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Craig Gardner Looking To Keep Starting Place

Craig Gardner Looking To Keep Starting Place

Villa midfielder Craig Gardner has told the Express & Star that waiting for his chance has been difficult but following his start on Tuesday night against Portsmouth, he isn't wanting to give back his place to Steve Sidwell.

The homegrown Villa boy said after his 10 month wait for a Premiership start:

'It’s been hard, but you have to look at how well we have been playing. But the fact we were still winning and yet the manager decided to put me back in was a massive confidence boost. I think things went well, it was a really good result but we are now up against a decent side in Wigan who are on a good run. It’s up to the gaffer to pick his side, hopefully I have taken my chance.'

He also says that the team are all friends and he doesn't feel like he's pinched Sidwell's place!

Be interesting to know why Sidwell was benched, just a rest or something to give him a bit of a wake up call after a few slightly less than great performances? Still think he'll be a very important player for Villa, he just needs to find his shooting boots like he had on against Wigan away where he scored a great goal.

So what do you reckon, will Gardner keep his place or will Sidwell be back in the starting line up against Wigan?

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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday January 29 2009
Time: 3:58PM


Dont think there was much in it myself. MON wanted to go 4-4-2, Barry and Petrov are our best centre mids and Sidwell aint a right winger, whereas Gardner has played there before.
29/01/2009 16:05:00
Craaiiiiiiiiiggyyy boyyyyyyyyyyy.
29/01/2009 16:12:00
Sorry, but you've gotta love that Craig.
29/01/2009 16:13:00
Looked very competent when playing and has just as good a shot on him as Sidwell although less energy and a tad slower than the Ginger one. I say play him. Equal opportunities even for axe murderers.
29/01/2009 16:14:00
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gardner is our next Barry. he will be our little dynamo in the middle of midfield one day in the mold of Paul Scholes. I was very impressed with him against Portsmouth and I always feel sorry for him because he's always the one that gets kicked in the face etc!!
29/01/2009 16:28:00
Given a run in the team gardner would go from strength to strength and become an integral part of our team. I rate him in pecking order above reo-coker.
29/01/2009 16:31:00
Craig made Belhadj look like a muppet at times - ha ha ha, there was at least one priceless moment in his performance that night. Give him another game I say. By the way; I didn't know that Craig was an axe murderer, whatever next?
29/01/2009 16:35:00
One thing he has over the ginge for sure is tackling, Sid gives away far too many free kicks, and Craigies got that down. i agree Andy, and that lad Belhadj seems a bad apple to me. He should get banned for a good few games for that.
29/01/2009 16:56:00
Anyone else think that O'Neill has his defence chosen now that Laursen is out? ie. L Young, Knight, Davies, Cuellar. With the switch to 4-4-2, his preference for Reo-coker when he comes back is probably right midfield ahead of both Gardner and Sidwell. I agree with Fear that Sidwell is going to be a great player for us some day, I just wish he'd impose himself a bit more like Gerrard and Lampard do.
29/01/2009 17:01:00
Gardner should start over Sidwell-you can tell Gardner is on the pitch! I bet it would sort Sidwell out. Too many times have I only noticed his presence in a match as he jogs off, having been substituted.
29/01/2009 17:11:00
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