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Gabby's A Battler - The Verdict

Martin O'Neill has praised the attitude of Gabby Agbonlahor for declaring himself fit despite being rather ill.

Speaking on the official site, O'Neill explained that Gabby has been under the weather all week with the flu and tonsillitis but was determined to play his part in the derby clash today.

'I think Gabby deserves a lot of credit for playing - and playing the whole game. He was pretty poorly.

'I am really pleased for him. People are saying it was an own-goal but I think Gabby deserves it.

'He deserves it purely for being on the field.

'He's been ill all week. It started on Sunday just before the Gillingham game.

'In the morning he was down to play at the Priestfield and then he felt pretty poorly and he's been the same all week.

'James Milner has played when not well this season too and their efforts have been fully appreciated.'

As for the match itself O'Neill described it as a 'really tough' derby encounter and praises Albion for really putting us to a test.

'It was tough from start to finish. I expected that prior to kick-off.

'Even at two-up, I never thought West Bromwich Albion were out of the game.

'They scored just after half-time and then put us under a lot of pressure.

'We have done brilliantly to win and obviously I am absolutely delighted.'

The performance may not have been great and there's no doubting that we can and will play better than that but it's these types of niggly games that we need to keep securing points in if we are serious about our Top 4 challenge. So far we are doing that and while it may not be pretty to watch I'll certainly keep taking the results.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 10 2009

Time: 4:27PM

Your Comments

right on monny!
krisvilla
Absaloute lunacy he even played. But nevermind.
murph
Too true!!!! We won a game where we werent even 75% good. Lets hope it continues!!!!!!! Gabby is a Legend, only 60% fit and he was awesome, Petrov rules the midfield, Sidwell need to shape up a tad too.
erv2005
I said during the game that he was our true hero today. He was battered by the West Brom defenders, yet still tried 100% in the last 5 minutes. Ashley was superb, but Gabby deserves MoM for making it to the starting lineup.
HeathfieldRoad1874
didn't think gabby played that great but stan was awesome
ric112
Was moaning about Gabby on the way home. First 'lazy' performance for ages, but if he was ill that explains it. As for us not playing well I completely disagree. Between 15mins and 45mins thats some of the best I've seen us play all season. 2nd half was a scrap but Barry's calm and composure shone through. Throughroughly deserved 3 points!
DeanoVilla
Doesn't this highlight our striking options?! If we had any strength in depth gabby wouldn't, and shouldn't have played. His performance obviously suffered greatly because of his condition. Gotta feel sorry for THE HARE. UTV
adam1248
I listened to BRMB on the way home from Villa Park this afternoon and I have to say I was appalled by the amount of stick Gabby got from some callers during the phone in. 'Lazy' and 'idle' were words that were banded about a little too frequently and - although it wasn't his best game in a Villa shirt - I thought it was totally unjust. The lad broke his neck to get onto the end of Ashley Young's cross toward the end of the second half, as well as some incredible turns of pace during the first half along with his willingness to get down the channels at every opportunity. Granted, he didn't close down defenders as much as he normally would and indeed had a bit of a battering up top on his own (why do we keep throwing the long ball up to him?), but having now learnt from MON that the lad has been full of flu all week we can all now see why he wasn't at his best. That said, he STILL did enough to get a goal and proved he's a Villa boy through and through and totally 110% committed. Even if he hadn't been ill I still think his performance was OK and not deserving the flack that came his way during the phone in. We tend to forget he's still a young lad and nowhere near the finished article, and we are, in my opinion, lucky to have him with us - keep slagging him off like some folks have and I fear he won't want to be! That said, what a season we're having! Let's get behind the boys 100% every week and push on to the end and see where we end up. I think we're gonna be disappointed if we don't make the top 4 but even top 5 would be an improvement on last year - and would be a world away from where we were a couple of years ago. Happy days. UTV
2006dryden
For a team that Mowbray has so unfairly branded as 'not interested in playing football' I thought that there were times on Saturday that we served up some pretty impressive stuff, and threatened at times to blow West Bromwich Albion out of the water. Gabby was part and parcel of another impressive team display, everyone pulling their weight, and committed to the cause. As for Gabby's detractors. While they are having a go at him, they are leaving the others alone. It'll be Gabby's turn for a respite from the venom in a week or two, then they can turn their spite onto a.n. other.
glensider
I dont particularly feel for Marlon Harewood adam1248, because in truth despite opportunities, he hasn't consistently been able to prove that he's capable of fitting into the line-up, and doing a job for us. Always gives his all, committed and professional, but sadly he just doesn't have the abilities and capabilities to be relied upon. I dont think that there's little doubt that he'll be moving on, possibly in January, and when and if he does, good luck to him.
glensider
 

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