13||-3||42|
|15. Aston Villa||34||8||8||18||-22||32|
|17. Hull City||32||6||10||16||-16||28|
|18. Leicester City||32||7||7||18||-17||28|
|Jose`s Giving Little Away!
» Chelsea : 28/04/2015 02:00:00
|Mourinho Praises Terry
» Chelsea : 28/04/2015 01:00:01
|Adam picked in BBC team of the weekend
» Stoke : 27/04/2015 22:03:00
|Stoke to unveil New Balance kit Friday
» Stoke : 27/04/2015 21:54:01
|Ref Watch: Pawson to referee Swansea v Stoke
» Stoke : 27/04/2015 21:36:00