We take a look at the Aston Villa squad and pick the five best players from the 2012-13 season.
It has been a tough campaign at Villa Park as Paul Lambert took over and installed a youthful policy at the club.
In the end it was close but they did survive relegation and without these five player you have to feel the story may not have ended so brightly.
Here is our top five Villa players for 2012-13...
There was never going to be any doubt about this young Belgian’s inclusion after a remarkable debut season in the Premier League. The 22-year-old has been vital to the survival of the team and his form in 2013 was the main factor in the teams relegation battle.
With 19 goals and eight man-of-the-match awards his impact is indisputable and earns his place at the top of the pile.
To survive in the Premier League you need invaluable consistent performers; exactly what Matt Lowton gave Paul Lambert this season.
The right-backs excellent campaign has even seen him linked with a big money move to Arsenal and he of course added a couple of winder-strikes into the equation; just for good measure.
Toward the end of the season the Austrian’s performances may have dropped off but when Villa were going through their darkest times the selfless work ethic of the front-man proved aa valuable asset throughout.
His goal return of seven for the season certainly did not do him justice but it would be hard to find anyone not convinced of his importance this year.
At one point it looked like the American was on his way out of the club in the summer; on fact he was officially released in June.
But after Shay Given’s poor displays at Euro 2012 Villa were in need of another stopper and he soon stamped his authority on the number one spot with a magnificent man-of-the-match display against Newcastle United.
Voted the players player and fans player of the year at the clubs award ceremony earlier in the month; it would be hard to leave Guzan out of the top five.
Bigger things are expected for next season from midfield man Westwood who became more and more assured as the season dragged on.
A solid ball retainer his performances have helped the Villa team tick all campaign and just gets the nod in my eyes ahead of Ron Vlaar or Gabby Agbonlahor.
Did we get it wrong? Who do you think is missing?
image: © apasciuto