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O'Neill's Pride In Gabby

O'Neill's Pride In Gabby

Martin O'Neill was chuffed to bits when he saw Gabby walk onto the pitch to make his Senior England Debut and he believes the achievement is the result of two years hard work.

We all know O'Neill isn't a fan of international friendlies, and as a manager he isn't alone, the difference is Villa players when it comes to England, are just injured less.

Speaking on the official site O'Neill made the distinction between the perception of friendlies from the standpoint of the manager and the player, and picked up on the point above...he won't stop players from representing their Countries if they want to.

'I sometimes have a bit of a joke about international matches. The point I try to make, from a club viewpoint, is I think these international matches coming up before Christmas are a bit of an intrusion.

'However, I am looking at it from my viewpoint as a club manager. If you were to look at it from a player's viewpoint like Gareth or Gabby, they want to play.

'We don't stop them from playing in these matches. Other managers do stop their players. I complain but don't stop them while other managers don't complain but do stop them.

'It was a great feeling for Gabby to get on the field for England.

'It is the culmination of two years of really, really hard work. And I think that is the lovely thing.

'Do I take enormous pride from Gabby lining up for his senior international debut? Absolutely! That is great. It truly is great.

'I thought Gabby did very well. I was hoping he would have lashed in a hat-trick by half-time and then he could have come off before the break to generous applause.

'Joking aside, I couldn't be more delighted for him.

'But can you imagine Arsene Wenger at the moment? He must be really, really disappointed to see Theo Walcott go over for a training session and now have him out for three months.

'That is very disappointing and I can totally see that angle. Anyone who can't see that managerial viewpoint must be crazy.

'However, getting back to the playing aspect, it is great. I was a player myself and I loved playing international football.

'There was great camaraderie and it was fantastic to go away and participate in the games.'

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

Writer:Mike Field
Date:Thursday November 20 2008
Time: 6:11PM


mmm well done gabmeister. how much y'reckon he is worth nowerdays? 20mil?
20/11/2008 19:57:00
h looked great alongside defoe... you want to swap him for crouch? ;-)
20/11/2008 20:40:00
What about Ashley Mr O'Neill? Or is he not your favourite.
20/11/2008 22:37:00
Gabby looked a natural. He's definitely international quality, something I wasn't sure about 2 years ago. Well done Gabby. Keep it up.
20/11/2008 22:44:00
Wenger is chuffed to have Walcott injured on duty for England. He will get a couple of mil for his abscence, they need the money.
21/11/2008 09:52:00
I thought Gabby did really well and given a better chance I think he would have scored. When he did take that one shot, quite wide right of the goal, there was noise in my house that I haven't heard for a long while. But I thought Ash, although he didn't really get possesion of the ball very much, didn't do enough. There were times when he was very close to the German with the ball and I was thinking, go on, show you want it, chase it no matter how lost the cause is. He didn't chase anything, didn't look like he really wanted the ball and I was very disappointed with him. These lads need to be letting Capello know that they will do anything and everything for the shirt, Ashley especially, we all know he's not highly rated by the coach otherwise he would have come on earlyer for Downing which is what I would have done. Next chance he gets he needs to sweat p!ss for the team otherwise he's never going to get a start.
21/11/2008 10:23:00
well done to him......he played well.......hope he gets more chances...
21/11/2008 10:54:00
I think we were all mighty proud Mart. Quite a progression for the lad, since the day he made his first team debut in that shambles of a performance at Goodison Park.
21/11/2008 16:21:00
Hopefully his performance over in Germany will somewhat silence his detractors, and he's had a few on here these past few months. Some of his critics claim that he's lazy. What would they have made of one Gary Shaw? Its laughable really.
21/11/2008 16:23:00
Different game back then though's amazing actually when you look back at some of those older games to see just how slow everything seems compared to the cut and thrust of today's game. Looks like 20 outfiled Andy Reid's just jogging about a bit for 90 mins! Same thing with the Rugby - amazing what a touch of professionalism does for the game!
22/11/2008 04:09:00
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