Guzan Week: Friedel - Brad can be No.1 for the next decade
Brad Friedel believes Brad Guzan can be Villa's No.1 for the next decade.
Friedel is a firm admirer of Guzan, having trained with him for three years.
He sees a "brave, powerful and strong" stopper in Guzan - and someone who is immensely self-motivated to succeed.
Friedel has been thrilled to see Guzan step up and become the club's main goalkeeper and thinks he can regain that prestigious position for the next ten years.
He said: "Now is his time! He could be Villa's No.1 for over ten years, absolutely. It's entirely up to him by way of his performances.
"If he keeps playing like he has done this past season, he could be Villa's goalkeeper for a long, long time.
"When you're a goalkeeper that's all you can ask. You can only ask to be in the team if your level of performance is consistently high.
"He knows that Villa is going to be a club with very good goalkeepers so he has to keep his performances up. That's the same with any big club.
"He can be one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League too. He has all the attributes to be.
"The one thing he's short on is playing games. He has to go through a lot of experiences - good times and bad times. He needs to get to the point where he develops that thick skin of leather where you don't care what people think.
"He just needs to experience football at the highest level for a long period of time.
"He's still very young in goalkeeping terms. But he's got a very long career ahead of him."
Friedel was quick to spot Guzan's talent during their time together at Bodymoor Heath.
He added: "Brad had things you just couldn't coach - bravery and a base of power and strength.
"That was instilled in him so there wasn't a whole lot of pushing you had to do. He is a self-motivated fellow too.
"From what I have seen of Brad, I see a goalkeeper who can have many, many years ahead of him in the Premier League, which is great. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
"We saw immediately what a great player he was when he stepped through the doors at Bodymoor Heath.
"I don't think the management staff signed him to be a No.2 for his entire stay. They bought him to groom him to be No.1.
"We signed at the same sort of time. They tried to get him the transfer window before but the permit wasn't forthcoming. When we signed together, I was 37-years-old.
"They were almost signing me a stop-gap while they groomed Brad for the long-term. It's now really nice to see him getting the chance.
"I loved training with him every day. He's a really good guy. Like every goalkeeper, you want to play the game.
"But I think he realised that it's not the other goalkeepers who pick the team. It's the management who pick the team. He had no animosity towards me.
"He always offered me encouragement. He's a really good guy and he's a good team-mate to everybody, whether goalkeepers or outfield players.
"You ask anyone who's been with Brad in his time with Villa and they'll be glowing in their praise."
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