Aston Villa - Gardner - The New Andy Townsend?
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Gardner - The New Andy Townsend?

Craig Gardner has spoken about his future after scoring his first senior goal for Aston Villa at the weekend against Middlesbrough. The midfielder told the official site:

'I think the goal has been coming and now I've got it. The gaffer just told me to get into the box and get onto the end of things. Gabby did well to get the ball to me and, to be honest, it got stuck under my foot at first. But then I just tucked it away and then I just ran off. I didn't see it hit the net. As soon as I saw it go past Mark Schwarzer I just turned and ran. I didn't really know where I was going - I just ran until someone jumped on me.'

The 20-year-old added: 'To score your first goal in the Premiership is massive and I'm just grateful to the manager for giving me my chance. Hopefully I've repaid him a bit and hopefully I can repay a lot more. The goal came at a big time for us. I think it was virtually the last kick of the half. The manager really got behind us at half-time and you could tell we couldn't wait to get out there for the second-half.'

And quite rightly finished by praising the fans, 'The fans have been brilliant this season, following us all over the country. To go to Middlesbrough is a long journey, but I'm sure the result made it worthwhile for them.'

Martin O'Neill recently said he thought Gardner had a good future in front of him at Villa, if he carries on like this he might even be the next Andy Townsend, a tough midfielder who we never really replaced.

It now seems that the Villa boss is ready to tie Gardner to a similar long term deal that Gabriel Agbonlahor has recently agreed to.

'Obviously I want to keep Craig at the football club. His attitude is fantastic. I will definitely look at it (contract). I think a lot of him. He obviously got injured at the time when he got into the team, but his attitude in the reserves and his general ability. He is better infield than wide on the right-hand side. He got more into the game when we tucked him in, but he has done great.'

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 16 2007

Time: 1:51PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I still reckon Davis is a better prospect!! We should really play him or risk losing him - especially now his international manager is at Fulham and will surely make an offer if he takes the job full-time.
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16/04/2007 14:26:00

Problem is that Davis is too similar to Petrov, if he wants regular first team football he may have to move. It's all a question of opinions, whether the manager will play him, team balance, who's available and whether the players can take us to the next level. If Charlton and West Ham are relegated, there's going to be few good players on sale.
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16/04/2007 16:16:00

I remember hearing Sid Cowans refering to him as technically the best player he has ever had graduate from the academy. I think we all know there are no flies on Sid aswell !!!!!
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16/04/2007 16:39:00

Haven't seen enough of Gardner to comment. These comparisons are too easy to make. So many prospects at the
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16/04/2007 17:03:00

Sorry about the last post... puta playing up......Haven't seen enough of Gardner to comment. These comparisons are too easy to make. So many prospects at the Villa presently but how many in 3 years time will be good enough for euro footy or Champs league? So many different things can happen - company they keep, attitude, coaching, lucky breaks. These kids will give MON a dilemma. If you play them they progress or you find out their level, but can a club afford this luxery.
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16/04/2007 17:07:00

have to agree with deano.avfc think davis is a lot better than gardner at the moment.i am also worried about martin letting him go in the summer,i think it would be a big big mistake on our part.
Belfast Villain
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16/04/2007 17:45:00

I dont think Davis has done enough this season, however Gardner has definately taken his chances. Besides, Gardner is a replacement for McCann, wheres Davis, as tarzan said, is more of a Petrov, there is a place for both, but Davis needs to play better when he gets the chance.
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16/04/2007 18:51:00

Personally I think it is fantastic we have the talent coming through and they are all getting chances- Ridgewell, Davis & Luke last year, Gabby, Osborne and Gardner this year.THE BIG QUESTION is are they good enough technically and consistently to merit not been dropped.Davis ran out of juice early this year, Cahill is a more natural defender than Ridgewell.The argument is they need games to get experience and to prove themselves.Yet on the other hand, bring in World class players they can train with will raise the bar further, as they need to compete and/or be better then them to get into the team.We need more really big players, when it comes to the business end of the season and to win trophies these are the players that make the difference.Ronaldo, Rooney and then you look at Sheva 30 mill & Essien 24mill...yet their goals in the Champ league semi, are pivotal, Ballack on Sunday!.Not that will speand that much but that is the calibre you need.Big players win games and we need big players so we can compete, the young lads will learn and if they are good enough they will be a part!..cream always rises to the top!, now 3 points against Posrtsmouth and Pardew to get relegated the cheeky pr!ck..please!
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16/04/2007 19:06:00

Stig- glad someone piked up on what "Sid" said last year. Gardner is certainly a "no-nonsense" player - just dous the simple things very well, despite his relative inexperience. He reminds me very much of the "incomparable" Scholes" when he was Craig's age. What a crop of talent is coming through the "Academy"- just let then all (Davis, Ridgewell, Osbourne, Gardner, Gabby, Moore, Young and Maloney) mature for a few more years and in the meantime graft 4 or 5 top quality international senior players alongside them. Job done - EUFA we'll soon be with you.
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16/04/2007 19:51:00

He's young, still has a lot to learn, but has certainly never let us down. He played very well on Saturday, arguably his best performance in a Villa shirt.
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16/04/2007 20:25:00

He said he was lucky because the ball got stuck under his feet, you make your own luck, Mon likes him, early days but he looks good.
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16/04/2007 20:54:00

My concern is that we spend unnecessary money in the Summer and squeeze out the opportunities for some of our best youngsters who deserve the chance of extended runs. Gardner is one as a replacement for McCann and Luke Moore deserves a run alongside Carew. Luke has a real striker's natural instinct and doesn't just hit it Vassell style towards the goal, but seeks to find the corners or wherever the gap is. He has the potential to go to the top. The replacements we should concentrate on are right back and goalkeeper - current options we know however good they are they will not make the next step up. For all the hype I am less convinced about Gabby who has got lucky the last few games - if he can get a better first touch then he can kick on again but his electric pace will not be enough against teams that recognise his threat and deal with it.
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16/04/2007 21:03:00

Agree Stenny. Luke seems like a Lee Hendrie that can score goals and reach somewhere near his potential. Unlike Lee. Maybe we don't need to spend too much. (good thing about having a great manager).
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16/04/2007 21:28:00

stennyvilla-good points but we've just got to be very, very, patient and trust MON to build them all up over the next few years. Let's judge them all when they've been under MON for another 2 seasons. I'm sure he'll bring in a good crop of top-flight 23/24+ year olds before next season, which will allow all the youngsters to compete for their places.
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16/04/2007 21:31:00

We do need to spend,these young players are decent but no-where near as good as above comments,Guys-we beat a cr@p boro team so calm down,give them another season coming off the bench with no/little pressure and then we can judge,like the optimism but lets be realistic
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16/04/2007 21:40:00

Aspinall is right, these players all have potential, but thats just it, it's just potential...for us to kick on in this league we need to have real quality players alongside this awesome potential, and i'm not even talking about expensive mercenaries like Baros. MON is definately no mug, he's come to Villa to win things and prove that he is a top manager in this league, if anything else were true, he would have not have been our manager for fear of being Deadly Douged. I was watching the Celtic team that MON assembled a few years ago, and the way they played was amazing, Petrov, Larsson, Moravcik, Sutton etc etc used to bang in goals for fun (and that was when Rangers were a good team). The UEFA cup final in Seville was one of those special nights too, and honestly I yearn to see Villa getting to cup finals and playing like that but for Villa that is what we should be aspiring to.
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16/04/2007 22:02:00


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