Everyone has a favourite current player. Over the years various players have filled that place for me; Tony Morley, Martin Keown, David Platt, Gareth Southgate and most recently Gareth Barry, but I have to admit I've struggled this season to pick one.
I even struggled last season and while I think it ended up with Gabby, nobody had really replaced Gareth Barry, who had been a favourite for a decade following his home debut against Arsenal.
Now, however, I feel I have a new Villa Park favourite and I hope he’ll be my favourite for quite a few years to come. The player I actually think has been Villa’s best player this season is Stuart Downing.
I think people are starting to finally take notice and realise that he is the best passer, dribbler and probably shooter at the club. Unlike Ashley Young, Downing has the confidence to take defenders on. His all-round play has been consistently good this season and I really just see him getting better and better.
His free kick taking is better than anybody else at the club and he tries to stay on his feet and I predict that Stuart Downing will be our highest scoring midfield player this season and also believe that he will win more England caps than any other Villa player this season.
Downing is a proper footballer, not a modern day ‘fancy dan’ who spends all game moaning at the referee. He just gets on with his game.
So I'm really glad to say that I think Villa do have a real star again and one that the whole country will soon be taking notice of.
Well done Stuart Downing for giving this mid-forties man a favourite Villa player again. Now to find some blu-tack to stick his poster to my wall.