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Craig Gardner - SHOOOOOT

Craig Gardner - SHOOOOOT

Ashley Young says, for Craig Gardner, practice makes perfect.

In an interview in the Mail, the nippy winger says that Craig Gardner practices free kicks for hours.

'He's always practising his free-kicks after training, but the players are always telling him that he's not going to take them! He wanted to take it and he knows how to handle pressure. He can really drive a ball, which he did and he scored again. Hopefully he can get a few more like that this season.'

Gardner has been told to go for it if in sight of goal. He said on the official site:

'I used to take all the free-kicks for my Sunday league team and for my schools and I used to score most of them. Now I've brought that into the first-team and scored two goals in two games. The gaffer knows I've got a hard shot and he tells me to get as many shots off as I can. In training I'm always shooting. I think the players get a bit fed up with it sometimes, but if I see the goal I try and have a shot. Obviously if there's a pass on I'll pass it, but if I'm in shooting range I'll have a go. That's the way I like to play.'

The midfielder had an injury scare having to pull out of the England U21 squad but is hoping to be fit to face Manchester United on Saturday.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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Writer:J P Fear
Date:Monday October 15 2007
Time: 3:53PM


We've got the next Andy Townsend on our hands here I think.
The Fear
15/10/2007 16:05:00
I'll be happy if he takes after Andy, plus shoots like Der Hammer...
15/10/2007 16:47:00
Andy had a fair old shot on him as well.
The Fear
15/10/2007 17:55:00
Bruce Rioch and Tommy Hitz had by far the hardest shots on them, compared to anyone else I've seen at Villa Park. Rioch in particular was lethal at free kicks. Ironically too, both Hitz and BR were left footed. I dont think that Craig is in their league, power wise, but practice can indeed make perfect, and we certainly cant fault his dead ball efforts to date this season.
15/10/2007 20:48:00
Sometimes you have to be hard with your own players as well as the opposition. If Craig thinks he has the ability at dead ball situations, he must assert himself and take free kicks and shoot if it feels right. If the others dont like it, be brave and step up.
15/10/2007 20:49:00
Bruce Rioch - Now theres a name that conjures up some memories.
15/10/2007 22:16:00
His strike against Bolton last season was an absaloute beauty,he strikes the ball with such conviction,a smashing player.
16/10/2007 00:14:00
The next Paul Scholes perhaps? Very similar attributes.
16/10/2007 08:21:00
Hey Stig! I said that on the last Craig Gardner post!! Couldn't agree more. And he's already done better than Steve Davis as he has kept his form up for more than a season!
16/10/2007 10:57:00
Agree simonbigron. While its probably unfair to make comparisons of players, I certainly agree that Craig Gardner looks a considerably better prospect that does the fast fading Steven Davis. I wish Davis well, but certainly question his decision to leave Villa Park. Gardner meanwhile continues to improve in leaps and bounds.
16/10/2007 13:16:00
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