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AVFC Summer Signings Rated

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.

Vlaar away shirt

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.

Ahmadi on ball

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.

Benteke in action claret

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.

Lowton claret

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.

Bennett claret and blue

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.

Westwood green

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.

Enda Stevens

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?

hol in action claret

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.

Guzan home kit

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 ), 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.

By Frossum

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 5 2012

Time: 9:49AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think Guzan should be rated A star, without this guy we would be in the bottom 3.
Villa 4 Ever
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05/12/2012 10:26:00

Interesting. Although I don't like to admit it McLeish did good work getting us Holman and Stevens. Stevens has surprised me. Saw him in the Reserves and didn't really think that he would be good enough, but fair play to him he has adapted very well so far. Benteke and Vlaar are great signings. Westwood and Lowton very good. Not seen enough of Bennett to make a judgement. Gordon Cowans really rates Bowery (good enough for me) so the only disappointment is KEA. Tremendous in close season, but he seems to be struggling with pace of Premiership. Obvious talent there, but we may have to be patient to see the best of him. However, IMO, tat is the MAIN area of the side we need to improve in January. A holding/enforcing midfield player, and I think we need to buy proven Premiership experience in that department. Basically, I agree with your article JF! Good read inbetween watching the Test Match. Must get some work done soon!
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05/12/2012 10:32:00

I'd def give Guzan an A, an A* even. Top performer this year. Bennett is a C- for me.
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05/12/2012 10:37:00

yes would go along with most of those with the exception of Bennet not seen a lot of him yet so time will tell but think he will struggle in the prem.
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05/12/2012 10:51:00

Agree and a good article. I agree with V4E and would give Guzan an A plus for Saturday alone just gone
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05/12/2012 12:14:00

Yes, all fair ratings but along with others, Guzan has to be A*
Pride of Lions
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05/12/2012 12:27:00

This is off topic but topical - now that the line of William is more or less assured going is time for him to be reminded that it is the law also that all offspring follow the Villa - thereby locking in the crown for the foreseeable. We The Villa should think about adding a little coronet to the lion - cos the way things are no other changes to the badge are imminent :(
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05/12/2012 12:58:00

And it seems the Birmingham Evening Mail has picked this up and giving the credit to our esteemed leader (The Fear) nstead of the originator of the article. Tut, tut Evening Mail.......
Pride of Lions
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05/12/2012 13:44:00

I agree with most of what is said but in the limited action Bennett has seen I really don't see how he can be awarded a C-. I haven't been impressed at all. It is still early days but the jury is definitely out for me. Benteke is obviously a shrewd piece of business but props to Lambert for Westwood because the kid is superb. He looks like he has been playing in this league for 10 years and can certainly play. The idea of signing cheap, young players and then selling them on for big profits looks possible with Lambert.
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05/12/2012 14:12:00

hopefully Bennett will find his feet, I agree at the moment with you notthedougellisstand but then, with a username like that, I would agree! LOL
The Fear
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05/12/2012 14:16:00

Glad to hear it Fear. I always said, you knew what you were on about lol
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05/12/2012 14:28:00

As I said on the excellent 100% Villa forum, and I quote, 'Good, interesting read that Frossum. I enjoyed that. Well thought out, sensible, and written with an obvious depth of claret and blue savvy'. We shouldn't dismiss the merits of young Joe Bennett so readily. Some were writing off Ashley Westwood after his second half substitute appearance at Southampton, yet he has come on in leaps and bounds. I am yet to be convinced by El Ahmedi, and believe it or not, I have a few reservations about Ron Vlaar too From the limited amount I've seen of Jason Bowery playing reserve team football, he looks someway off the pace of being a premier league striker right now, but he'll no doubt develop and progress, so I'm sort of sitting on the fence somewhat with regards to his potential. Extremely impressed with Lowton, Westwood, and Benteke, somewhat impressed with Brett Holman, although he does have limitations, while Enda Stevens has really showed potential. Brad Guzan? Not convinced, sorry.
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05/12/2012 14:30:00

I'm not writing Bennett off Glensider, I just don't think he has started well and looks out his depth. Obviously, he may just need time to adapt to the Premier League and be flying in a few months. I assume you're joking about Guzan?
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05/12/2012 14:34:00

What is also intriguing is that we went very close to three consecutive clean sheets - without Concrete for two and a half of them. Actually the "R's" goal was the first one this season that I thought Guzan should have got was a soft header, Anyway I hope thats a coinkidink largely based on the fact that two of the teams played were pants. UTRV.
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05/12/2012 14:44:00

just need to convince all the other users/readers now notthedougellisstand! lol
The Fear
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05/12/2012 15:14:00

Dont be silly Mala Guzan was never stopping that not many GKs would have gotten to it... Headers from crosses are one of the most difficult things for GKs to deal with... Guzan is a strong GK and not quite an agile one hence this is one of the reasons he is very good at getting to crosses... Guzan is excellent anyone with any doubts baffles me Im Irish and I love Shay Given the man is a hero but even I can admit Guzan suits our needs at this point in time... I agree with he ratings Id boost Guzan up to an A- and Id drop El Ahmadi to a D/C- he is a Morocan international and plays with a fear you would expect from Westwood but things are the other way around... He will be little more than a squad player if he doesnt get his act together because westwood is here to stay and at least two guys will be boosting MF so he better get his finger out...
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05/12/2012 16:01:00

Guzan is exceptional. So pleased for him. He was won us many a point single-handed recently. Not sure about Bennett...seems really lightweight and thinks he's made it (see his Instagram feed). Lowton on the other hand is brilliant...settled right in, very consistent. I'd give Stevens a B too.
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05/12/2012 18:14:00

I`ll wait a couple of seasons before i rate them.
Bikini Inspector
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05/12/2012 19:23:00

Nope, not joshing 'notthedougellisstand'. I fully accept that I'm the only person east of the Alleghenies who has reservations about our American custodian, but reservations I possess.
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05/12/2012 22:00:00

Well football is all about opinions and would be a boring game if we all thought the same.
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07/12/2012 09:19:00


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