Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Gardner Back On Track

Gardner Back On Track

Craig Gardner is back in training and is set to replace the suspended Olof Mellberg in Saturday's 'must win' match against Sunderland.

The versatile England U-21 player suffered a minor back injury in our one all draw against Boro and was a spectator for our 2-0 loss against Pompey.

With Mellberg out for the Sunderland match, Craig's return to fitness couldn't have come at a better time for O'Neill.

Speaking on the official site, O'Neill said:

'Craig is OK. With a bit of luck he might train today. Freddie Bouma got kicked at Portsmouth but will be fine and Gabby Agbonlahor, who has a sore foot, should also train.

'Craig was really sore on Friday. And it would be unlike Craig, as he does not want to miss many games. His back had seized up at half-time against Boro.

'You can always adjust anyway, so we will see, but Craig has done a decent job. I have been really pleased with him.'

O'Neill has indicated more than once that he believes Gardner could make the right back position his own if he was prepared to put extra training in on the defensive aspects, and despite some errors which are to be expected he hasn't really changed his mind.

O'Neill doesn't believe learning the defensive aspects for right back would be much different to him learning how to play defensive midfield:

'He is obviously a midfield player but there is nothing to prevent him from starting to think about playing that position.

'He has played there for the under-21s and it is a position that going forwards he is pretty comfortable with.

'It is the defending aspect that he would have to learn, just as he would if he was playing defensive midfield anyway.

'He plays a great ball and his second half performance against Newcastle was really excellent. He had a couple of exceptional shots.

'He is learning all the time and this will be a good experience for him. Defensively he can improve; it is about shaping up to tricky, fast wingers. But as a midfielder one of your tasks has to be to go backwards.'

With Gardner only 22 years young he has plenty left to learn anyway. O'Neill is right in a way, learning to play more defensively is the same regardless of the position you play in - I would just say there's a slight difference between learning to track back from midfield and then learning to not trip yourself up when facing pacey and skillful wingers.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



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

Join the Vital Fantasy Football League - its Free!

Writer:Mike Field
Date:Tuesday March 18 2008
Time: 2:34PM

Comments

0
Let's have a look at Erik Lund before the season is out please!
krfeskivilla
18/03/2008 15:28:00
0
Got a lot of time for Craig Gardner. Not a right full back, but he gives his all, and has really cemented his place in the squad this season. Pity he hasn't enjoyed more midfield opportunities, but his time will surely come.
glensider
19/03/2008 23:27:00
0
Hypothetical I know, but where would we turn if Gardner were unfit for the Sunderland game? It doesn't bear thinking about.
glensider
20/03/2008 17:03:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Match Day Officials v Newcastle (7/5/16)

The Premier League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Newcastle United this weekend.

U21s - Villa To Face Arsenal

Aston Villa know their Premier League Division 2 Play Off final opponents - it's Arsenal.

Who Will Aston Villa Face In 2016/17 (3/5/16)

With less than a handful of games remaining in the 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Villa To Break The Bank For McCormack?

It's being reported that Aston Villa are hugely interested in Fulham goal machine Ross McCormack.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Aston Villa meh v Newcastle Utd will
Suggested By: Mystic Mug
LOL.. win32%
Lose, it's what we do56%
Draw, meh12%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 36 22 11 3 77 30
2 Spurs 36 19 13 4 70 39
3 Arsenal 36 19 10 7 67 25
4 Man City 36 19 7 10 64 30
5 Man Utd 35 17 9 9 60 12
6 West Ham 35 15 14 6 59 17
7 Southampton 36 16 9 11 57 14
8 Liverpool 35 15 10 10 55 11
9 Chelsea 35 12 12 11 48 7
10 Stoke 36 13 9 14 48 -14
11 Everton 35 10 14 11 44 6
12 Watford 35 12 8 15 44 -6
13 Swansea 36 11 10 15 43 -13
14 WBA 36 10 11 15 41 -14
15 AFC Bournemouth 36 11 8 17 41 -20
16 Crystal Palace 36 10 9 17 39 -10
17 Newcastle 36 8 9 19 33 -25
18 Sunderland 35 7 11 17 32 -18
19 Norwich 35 8 7 20 31 -26
R Aston Villa 36 3 7 26 16 -45
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Red Bull Racing dump Kvyat and promote Verstappen
Latest Vital Boxing News
How About Beijing Me Old China?
Write for Vital Football

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

May 7 2016 3:00PM : Newcastle United (H)
Barclays Premier League
May 15 2016 3:00PM : Arsenal (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Pride of Lions139
2.The Fear54
3.kefkat53
4.sirdennis37
5.Thomas Holte25
6.villasince6724
7.Silhillvilla22
8.DeanoVilla20
9.LORD RON SAUNDERS19
10.col813
The Vital Football Members League