Aston Villa - Ag-gone-lahor? Would You Let Gabby Go?
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Ag-gone-lahor? Would You Let Gabby Go?


I've been pondering the thought of a Villa team without Gabriel Agbonlahor recently...well, ever since Newcastle got shot of Andy Carroll really.

I really do wonder if we need to totally reshape our team and be brave enough to do it without the enigma that is Gabriel Agbonlahor?

Several important questions arise:

1) Will Gab score more than 12 in a EPL season, Cups not included?

2) Is it the previous managers fault he hasn't kicked on?

3) Are we brave enough to build around or transfer him out?

4) Are we able to attract the likes of Jordan Rhodes and other young, skillful and hungry strikes to AVFC?

5) Could we do a Newcastle and be that brave?

6) Are we ever going to have a decent scouting system? Be honest, be angry, be sad, but do ask yourself one more question: What does Gabby bring to the Villa?

Last season:

Robin van Persie 30 goals, 10 assists
Wayne Rooney 27 goals, 5 assists
Peter Crouch 10 goals, 5 assists
Steven Fletcher 12 goals, 2 assists
Peter Odemwingie 10 goals, 4 assists
Nicklas Bendtner 8 goals, 3 assists
Ivan Klasnic 8 goals, 4 assists
Shane Long 8 goals, 1 assist
Gabby 5 goals, 7 assists


Taking it a bit further... {JF}

Player profile:

His time at Villa:

2005/06 he played 9 times, (6 as a sub) 1 premiership goal.
2006/07 he played 38 games, 9 premiership goals, 2 Cup goals
2007/08 he played 37 games, 11 premiership goals
2008/09 he played 36 games, 12 premiership goals, plus one goal in Europe
2009/10 he played 36 games, 13 premiership goals, 1 FA Cup goal, 2 league cup goals.
2010/11 he played 25 games, 3 premiership goals, 1 league cup, 1 in Europe
2011/12 he played 33 games, 5 premiership goals, 1 FA Cup goal

So, the last two seasons, is that a lack of progress? Is that not liking a manager and not playing for them? Obviously he has also had injuries (hence 25 games in 2010/11) He is 25 now, a top striker would hope to be contributing more goals and assists now wouldn`t he? Interesting also the lack of interest in an international career, that suggests to me - and it could be totally the wrong assumption - that he isn`t exactly chomping at the bit?!

Wiki on Gabby (they are wrong 2008/09 goals, or the official site are, wiki says 11 and official site 12)

Interesting middle name, never heard this one before: Imuetinyan .

Our forum thread: Click Here

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The Journalist

Writer: Koolbill... Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday May 30 2012

Time: 1:39PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
If think he needs to leave. He clearly cares about the club but I think we can buy a better striker for a similar fee to what we would receive.
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30/05/2012 13:48:00

Nope. Gabby stays.
Smell The Glove
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30/05/2012 13:48:00

No, we need to keep players here who have a passion and care for this club, Gabby bleeds Villa so do i also Gabby assists a heckof a lot for a striker as he has been played wide so many times, its not fair to compare him for the past two seasons against Van Persie etc as they are the strikers playing in there prefered position, Gabby will improve when Villa as a team improve
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30/05/2012 13:50:00

Yes I would. He was good under Martin O'Neill, but never GREAT. Carew was always top scorer even though he played half a season most seasons (if my memory is correct, forgive me if it's slightly off). He can't finish properly, his movement off the ball is very poor, he's a one trick striker; all he has in his locker now is pace. We've seen what he is capable of, like at the start of last season he was on fire! Best form I've ever seen from him over 4 or 5 games, but then he did what he always did, he went over half a season without scoring. I would sell him. We could get 7M-8M for him, I've no doubt Martin O'Neill would be interested. Bent, Weimann and two new strikers would do for me. I know Gabby loves Villa, and he's one of my favourite's at the club, but it really is time, for his sake and ours, that he moved on.
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30/05/2012 13:58:00

We are not in a position to let anyone leave. We simply let the new man come in and let him decide what happens. I sort of understand the question, but it opens up a can of worms and creates an unecessary conversation that gets picked up by lazy journos. You can see the headlines, Villa fans want local boy to leave?? It is this negative questioning that seriously undermines the club and our supporters. Would much prefer a question that says 'who should we buying to help get Gabi back to his best?'
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30/05/2012 13:58:00

Thats been one of Villa's problems, hanging onto players, the stats are against him, there are quite a few others the new manager has got to let go. tough job but has to be done. Vibrant Villa !
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30/05/2012 13:59:00

Didn't look like he was bothered the last two seasons to me, looked sulky because Bent was furthest up front. Can he re-energise? He always impressed me before coming into the season fresh and strong, so maybe if he gets luck with no more injuries and likes the manager etc. For me last season his input, even when captain, was negligent. It is ok not to like the manager but whilst on the pitch? Bit split, if we replaced with better, (as we should always do when doing transfers) I'd not be gutted. But then, I'm not a sentimental sort!
The Fear
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30/05/2012 14:05:00

I sincerely believe that if we got rid of this young man it would be a mistake on par with if not worse than getting rid of Cahill, Gabby when treated right and played in the right position would be an absolute nightmare for defenders, ask defenders who they hate playing against, and he's right up there. I certainly wouldn't judge him on his performances of late, injuries and match fitness have played a huge part, plus a touch of disenchantment perhaps? For me, he stays and has to earn his spot up front.
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30/05/2012 14:08:00

I'd give him another few years, if he hasn't improved after that, I wouldn't be that bothered. The thing that frustrates me is that EVERY season, he does his disappearing act for the middle third of the season, always seems to get off to a start, but then what happens? Lack of fitness? Fatigue? Of course last season he started well and disappeared for the rest of the entire season. Not good enough Gabby. When he's on form he's a real threat and frightens defenders, when off form he's absolutely useless and a waste of a body on the pitch. Let's see what a new manager brings out in him.
Stephen Jay Hawkings
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30/05/2012 14:09:00

Id keep him simply becuase he is Villa through and through...
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30/05/2012 14:35:00

Give him one more year under our new manager and take the decison this time next year. If he has the same season as the last one then is a no brainer and he needs to leave for himself as well as the good of the club ...
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30/05/2012 14:35:00

Considering that on that list he has the second-highest amount of assists, it's worth keeping him. We won a few of the games we did by the odd goal so if he can provide then he's useful, but I don't think he's an out-and-out striker. He likes it on the wing too much, but I'd give him a free role. He can hurt teams when he's enjoying himself but when he's not, his head drops. One more season for me.
Turkish Penguin
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30/05/2012 14:53:00

The problem with Gabby is that he is not a team player and I don't mean character wise. His control, passing and movement aren't good enough. His forte is speed on the break but his finishing is not good enough for this role. He needs to play alongside a big striker like Carew; we can't afford both him and DB9 in the team and Bent has to be well ahead of him. So his role has to be supersub giving us something different coming on and running at a tiring defence. Can we afford to keep him in this role? Should we keep him = yes unless we get a really good offer to fund rebuilding. 12m yes 'bite their hands off'; 8m no way.
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30/05/2012 14:54:00

Hard to say on this one, certainly like the team he has under achieved. Maybe someone like Martinez could get a lot more out of him. COTVABU
irish villa
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30/05/2012 15:06:00

If my memory serves me correctly the Gabby's goal scoring abilities seemed to desert him when he decided to "bulk up" during the summer. He has lost that crucial half a yard of speed and some of his flexibilty. Bulk, strength and speed are are not synonymous.
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30/05/2012 15:16:00

I agree with VOTH as far as we can't afford to let anyone go ATM, but he should only be on the bench! He just isn't good enough. As distefano says,we can't play Gabby and DB9 together,and DB9 is a far better goalscorer.
Pride of Lions
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30/05/2012 15:16:00

He's Villa through and through. Would you leave?
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30/05/2012 15:31:00

Nope Gabby stays
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30/05/2012 15:32:00

We need a squad, not just a first XI. I would keep him for sure. Plus where is he going to go anyway? Other than Sunderland, and maybe Lerner would play hardball with MON, I can't even think where he would go.
Sheriff Kimbo
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30/05/2012 16:08:00

Id keep him because he cost nothing to buy and theres always a nagging thought that he could become a real threat again. A few top defenders and John Terry have said hes a nightmare to play against. Think he could be a good impact player coming off the bench but he definitely needs to lose a stone of muscle. Lets put one thing to bed though (or perhaps spark a whole new debate!) Ive NEVER seen/heard him describe himself as a Villa fan. Hes said hes from a strong Villa family, hes a local lad, been with the club since he was a boy etc etc but I cant recall him ever using the word fan. Hes carefully avoided the Craig (spit!) Gardner situation. Having an African dad, wouldnt surprise me if he supports ManUre or Scousescum, not that Im making sweeping statements or anything.
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30/05/2012 16:13:00

100% keep him. I wonder why he was never played in front of Bent. Let Gabby stretch the defense with his speed and let Bent poach just behind him. Gabby's speed up top with Bent lurking just behind has got to scare defences more than the opposite positioning.
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30/05/2012 16:18:00

Good shout VillerLite. You're not after a job are you. Requires working in Aston, which isn't salubrious, but we can provide a parking space...
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30/05/2012 16:25:00

onlyteaminthemids lol a few top defenders and john terry, thats about right lmfao
deaf dean
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30/05/2012 16:52:00

wondered if anybody would spot that...
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30/05/2012 16:53:00

im just chuffed that finally someone else doesnt put john (last gasp challenge no pace) terry in the same league as top quality centre halves.
deaf dean
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30/05/2012 16:58:00

Who is going to want a striker who never scores ? Mind you Heskey did ok out of it too . Bye Gabby thanks for nothing the last 2 years!
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30/05/2012 17:17:00

Cheers for replies. VOTH, the question doesn't undermine it bravely seeks an answer and the ripped it creates wouldn't register on SSN or the like anyway but I do think we need to confront 'the uncomfortable truth'. I like Gabby and thought his first two seasons under MoN were excellent and so did the incumbent England manager. Since then I have been underwhelmed with many of our players and Gabby isn't untouchable. My gut feeling is that he'll do a Kalou and remain solid in his effort levels without ever being consistently a top scorer or match winner. I hope I'm wrong as his page is frightening. He needs to reach the next level now, same as Manu Petit said about the current Arsenal player Theo Walcott.
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30/05/2012 17:19:00

Pace not page.
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30/05/2012 17:20:00

Keep him. But he needs to learn the skill of how to handle a 1 on 1 with a goalkeeper. That alone would give him 10 goals a season!
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30/05/2012 17:21:00

Would keep him for now as we hardly need to be letting more players go and for all the bad performances he has lit up the place a few times. We do need to add at the minute and that would be just another headache for us with more fees being required for transfers and wages. He's not a problem 0player either as far as I'm aware and can still be useful. Let the new gaffer come in and have his first season to identify how he wants the team to play and what targets he is after and then we can review again. Unless a huge transfer fee came in for him I would leave it at that, and I cant see anyone putting up big cash for him, so Gabby to stay for now for me....!
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30/05/2012 18:32:00

It is not a question of whether Villa should sell, its a question whether he should stop. I think he has a duty to himself to find a club and a manager who can bring him back to the form which got him his three England caps. The fans have been booing him since god knows when and he has been messed about by the last two managers. He has been stuck out wide when it is obvious that he is not a winger and he has been told to put on weight and then take it off again. It would seem that his declaration of loyalty to Villa has just allowed everyone to take him for granted. It took his brother to explain the extent of his injury problems after Gabby had been the target of vile taunts and accusations on a Villa forum. For the time being I would advise him to bide his time and stop at Villa, and hope the right apportunity comes along with a club which will play to his strengths, rather than to his weaknesses.
Steve Wade
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30/05/2012 19:39:00

I'm in a minority here, but have never undersrtood what fans are on about when complaining about him being played out wide and out of position. I have seen no evidence he is a front line striker. He cannot lead the line and is never incisive enough to be a striker. He has looked great sometimes, including a couple of years under MON and the start of this season. But all his best work is done using his pace and played wide, cutting in and laying the ball back. If he can get back on track I'd keep hm, but would not say no if a big enough bid came in.
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30/05/2012 20:04:00

Stenny that is a decent post imho. Steve Wade. I haven't missed many games and I can't recall the booing of gabi 'since God knows when'. I think the answer to that is it hasn't happened. Or I have gone deaf, pardon. Do you sit in a part of the ground that can not be heard from the top of the Holte because it most definitely hasn't happened up there?
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31/05/2012 08:54:00

I think Gabby has to be given a proper run in his preferred centre forward position before he can be properly judged. If the new manager gives him a shot then I would reassess next year.
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31/05/2012 10:17:00

Gabby needs two things first of all to be fit and not playing carrying injuries which for my part explains some of the poor displays second a manager that believes in him gives him confidence and wont stick him out on the wing. In a day and age where footballers cant wait to make a fast buck is it not a good thing when you have one that wants to stay and play for the club ?.As for gabby and Benty not playing together up front cant think of more than 3-4 games where they have .How do you build an understanding in such a short time?.
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31/05/2012 10:20:00

i would give him a lift to his new club if anyone wants to buy him
andy gray
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31/05/2012 21:22:00


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