Former Aston Villa captain Martin Laursen has expressed his delight at how well the club's defence has been peforming so far this season.
Aston Villa legend Martin Laursen has hailed the impact of the club’s new-look back-line, after seeing the side concede just one goal in their opening three Premier League games.
With captain Ron Vlaar joined by new signings Philippe Senderos and Aly Cissokho, as well former “bomb squad’ member Alan Hutton, Villa’s defensive problems of previous seasons have looked like a thing of the past, and Laursen believes there’s even strength in depth with fellow Dane Jores Okore on the bench.
‘Naturally with me being a former defender, the lads at the back have stood out,’ he wrote on the club’s official website. ‘It's great to see Villa looking so strong and secure there. That's the first building block when you're trying to win games.
‘Ron Vlaar impressed me incredibly in the World Cup. He was unbelievable! I didn't realise he was that good! He's been doing well for Villa but everyone struggled a bit defensively over the past couple of seasons.
‘But in Brazil for Holland, he was amazing. He was so strong, defended well and was good with the ball. In the middle of that back three, he was very impressive. He has taken that form into this season with Villa.
‘Philippe Senderos has been in Spain with Valencia and has played at some big clubs like Milan. He has that big-game experience. He has started really well for Villa. It's a strong pairing. It's great to see them performing.
‘It was good to see Jores Okore come on in the Denmark win over Armenia in midweek too. He did well. It's nice to see him back. I am sure everyone at the club is happy he is back.
‘He is not playing right now because Philippe and Ron are playing really well. But he is there and able to keep the other two on their toes. They know that if their levels drop, he is available to come on and do well. It's good for everyone.
‘Alan Hutton has done great since he's been back in. He is physically very strong and a superb tackler. He always seems to have a very good level. You can count on him.
‘Aly Cissokho has impressed me defensively but also offensively. He gets forward really well and does a lot for the team. He is physically very strong - like the other boys - and very mobile. He gets up and down the pitch really well. Villa have signed a really good player there.’
The defence might have exceeded expectations so far with its performances, but the coming weeks will pose a sterner test, with the next five league fixtures pitting Villa against Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, respectively.