Early Karim El Ahmadi stats suggest we’ve signed a bit of a gem
He was our first signing of the Lambert era, and early indications continue to suggest that we’ve signed a bit of a gem in Karim El Ahmadi. He’s already been named Villa’s player of the month for August, and is arguably one of our more important players just three games into his Villa career.
I saw this stat earlier via the excellent AVFC Stats page on Twitter, and while some believe that stats aren’t the be all and end all of things, I still think they make for impressive reading:
‘Villa’s August PotM Karim El Ahmadi leads the side for passes (176), interceptions (7) and pass accuracy (86.4%) of those with 2+ apps’
He did pretty well in his Premiership debut against West Ham, was one of the only bright spots against Everton and played an important role in our draw against Newcastle on the weekend. For only £2 million, and still only 27 he could prove to be one hell of a signing. Lambert certainly looks like he’s trying to get us playing a more passing game, something the stats back up and it’s nice to have someone who looks so comfortable on the ball.
Stan Petrov was often criticised for keeping things simple, but keeping the ball is such an underrated quality in a footballer. You don’t have to look for the ‘Hollywood’ pass all the time, keeping the ball can be just as important. In El Ahmadi we have someone clearly confident with ball at feet, and it’s nice to have someone constantly looking for the football.
I will be interested to see how Ashley Westwood comes into all of this. By all accounts he is also very good on the ball, so will he be the one to sit in the middle, maybe just ahead of the back four and look to dictate play? This might give El Ahmadi a bit more of a roaming role, but of course it’s all early days yet.
Lambert has already looked like he’s made a few more than decent acquisitions, and certainly Karim El Ahmadi looks like he’s right up there.