Brett Holman shines in Villa win, as Mark Schwarzer keeps cool
Hard-working Socceroo Brett Holman produced a man of the match performance in Aston Villa’s drought-breaking 2-0 English Premier League win over Swansea.
HARD-WORKING Socceroo Brett Holman produced a man of the match performance in Aston Villa’s drought-breaking 2-0 English Premier League win over Swansea.
The Birmingham side has endured an awful run in recent times with Saturday’s win at Villa Park ending a run of 13 straight EPL matches without a victory.
Coach Paul Lambert praised Holman’s ability to back up after travelling to Amman for Australia’s disappointing 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Jordan on Tuesday.
“Brett needed another lung the way he was performing,” Lambert said.
“He was exceptional considering he has been away with the national team.
“The travelling Australia have to do is ridiculous. His effort was exceptional.”
Holman joined Aston Villa from the Netherlands in the off-season after being signed prior to Lambert’s arrival.
There had been concerns about how Holman would fit in under the regime of the former Norwich boss.
However any fears have been quickly erased with Lambert starting Holman in three of the opening four EPL matches of the season.
The Australian impressed with his best showing in a Villa shirt on Saturday as Lambert’s decision to play fresh faces paid dividends.
Holman caused all sorts of headaches for the previously unbeaten Welsh side on the wing with the goals coming from fellow newcomers Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke.
The Australian received a warm reception after being substituted in the 79th minute.
“You need time to get the team to gel and get used to each other,” Holman said,
“We definitely, in some parts of the game, played some nice football.”
He said it had been important to win back the home fans after Everton dished out a 3-1 drubbing in the opening home league match of the season.
“Having the fans behind you gives you energy,” he said.
Meanwhile reports that Fulham are set to bring in a new goal keeper did not faze Australian Mark Schwarzer in a 3-0 win over West Brom.
Accounting for West Bromwich Albion 3-0 in Saturday’s home match in west London, a faultless Schwarzer was repeatedly tested over 90 minutes.
Now in his fifth season at Craven Cottage, the 39-year-old stalwart was playing after news broke that manager Martin Jol is shopping for his replacement.
Despite Schwarzer’s commitment to play on, several British news outlets reported Jol was eyeing 24-year-old Turkish international keeper Sinan Bolat.
‘Fulham are expected to make a move for the Standard Liege keeper during the winter transfer window,’ boxscorenews.com reported.
‘The former Genk stopper could be brought in to provide competition to the ageing Schwarzer, but it is rumoured that Jol is looking for a ready-made predecessor to the veteran of over 500 games in English football,’ another website said.
If the news disturbed Schwarzer, the ever-dependable Australian wasn’t letting it show on Saturday, demonstrating that he’ll be hard to shift from the job.
While Fulham’s new recruit – striker Dimitar Berbatov – netted a double up front, helped by a third from Steve Sidwell in the closing minutes, Schwarzer kept up his part of bargain.
A desperate West Brom attack kept the Australian on his toes early, tipping a long-range effort over the crossbar while the post took care of a close corner shot.
He faced some low and hard shots in the second half.
With two wins from four matches, Fulham sit eighth on the Premier League table. – AAP