The Vital Villa Young Player Of The Year Is...
Vital Villa asked, in our first end of season award poll, for your young player of the season.
To be fair to the three lowest, Brad Guzan and Nathan Delfouneso on 2% and Craig Gardner on 3%, they weren't regulars throughout the season and in fact hardly featured!
So of the three main contenders, we had Ashley Young, James Milner and Gabby Agbonlahor.
Ashley Young came out the clear winner with 57% of the votes after a great season. Ok it has tapered off slightly towards the end but he has certainly put himself on the map and helped Villa make a charge for the top four.
Next up came Villa's record signing, James Milner, who joined last summer from Newcastle United. He got 31% of the vote (including mine!). I love the guys determination and energy and think he'll become a very important player for us over the years. Be nice to see him shoot more because he certainly has goals in him as we saw the other week with that fantastic free kick!
Then came Gabby with just 5%. There seems to be mixed opinions on whether Gabby is going to really break through. He did push early on and has 12 league goals and 1 Uefa Cup goal but has he really pushed on from last season?
I was always happy that he was progressing season on season until it was pointed out in our forum that he actually hasn't stats wise!
2007-08 he got 11 league goals, 2006-07 9 league and 1 League Cup. So he is averaging pretty similar per season and this season he has been used almost exclusively as our main line striker. Some of the chances he has missed this season close up have cost us dearly in our attempts to break the monopoly of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool but then, it can surely STILL be said he is young and learning and is still only 23.
Maybe next season things will become clearer and he will take another step forwards? The worry is John Carew is on 13 goals this season despite missing 20 odd games?
What do you reckon, is Gabby peaking or is there plenty more to come from the Villa youngster? Surely a striker doesn't reach his best until mid to late 20's?