Guzan Week: STATS: Brad No.1 in top-flight for claiming crosses
The best indication of the quality season that Brad Guzan has just had is,perhaps, the fact that the keeper pipped top-scorer Christian Benteke to Villa's player of the season award from both pals and players.
It speaks volumes of the esteem in which the big USA ace is held in and around the club, with his efforts in goal proving just as vital as the strikes by the Belgian at the business end.
His breakthrough campaign also signifies an exceptional turnaround.
With Guzan's contract allowed to run out by the former management, Paul Lambert made the ultimately decisive decision to give him a fresh start and the stopper has never looked back.
Earning his place in the side 1-1 draw away at Newcastle, with Villa picking up their first point of the season following defeats to West Ham and Everton, Guzan has played every minute of every Barclays Premier League game since.
A look at the number of statistics in which Guzan ranks among the 'league's top five stoppers to have played over half of their team's respective games this season' shows just how impressive he has been, with WhoScored.com providing the ammo to back up claims that he was one of the top keepers around in 2012-13.
Only four goalkeepers were able to make more saves than the No.22, with a tally of 114 only bettered by Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, Simon Mignolet and Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Meanwhile, the latter, along with David De Gea, Artur Boruc and Hugo Lloris were the only keepers to commit fewer errors leading directly to opposition goals than Guzan (2).
Coming in fourth, the American made 75 saves from shots taken inside the box, overtaking Cech of the aforementioned quartet to make more saves in total, meaning 65.8% of his stops came from efforts within the 18 yard box.
In addition, Guzan ranked fourth for punches (25), with Lloris, Cech and Mignolet those above him in that category.
With 254 accurate long balls, Guzan was only behind Stoke's Asmir Begovic and West Ham's Jaaskelainen.
He was up to second for accurate goal kicks (212) as Begovic again led the way.
However, Guzan is at the summit for a couple of key statistics.
He shares the title with Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny for the most successful smothers at the feet of opposition players, with 13, while storming out in front in terms of successful claims from crosses.
With 97 good high claims, Guzan leads his next closest rival (Asmir Begovic) by 11, and is a full 35 clear of Ben Foster in third.
With the command of an area so crucial to the modern shot stopper, Villa's defence are safe in the knowledge that in Guzan, they have a keeper who is more than capable of plucking a ball out of the sky.
With another season in England's top flight ahead, Guzan can reflect on a job well done over the last ten months, with the fans hoping for more of the same from their player of the year next time around.
Find yet more statistics on Aston Villa and the rest of the Premier League, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings at WhoScored.com. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @martinlaurence7 on Twitter.
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