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Chelsea v Villa: Lambert - Westwood and Bannan in exceptional form
Paul Lambert on key midfield duo.
23rd Dec 2012
Chelsea v Villa: Lambert - Westwood and Bannan in exceptional form


Brown

Paul Lambert has hailed his midfield duo of Ashley Westwood and Barry Bannan on the eve of the Chelsea game, insisting: "They're in exceptional form."

In fact, Lambert believes they aren't getting the full credit they deserve.

Lambert thinks Westwood is a "Mini Scholes" in central midfield, keeping the ball moving beautifully and hardly ever giving it away in the process.

And he says Bannan is on cloud nine at present, forming, as he is, a wonderful partnership with Westwood in the middle ground.

Lambert said: "Ashley has been exceptional. He probably doesn't get the credit he deserves because he's got a great art of giving the ball to someone in the same colour of shirt.

"People think that's easy but I know from my own experience that it's not.

"He knows how to do it and he's been brilliant for us. He's been like that since we threw him in at Sunderland. He's been exceptional.

"His pass completion rate goes under the radar. People tend to focus on different things. But Ashley has come from Crewe and had a great upbringing. He's been exceptional for us.

"I called him a Mini Scholes. I stand by it. I still believe it because of the way he passes the ball.

"Sometimes the five-yard pass is the most difficult because no-one wants to play it. He does it brilliantly well.

"He's a top, top player. He moves the ball quickly. No-one is going to outrun a football. Nobody is quicker than the football. He uses that to great effect.

"Barry has been excellent also. He's another one who probably doesn't get the credit he deserves.

"He's got a great knack like Ashley of not giving the ball away.

"People can look at his height and think he's not strong enough but what he can do is he can play football, he can manoeuvre that ball.

"Barry is playing really, really well at the minute."

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