What a feeling it was to beat Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday! Without a doubt, we had the best team on the pitch and this is thanks to Tim Sherwood, who has come in to a club on a downward spiral and somehow given everyone hope. Now that I feel more positive about the end of the season, it is perhaps time to consider who we believe to be the player of the season.
Our main defenders this season have been Guzan, Given, Baker, Vlaar, Okore, Clark, Hutton, Cissokho, Bacuna and Richardson.
I would have put Senderos in there but, despite his good start, he has been out injured for most of the season.
When considering who has performed the best, I think it comes down to two players: Clark and Hutton. I think the others have performed reasonably well but these two have been the players who have, at times, made our defence seem good. Hutton has been really impressive for me as he came back into the starting XI after a time when none of us, probably not even Hutton himself, thought that he would play for Aston Villa Football Club again. I credit Lambert for this wise move. Hutton’s done a good job, not only defending but creating chances as well, including scoring on occasion. As for Clark, he has grown from a young defender to a leader. He may not be the captain but he has the ability now to sort out the defending and he seems to be happy to pair up with anyone who is alongside him. Without him, the Villans would be in big trouble as he, at times, has proven impossible to get past.
Guzan would have been included with the two defenders but I feel the number of goals going past him has gone against him this year.
If I had to choose my best defender then I would choose Clark.
Best defender = Ciaran Clark.
Midfield positions are the ones which Aston Villa Football Club needs to sort out so there can only be a few who have shown goodness in this season.
Our main midfielders are Cleverley, Sinclair, Westwood, Delph, Sanchez, Gil, N’Zogbia and Grealish.
In my opinion, there has only been one outstanding player in midfield for us this season and that man is Delph. What an impact he has had, especially after signing a new contract with Villa. His ability to run past defenders, create passes, dribble the ball and to lead the team out has been unbelievable. Very much like with Clark, without him, the Villans would have been in trouble.
Other players who have been good this season have been the loan signings Cleverley and Sinclair, as well as Gil and Grealish. If Sherwood can keep all of these players and they remain fit then we have a bright future in terms of midfielders but, without question, the best midfielder for Aston Villa this season is Delph. The Villa captain’s breakthrough into the national team is recognition of the good work he has done in claret and blue.
Best midfielder = Fabian Delph.
Scoring goals this season has proven to be hard for the Villans. Only since Sherwood has come in and boosted Benteke have we seen a change in front of goal. Benteke’s goals in the last few matches mean we have the top scorer in the latter part of this season so far.
However, Agbonlahor has been great for Villa since finding his form under Sherwood.
Other strikers in our squad, such as Weimann, have not produced so it comes down to two – Benteke or Agbonlahor. Agbonlahor has had good games, exploiting his pace and creating options down the wing but without Benteke’s goals the Villans would not be in the final of the FA Cup and would be very near or mired in the relegation zone. I can say with confidence that, in spite of a shaky start, Benteke is the best striker this season for Aston Villa.
Best striker = Christian Benteke.
Now comes the difficult bit… If I had to choose between Clark, Delph and Benteke then I would narrow it down to just Delph and Benteke.
I would be interested to see who people would choose as our player of the season. If it were up to me, it would be Delph: I feel that he has been with us all season and has always been our bright spark.
I believe Benteke would have come out on top if he hadn’t had the injury that meant he was struggling to score goals mid-way through the season.
Please leave a comment below, letting me know who you would nominate as Aston Villa’s player of the season.