Ron Vlaar. A beast who can play football
The man just looks mean, and we’ve missed someone of that ilk for a long time at the Villa. I’m delighted this long drawn out transfer has finally been completed, and any time you can replace someone like James Collins with someone like Ron Vlaar, that has to go down as good business.
Collins moved on to West Ham, for a fee of around £2.5 million, and I think that is a terrific deal for us considering he only had a year left on his contract. Vlaar’s arrival meant we had a surplus of centre-backs at the club, meaning that realistically one of Collins and Dunne had to go. Collins is probably easier to sell at this stage of their prospective careers, and for me, the main thing was that one of them went. Collins had a few off the field issues, clearly doesn’t fit in with the Lambert philosophy so as mentioned I think we’ve done well getting what we did for him, especially when the fee for Vlaar is reported to be around £3 million.
Many have speculated that Vlaar will be the more physical player alongside a more refined, ‘footballing’ partner at the back. You only have to look at Vlaar to know that he won’t take any messing around, and as mentioned at the top I’m delighted to see that we’ve added a player of that stature. I saw this stat on the ‘Who Scored’ twitter feed though, and it was once again pleasing to see:
“Ron Vlaar: Of players to attempt at least 100 passes at Euro 2012, only 5 had a better pass success rate than Vlaar’s 93.4% “
Once again this can only bode well for us, and suggests we’ll be seeing a completely different style of football at Villa Park next season. He can clearly pass a ball, and to achieve that percentage at a tournament with the stature of the European Championships hopefully means he’ll adapt with limited difficulty to the rigours of the Premiership.
You can see in the preseason games we’ve played so far, that we’re looking to pass the ball and on many a occasion, are looking to play out from the back. This to me was evident from the first game against Burton, where I noticed Andy Marshall frequently throwing the ball out to his defenders, rather than kicking it long. Clark is adept with the ball at his feet, and Dunne, unlike Collins can pass the ball short if needed.
So although I expect Vlaar to be an absolute beast at the back, I think we’ll also find out that he’s not bad in possession either.
Welcome to the Villa Vlaar!