This Is Villa Park

This Is Villa Park

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February Poster Player of the Month; Brad Guzan

Poster player of the month is the player that will appear each month at the top of my blog. 
Brad Guzan
Returning to Aston Villa last summer, the American between the Villa sticks has provided top notch saves and the pride of a lion heart.
The USA international signed a three year deal in July 2012 after being released by the former management in charge last season. His aim and accomplishment being to claim the number 1 jersey off Shay Given. With the admiration of both Paul Lambert and our hard to please fans, he has not only won that jersey but also received the good words from the Villa Park faithful.
Two seasons ago Guzan made his first big impression. Two notable performances in two cups saw the keeper make a name for himself in claret and blue.
Heart of a lion.
The Chicago born stopper saved two penalties in the Peace Cup against favourable opposition Juventus as Villa triumphed the Italian giants in a thrilling penalty shoot out to lift the pre season trophy.
However, you could say that was surpassed in October 2009, when Guzan went on to be a hero in another penalty high pressure situation.
This time it was the Black Cats, Sunderland in the League Cup which saw Villa through to the next round. Not only did he save a penalty in the 90 minutes, he then went to save another three in the shoot out.
Other than his cup matches, his way into the Premier League was always blocked off by Brad Frediel, his fellow American. Because of this he saw this season through on the bench, and followed the next season under Gerard Houllier on loan to Hull City. He returned to Villa in April after two successful spells up in Hull.
Despite Alex McLeish purchasing Shay Given in the summer of 2011 after the departure of Frediel to Tottenham Hotspur, Brad Guzan made the step up to the Premier League over the Christmas period when the Irishman had an eight match injury lay off.
This season, Guzan has been one of the few shining lights. He has made his mark and has producing some sublime saves to not only keep us in some games but keep our dignity in some matches.

And Brad's right, we don't have to play Barcelona type football, we just need the wins, the three points. He's not just the type of goalkeeper that is gonna sit back and think he's already done the job at hand, he's gonna fight. Just like the rest of them need to, no matter what position you play. Whether you're a keeper, or just sitting on the bench, every member of that team has a job to do. Installing that belief and having that bit of passion has made Guzan become a hero in my eyes, it's not just because of what he does on the pitch. 

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