Emile Heskey is perhaps more so a marmite type player than anyone in the game when it comes to fans. You either love the guy or hate him.
However it is well documented that he is very much respected by fellow professionals and coaches all over the land.
This week has seen him receive praise from both Frank Lampard and John Carew.
Lampard said 'Emile is fantastic. His work-rate is brilliant and what he has done since he has come back into the squad has been top class.'
Heskey's recall to the side has seen a change in fortune with the side winning all 7 World Cup qualifying games so far.
Lampard continued - 'He is a great lad and he deserves a lot of credit. He deserved his goal against Kazakhstan but goalscoring is not all of his game. The beauty of Emile is the work ethic that he gives the team, the fact that he works his socks off. He is a target man for us, he is very unselfish in the way he plays but now and again he pops up with his goals. He is top drawer!'
John Carew praised Heskey on the official site by saying - 'Emile is a great player and I think it was a great move from the club to get him here'.
Heskey scored a cracker on his debut at Fratton Park against Portsmouth after some good link up with Gabby Agbonlahor.
Carew also said ''I think he has done well and it's definitely improved the competition. You need plenty of good players at a football club. Emile's arrival lifted everyone and made the competition tougher and made every player - particularly up front - raise their levels. There's no doubt he's been a great signing - 100 per cent.'
And as if to send out a reminder to fans who have been quick criticise the England striker since his arrival, Carew continued by saying 'He has been amazing in training. You always need a bit of time to settle in and find your feet. It took me about six months. He is at a new club with new players. He has been superb and I am sure he's yet to reach his peak during games here. He has a lot to offer because he is a really, really good footballer'.
I am sure this praise will stir up plenty of debate among fans as some blame Heskey for the sides fall from the top four. As the 4-5-1 formation was ditched to accommodate him, that said it is worth noting that John Carew's injury had prompted that formation being used in the first place and he returned to fitness shortly after Heskey's arrival and as such the formation would likely have reverted back to 4-4-2 anyway.
Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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