Aston Villa - Villa's Gabby vows to improve
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Villa's Gabby vows to improve

Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has promised to put his summer England under-21 mix-up behind him and concentrate all of his efforts on performing better than ever for the club.

The 20-year-old hit the headlines prior to the European Under-21 Championship after he couldn't be tracked down by Stuart Pearce and subsequently missed the chance to play in the tournament. Villa boss Martin O'Neill stressed the issue was just a mix-up.

Agbonlahor is now focussing on holding down a regular first-team place and scoring more than the nine goals his did last season, when he made the breakthrough to the senior side. However, his goal tally will largely depend on whether he is asked to play out wide again and whether he is given the nod over new-signing Marlon Harewood.

Gabby told the Mirror: 'Some people will be expecting me to fail but I have to come back flying. My next big challenge is proving I can be a success in my second season but I'm ready to continue working hard to make sure I keep on improving.

'There is no chance of me falling back through lack of effort as doing well at Villa means a lot. I've got friends and family who support them as well people where I grew up.'

The speedy striker may have to make a tough decision off the pitch in the near future relating to his international career. Although Gabby has played for the England under-21 side, he is also eligible to play for Nigeria and Scotland. While he has previously stressed his ambitions lie with England, there have been reports that Scotland are trying to court him.

But wherever his future lies in the international arena, at least Villa have one on the hottest young prospects in the Premier league - a prospect that could go on to become on of the finest players of his generation.

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The Journalist

Writer: DerryVillan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 24 2007

Time: 12:25PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Surely there is no one at Villa who would be expecting him to fail, I mean who in their right mind would support a club expecting things to fail?
Hoss The Villain
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24/07/2007 13:07:00

I think if Gabby's given the oppurtunity up front next season then he could hit a lot more, who knows, he may turn out to be our 20+ striker! I'm not worried about are strikers next season, i'm just hoping MON gets a real right winger so he can play upfront!
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24/07/2007 13:35:00

Agreed Makai, the occasions he played up front he scored goals. If a right winger comes in Gabby would be fighting it out with Carew, Harewood, Moore and Maloney for a place in the team which can only be healthy for the Club.
Hoss The Villain
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24/07/2007 13:40:00

Very important season ahead for Gabby. He needs to overcome the 'second season syndrome' that has temporarily halted the progress and development of many exciting youngsters within the game over the years, but few can doubt that he has the ability, the tenacity, and the attitude to take his game to another level. Going to be very exciting watching the in-house battle between Gabby and Luke, to see who can establish themself as our number one homegrown goalscoring talent.
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24/07/2007 14:11:00

Are your fans getting edgy? Have you let more players go than you have signed? All quiet on the transfer front after a big build up? ...............What you need is a MEDIA STORY. Yes, a media story from your existing players can help re-raise the optimism that you will do better next season with a smaller squad. Media stories cost nothing and fill up those internet inches your looking for. Media stories - putting the 'um' back in to summer. Available now from your local journalist.
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24/07/2007 15:42:00

I really like Agbonlahor but I hope Steibler overshines him next season
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24/07/2007 15:56:00

Are you bitter and twisted… Don’t you just hate it when players have ambitions to want achieve things… Have you spent the last few years pursuing other hobbies than supporting your Club… Has the British summer dampened your golf course… What you need is your prognostic armchair Villa fan to brighten your day and put the um back into glum.
Hoss The Villain
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24/07/2007 16:05:00

Was that aimed at me?
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24/07/2007 16:14:00

No read above you. Tyls has returned from the wilderness after a year playing golf :-)
Hoss The Villain
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24/07/2007 16:16:00

lol Tyler is speaking like he aint a Villa fan
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24/07/2007 16:20:00

I think the weather has caused Villa fans to get Seasonal Affective Disorder, mind you we've had it for 25 years now.
Hoss The Villain
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24/07/2007 16:29:00

You know Im the claret and blue through and through! I just like to put a little wind up you peeps who think we can sign two players and acheive our ambitions! P.s. golf is improving thanks for asking.
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24/07/2007 17:23:00

Glad to hear you're improving in one area of your life... probably need to brush up in others though!! I'm sure there will be more players on the way and if not MON will have to live by his decisions, that's what he's paid for. Either way I'll be down VP to support all those that wear the claret and blue. UTV.
Hoss The Villain
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24/07/2007 17:30:00

Hoss...dont get so uptight a little bit of humour hurt nobody. At least it helps pass the boredom. And just because you criticise it doesnt mean you are not a supporter . We need to make sure we can speak our minds and keep the pressure on the club to deliver. We have a great young squad, a super manager and we dont want to look back at this in years to come as the time we should have really gone for it.
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24/07/2007 19:30:00

I don't think I was being uptight, I think my humour was way above that, you must have missed it. I'm just as bored as everyone else, just more optimistic though.
Hoss The Villain
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24/07/2007 19:35:00

Great clubs are built over decades not months. £50+ million invested in less than 12 months (in addition to the £60+ million paid for the shares) is more than any of could possibly have expected less than 15 months ago. So let's show some appreciation at what the Club are trying to achieve. Stop all the carping and sarcasm.
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24/07/2007 20:44:00

bigdiondubs - would u say this "And just because you criticise it doesnt mean you are not a supporter . We need to make sure we can speak our minds and keep the pressure on the club to deliver" -- about avfc48 lol. I agree with everything u said by the way - its just some people critcise all the time and don't over up alternatives.
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24/07/2007 21:26:00

Good to hear that Gabby has the fire in his belly. Tomorrow sees our 1st match situation, OK it may be against an MLS side, but you only have to look to Chelsea and Celtic and their pre-season against the likes - these two sides haven't dished out any drubbings, in fact Celtic lost 2-0. Hopefully the boys have been benefiting from the new facilities at Bollywood and these 2 games will show us how sharp they feel/look. Fingers crossed - no injuries, but I'm glad pre-season is finally underway. For strikers it's a good confidence boost, even if they bag a few against lesser opposition, so Gabby, Luke, Big John, Maloney, Marlon and Young will be looking to be on the money from the off. Liverpool will be sharp for or opener (they have CL Qualifiers and Chelsea in the 1st 2 weeks of the season) - so the Villa boys, work hard, train hard, get fit look sharp and even with the current squad we could take 3pts from the first game.....
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24/07/2007 22:26:00

Haha - I meant Bodymoor not Bollywood!!
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24/07/2007 22:28:00

The standard of MLS soccer is a lot better than we Brits care to give it credit for, and its improving all the time. I'm not trying to suggest that its anywhere near premiership quality, but in a one off game, most MLS teams are more than capable of giving the premiership boys a decent testing. Both Toronto and The Crew will give us the work-out that we need at this stage of our build up, and both might surprise us. Toronto's artificial pitch could cause us one or two problems, while The Crew, probably the better of the two teams we are coming up against, will be useful opposition. Looking forward to the game on Fox Soccer Channel this evening, will get me back nicely into the swing of things for saturdays drive up to Columbus. The footies back!!
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25/07/2007 18:52:00

Glensider, how does one obtain access to Fox Soccer? Cheers
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25/07/2007 20:33:00

Only available in North america I believe Nigel-not-Reo, unless any pubs are able to obtain a feed over here in the U.K., but I must confess to knowing none locally.
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06/08/2007 14:20:00


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