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Agbonlahor's World Cup Dream Alive

Martin O'Neill insists that Gabby Agbonlahor is well on course to secure a place for the 2010 World Cup, all he has to do is maintain this consistency.

Speaking on the official site, Monny couldn't give Gabby enough praise after another 'simply sensational' goal in today's match against Pompey.

'Gabby is playing brilliantly for us, really brilliantly.

'That's three great goals he has scored for us now. I think South Africa is a long, long, long way off for anyone but the good thing is if he can continue that sort of form he will be hard to ignore.'

O'Neill is also more than man enough to admit he was wrong for concerns over Gabby bulking up during the summer. O'Neill was seriously concerned that he would have lost more than a yard of pace now he has muscular man boobs, but he's delighted he has been proven wrong in this instance.

'I'm sure our fitness coach is secretly delighted.

'But I just think if you spend ages and ages on the weights you might lose a bit of pace.

'It has worked out greatly. And I am obviously wrong.'

Individual performance wise he isn't doing that great if we are honest, he doesn't look sparkling and when he gets the ball you still don't get that confident 'something will happen here' feeling.

However after his blip for the whole of the second half of last season, we all know he worked hard over the summer, to me he looks a little more confident with his left peg and he's back on a scoring run. More importantly his goals so far aren't based on him knocking the ball 20 yards past the last defender and going one on one with the keeper.

He's developing the knack that all great strikers have in my opinion....he's doing nigh on nothing for 89 minutes and winning points in a 60 second period.

We now have a mix of genuine 'striker' goals, right peg, left peg, tap ins, outside the box, headers. The full gambit that any decent striker needs. He's not as reliant on his pace this season, there's more to him and that gives a hell of a lot of hope for the future - afterall detractors point to 'one trick pony' and 'barndoor' aspects, he's no longer a one trick pony and he's hitting the barndoor again.

He's by no means the finished article, and without your claret and blue spectacles on I think you'd be hard pushed to find many who would at this moment in time put him above Defoe, Crouch, Bent, or even Carlton Cole at the moment.

But that's only at the moment, if he carries on at this rate and more importantly sorts out the consistency problems that have plagued him so far I'd be willing to have a cheeky bet on him being on the plane to South Africa come next summer.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 19 2009

Time: 8:20PM

Your Comments

A good read. You just need to take a peek at the Premier League Top Scorers charts to see there is a real fight between the strikers for them 4-6 spots on the plane to South Africa already. Gabby, Defoe, Rooney & Bent are all on fire. Carlton Cole & Crouch also impressing. (Heskey is somehow exempt from Capello's 'picked on form' criteria.) The competition is healthy & will benefit not just England but Premier League clubs aswell. Most notably us, who have a great number of Englishmen especially in our starting line-up, all of which have a realistic chance of getting a ticket to the World Cup. Luke Young for RB/LB, Reo-Coker as a DM perhaps, Downing when he's back, Sidwell (probably least likely out of our team) then you have Milner, Ashley Young, Gabby & Heskey who are there or there-abouts already. Kind of off-topic. Anyway, Gabby has definitely added a new dimension to his game. The commitment he has shown to improve & evolve his game is tremendous. The lad is a credit to the club!
StuLinney
A good read. You just need to take a peek at the Premier League Top Scorers charts to see there is a real fight between the strikers for them 4-6 spots on the plane to South Africa already. Gabby, Defoe, Rooney & Bent are all on fire. Carlton Cole & Crouch also impressing. (Heskey is somehow exempt from Capello's 'picked on form' criteria.) The competition is healthy & will benefit not just England but Premier League clubs aswell. Most notably us, who have a great number of Englishmen especially in our starting line-up, all of which have a realistic chance of getting a ticket to the World Cup. Luke Young for RB/LB, Reo-Coker as a DM perhaps, Downing when he's back, Sidwell (probably least likely out of our team) then you have Milner, Ashley Young, Gabby & Heskey who are there or there-abouts already. Kind of off-topic. Anyway, Gabby has definitely added a new dimension to his game. The commitment he has shown to improve & evolve his game is tremendous. The lad is a credit to the club!
StuLinney
^Apologize for the long post. I see now I could have just wrote, "Gabby 4 England!"
StuLinney
^Apologize for the long post. I see now I could have just wrote, "Gabby 4 England!"
StuLinney
I thank you Squire, and equally looking back at that ramble I think I should've just put 'Gabby For England' aswell! lol

I'm not really interested in England and international football but I will concede for the first time in a long time we certainly have options when it comes to players doing the business and at least with Capello (Heskey aside) he does seem to pick based on form rather than what your surname happens to be.
mike_field
I thank you Squire, and equally looking back at that ramble I think I should've just put 'Gabby For England' aswell! lol

I'm not really interested in England and international football but I will concede for the first time in a long time we certainly have options when it comes to players doing the business and at least with Capello (Heskey aside) he does seem to pick based on form rather than what your surname happens to be.
mike_field
O.K, so Gabby is inclined to get stick for being lazy, but he's gone to work on his fitness and strength and come out fighting this season, easilly making a fool of another international defender. He deserves all the plaudits he's getting at the moment and I agree with Stu, he's a Villian through and through and we should be proud of him.
Madirish
O.K, so Gabby is inclined to get stick for being lazy, but he's gone to work on his fitness and strength and come out fighting this season, easilly making a fool of another international defender. He deserves all the plaudits he's getting at the moment and I agree with Stu, he's a Villian through and through and we should be proud of him.
Madirish
From my seat, Gabby looked interested today (can't say that Carew did, hence his subsitution) and I think that is half the battle, he wanted it, and he got it. I like the new beefed up Gabby with the new attitude even if he did push defenders out the way at time.
Well done Gabby keep it up.
RiF
I was talking about the way he took Ben Haim out of the game today when he scored, by the way. Sorry.
Madirish
From my seat, Gabby looked interested today (can't say that Carew did, hence his subsitution) and I think that is half the battle, he wanted it, and he got it. I like the new beefed up Gabby with the new attitude even if he did push defenders out the way at time.
Well done Gabby keep it up.
RiF
I was talking about the way he took Ben Haim out of the game today when he scored, by the way. Sorry.
Madirish
Gabby way above Carlton Cole in my view. Behind Defoe on finishing for sure, and Bent I think is as close to the complete article that we currently have for England. I reckon Gabby and Bent would have been a useful combo...
YatesyVillain
Gabby way above Carlton Cole in my view. Behind Defoe on finishing for sure, and Bent I think is as close to the complete article that we currently have for England. I reckon Gabby and Bent would have been a useful combo...
YatesyVillain
I'm lovin the new look Gabby. Defenders look absolutely terrified by him. Fast and now strong too. Keep it up Gabby. :)
Adam Deuce
I'm lovin the new look Gabby. Defenders look absolutely terrified by him. Fast and now strong too. Keep it up Gabby. :)
Adam Deuce
 

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