Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday December 5 2012
Frossum posted this in our forum and I thought it worthy of debate!
My Summer signing ratings:
Vlaar (A)- Concrete Ron has been an excellent signing. In Vlaar we are finally getting the production from a CD we hoped to get when we signed dud`s like Warnock. He is our team captain enough said. Hope he is fit soon.
El Ahmadi (C)- Started strongly but has tapered off of late. Appears he was signed to be the midfield regulator as he is not afraid to commit a hard tackle (maybe too comfortable). His creativity is lacking and seems reluctant to pass the ball forward into tight spaces settling too often for the short safe pass back to our centre defense.
Benteke (A-)- Great signing and is certainly supporting PL`s decision to remove Bent from the starting 11 (although I question the reasoning on how DB can`t at least find a spot on the bench). He has shown to be a great target man, holds the ball up well, has a really good first touch, is a beast in the air, and is a deft passer. I would like to see him improve as a clinical finisher as too often he has missed the mark a bit too frequently. Considering that he is just 22 (as of yesterday), he just might have time to improve in this area ?. Regardless if it is true or not, that he is already being mentioned as a future transfer target for Man U certainly indicates this is a massive signing.
Lowton (B)- Does not seem to be over his head at all in the Premiere League. Add the fact that he has had to play centre defense due to injuries and he looks more like he has been in the top league for years. He needs to improve on his crosses and at times he has tried to get a little too cute with some of his passes and clearances.
Bennett (C)- I would rate him higher but his time off the pitch due to the nasty cut he received has been cut short so far. From what I have seen I believe his performance will be on par with Lowton`s if not better. He has shown better touch on his crosses but not quite as strong of a passer as Lowton. He also may have the tendency to pick silly cards as evidenced by his sending off for a second yellow against Norwich.
Westwood (B)- I really like this kid. Never seems to act rushed. His pass completion ratio is superb and he has already showing that he can slot a pass nicely in to tight areas (Just has Brett Holman after his first Premiere goal). He is currently tied for the team lead in assists. I would like to see him borrow a little of El Ahmadi`s tackling aggression but all in all he looks to be a real gem.
Bowery (NR)- I think we all knew that Jordon was going to be a signing for the future however he has shown a penchant for finding the goal in his reserve appearances.
Stevens (C-)- To be fair I think he was signed as a reserve with future potential. Due to the injuries we have sustained Edna has filled in quite admirably. He needs to get stronger in the air and has occasionally lost his mark during corners. He has certainly proven that he is capable to fill in when needed.
Holman (C+)- Love his energy and he is two superb saves away from tallying three goals in the Premiere league. Needs to improve his runs a bit and at times seems to pick the wrong passing options. However, did I say I love his energy?
Brad Guzan (B+)- Yes a resigning, yes he was on the squad last year but Big Brad had every reason to play elsewhere as he was appeared more likely to require treatment from bed wounds on his arse from sitting on the bench then see any meaningful playing time at Villa. Lambert convinced him to resign and one could argue that his play between the poles is the biggest reason we have as many points as we do so far.
I know this may be a bit early but I certainly feel that so far the initial optimism was warranted. By my count, of the 10 players signed/ resigned, we have 6 starters Guzan, Westwood, Benteke, Lowton, Vlaar,Bennett when fit), 2.5 major players (Holman, El Ahmadi, & Stevens ½), and one for the future (Bowery).
So Far it appears Mr. Lambert certainly knows what he is doing when it comes to evaluating talent. Let`s hope his signings in January turn out half as well as his summer signings.
Date:Wednesday December 5 2012
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