Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has hailed Philippe Senderos, after the centre-back helped the side to another clean sheet in the weekend’s 0-0 home draw with Newcastle United.
A somewhat polarising summer signing, given his previous error-prone spells at Arsenal and Fulham, the 29-year-old also put in an excellent display in the 1-0 win over Stoke City in their Premier League opener, striking up an immediate rapport with defensive partner Ron Vlaar.
With fans now hopeful that he could become a serviceable option for Villa going forward, Lambert has revealed that it’s the Swiss international’s organisational skills which have been so crucial to the side’s positive start to the season.
‘Philippe has been excellent, he really has,’ the told the club’s official website.
‘One thing that may go unnoticed about Philippe is that he is a terrific organiser. He is really good at that.
‘When I went to watch Switzerland train that was one of the things that really stood out for me.
‘He was excellent at talking people through the game. He's been really good for us.’
With the previously jettisoned Alan Hutton and ex-Liverpool loanee Aly Cissokho making up the rest of the new-look back-line, Villa’s once shaky defence now looks like one of the side’s main strengths, although it remains to be seen where the future of captain Vlaar lies.
The subject of much transfer speculation over recent weeks, if a reported move to either Southampton or Manchester United did materialise during the final stages of the window then Senderos’s marshalling role in the heart of defence would become even more crucial to the lineup.
While that would have been a daunting proposition to most supporters prior to the start of the new campaign, if the former Valencia man can keep up his recent form then, with the promising Jores Okore set to step up, Vlaar’s potential departure might not prove as damaging as first feared.