Sunday media watch [21.04.13]: Guzan in the news
Observer: On May 23 last year Aston Villa announced on their website that Brad Guzan was one of three players being released, thanked him for his efforts and wished him all the best. By that point Guzan had already cleared his locker, bid farewell to his team-mates and was back in the United States wondering what the future held. The answer - being a leading contender to be named Villa's player of the year 11 months later - would never have entered his head. Guzan looks a little embarrassed to be singled out for such praise, although when it comes to Villa's standout performer this season, it is a straightforward choice between the 28-year-old American goalkeeper and the striker Christian Benteke. Brought into the team for the third game of the season at Shay Given's expense, Guzan seized his chance and has fully justified Paul Lambert's faith in him. One statistic perfectly sums up his contribution in a turbulent season for the Midlanders: he is the only Premier League goalkeeper to have made more than 200 saves.
Sunday Mercury: Brad Guzan could become the first Villa goalkeeper to make it into the Professional Footballers' Association Team of the Year - but insists it will count for nothing if the club go down. The American stopper has been in sensational form this season and is among the favourites to top the select XI, which will be named next Sunday. Guzan's growing reputation will be enhanced if he can keep Manchester United at bay tomorrow night when Villa travel to Old Trafford but personal glory is not on his mind.
Daily Star on Sunday: Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan has warned that David de Gea faces another battering ram tomorrow night in Belgian bruiser Christian Benteke. Manchester United's Spanish stopper required the smelling salts at Upton Park in midweek after being flattened by Hammers hitman Andy Carroll in a shuddering collision. That sparked a furious reaction from Sir Alex Ferguson, who claimed post-match the England forward should have been sent off, before adding his players were just glad to leave the capital in 'one piece'. On the eve of Villa's trip to the league leaders, the American's message to De Gea is be prepared for more rough stuff, this time from Villa's powerful 6ft 4ins striker.
Independent on Sunday: It is one of the ironies of this Premier League season that Aston Villa will turn up at Manchester United tomorrow night without a clean sheet in 17 matches - the worst run of any top-flight club - yet also with arguably the division's best-performing goalkeeper between their posts. "Going to be a hot one!" was Brad Guzan's tweet on the opening day of the campaign, and it has certainly been that and more for the American international who, playing in front of a young, error-prone Villa defence, has made more saves than any other Premier League custodian - 200 to date this season, with doubtless a few more to follow at Old Trafford tomorrow.
Sunday People: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has added his name to the growing list of top-flight managers monitoring the progress of Aston Villa defender Matt Lowton. Frenchman is bracing himself for the exit of right-back Bacary Sagna in the summer. Wenger wants to bring in a full-back with international experience, which Lowton does not have, but that has not stopped scouts filing rave reviews about the 23-year-old.
Sunday Mirror: Newcastle are the latest club alerted to Andreas Weimann's contract stalemate with Aston Villa. Weimann's current deal expires in 2014 and Villa are yet to negotiate an extension, despite manager Paul Lambert's desire to keep him. Norwich have already made an enquiry, while Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the situation. And Newcastle have now joined the list of clubs ready to pounce if Villa fail to strike an agreement.
Mail on Sunday: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits club captain Stiliyan Petrov is still inspiring his battling side as the Bulgarian midfielder continues his battle with leukaemia. Petrov is now in remission having undergone chemotherapy following his diagnosis in March last year. Having spent much of the last 13 months fighting his own battle away from the club, Petrov is now able to increase his presence around Villa Park and the club's Bodymoor Heath training base.
Goal.com: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says that Stiliyan Petrov is an inspiration to his side as the club captain continues his battle with leukaemia. The 33-year-old, who signed for Aston Villa under Martin O'Neill's tenure in 2006, has made 186 appearances for the club, taking the armband after being voted the club's Player of the Year in the 2008-09 season. Having been diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March 2012 and undergone chemotherapy treatment, Petrov is now in remission, and able to play a bigger part at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground.
Sunday Mercury: Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan has revealed his sadness over the Boston bombings which have left one of his friends injured. American Guzan, who was born in Illinois, has been avidly watching news reports of the fatal explosions which saw three killed and more than 180 injured at the marathon finishing line on Monday. "It's definitely been a crazy week. I know the goalkeeper for the team in Boston in the MLS, the New England Revolution, his father-in-law was injured in the attack so, hopefully, he has pulled through some of the surgeries," said Guzan. "I think he still needs prayers and well wishes, hopefully he can pull through that situation, it is tragic what has happened."
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.