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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Aston Villa's Hot Shot Gabriel Agbonlahor



I got this from Birmingham Mail- exclusive interview.
Agbonlahor, once mooted as the next big thing in England football is playing more like a pub player these days. His current poor performance on the pitch coincided with Villa's faltering club form. Villa have lost almost everything since their Chelsea game on 21st February less an emotionally draining draw against Stoke where they conceded an injury time equaliser.

21-Feb-09 H Chelsea L 0-1 (0-1)
01-Mar-09 H Stoke D 2-2 (1-0) Petrov 45 Carew 79
04-Mar-09 A Man City L 0-2 (0-1)
15-Mar-09 H Tottenham L 1-2 (0-1) Carew 85
22-Mar-09 A Liverpool L 0-5 (0-3) Friedel s/o 64

Agbonlahor's form: 6th on Barclays Premier League Top Scorers with 10 goals.

He was booed by Villa's supporters at Villa Park against Tottenham and did not start against Liverpool.To add further insults, he lost his international place against Slovakia and the Ukraine and will be playing for the Under-21 in friendlies against Norway and France.

This is what he has to say:

“It has been a long season,” he admits of the 39 starts and three substitute appearances already behind him at club level.

“Starting right back in July, playing in countries in the heat, I’m happy with the number of games I have played, because it means I have been injury-free and getting a long run.

“It can get mentally tiring but we’ve got the right people at the training ground to make sure we get the right amount of time off to recover.” But you still feel it in some games.”

It is understandable given that the players had an early start to the season having to qualify for the UEFA Cup through playing the Intertoto Cup.

There is a lot of criticism on the Martin O'neill and the players on the recent form. But let us not forget that this is the club's best point haul after 30 matches in 13 years.

He adds that,“ It would be good to be in the European Cup again. Despite this run these are still interesting times.

“There’s still a quarter of the season to go and we’re still an improving young team who are going to get better.”

“There is a lot of pressure involved,” admits Agbonlahor.

“It has not been like other seasons when we have just been playing to stay around the top half. You have to put more than 100 per cent into every match to try to get results.

“And it’s going to be even tougher in the games remaining.

“The truth is that we wanted to push on from last season.”

“Maybe we didn’t expect to get that many points ahead of Arsenal but when we were confident and flying we were picking up a lot of results,” Agbonlahor says.

“Everton finished fourth and Spurs went very close a couple of years ago but it is a huge ask to crack the top four when you look at their squads.

“Arsenal has got a lot of players coming back and with the players they have it’s going to be really tough.

“But we’ve done really well this season and we’ve still got a chance of making the top four.”

Villa would appear to have it all to do but all is not lost, particularly when you consider Arsene Wenger’s side have yet to travel to Anfield and Old Trafford and must also play Chelsea at The Emirates.

If Villa can just kick-start their season with a flukey goal, who knows?"

Gabby views will strike a chord with any Villa fan. As long as there is a strong belief in the players' quality, there is every chance that Villa can nip that 4th spot from Arsenal.

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