Philippe Senderos was a somewhat polarising summer signing for Aston Villa fans, but the Swiss centre-back at least managed to silence some of his doubters in the side’s Premier League opener.
Given the start by Paul Lambert for Saturday’s match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, the 29-year-old struck up an immediate rapport with club captain Ron Vlaar in the heart of defence, stifling the opposition attack to help earn a 1-0 win.
|Vs Stoke||Team||Pos||Outfielder Block||Offside Provoked||Effective Clearance||Effective Head Clearance||Duel Won||Poss Won Def 3rd||Ball Recovery||Apps||Mins|
|Philippe Senderos||Aston Villa||DF||2||1||9||2||2||1||3||1||90|
|Ron Vlaar||Aston Villa||DF||1||0||7||6||2||3||5||1||90|
With a less than stellar reputation in English football, thanks to his error-prone spells at Arsenal and Fulham, it was a performance few expected, filling supporters with hope that the ex-Valencia man might just prove a serviceable option for the club going forward.
With it remaining to be seen whether Villa will bring in additional centre-back help before the close of the transfer window, the other current question marks at the position mean Senderos could well become an important part of the side’s 2014-15 campaign.
|2013-14||Team||Pos||Outfielder Block / apps||Offside Provoked / apps||Effective Clearance / apps||Effective Head Clearance / apps||Duel Won / apps||Poss Won Def 3rd / apps||Ball Recovery / apps||Apps||Mins|
|Nathan Baker||Aston Villa||DF||0.83||1.03||7.07||3.93||4.60||1.07||1.67||30||2,478|
|Ciaran Clark||Aston Villa||DF||0.81||1.07||7.44||4.00||4.70||1.74||2.63||27||2,202|
|Ron Vlaar||Aston Villa||DF||0.59||1.25||6.63||2.94||4.09||3.25||4.66||32||2,805|
|Jores Okore||Aston Villa||DF||0.33||0.67||5.00||2.67||3.67||2.00||4.00||3||167|
Both Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark looked far from Premier League standard options last season, while the on-going interest in Vlaar’s signature means his future at Villa Park remains in the balance over the coming weeks.
Danish international Jores Okore, signed from F.C. Nordsjælland last summer, was who most wanted to start alongside the skipper this season but, after a damaged ACL ruled him out for most of his debut campaign, he still has to show that he has both recovered and can handle the rigours of the English top-flight.
Of course, Senderos was far from a glamorous addition, and one who was perhaps made due to funds being sparse at the time, but his fee transfer could just end up being a bargain if the Stoke performance was a sign of things to come.
The next test coming against Newcastle United this weekend at Villa Park, another solid outing in front of the home fans will likely go some way towards further muzzling his critics, although a trademark error could see things go back to square one.
Can Senderos prove his critics wrong this season?