Date: 13th January 2009 at 1:36pm
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Brad Friedel has made his all the way up the Actim stats for goalkeepers, slotting in behind Peppe Reina in the top goalie stakes.

The summer signing from Blackburn Rovers, after a shaky start, has proven to be one of Martin O`Neill`s best buys to date providing rock solid goaltending for the boys in Claret & Blue. The difference someone like Friedel makes to our squad was highlighted when former Villa #1 Scott Carson returned to Villa Park, gifting us the kind of odd goal I haven`t seen for Villa since Zat Knight signed off his Fulham career by scoring the winner for us via an unlucky “deflection.”

Friedel is just 20 index points behind Peppe Reina and 18 ahead of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. According to the stats, this makes the former American international the 18th top player in the Premier League at the moment!

Other notable mentions for Villans, Martin Laursen has remained within the top 5 defenders despite missing a number of games through injury. Gareth Barry and Ashley Young sit nicely in 2nd and 3rd for the race to be the top midfielder (behind super Frank.) Meanwhile Gabby Agbonlahor, the leagues 3rd top player, is nestled in as the 2nd top striker between Robinho and Nicolas Anelka.

Happy days for Villa players!