Gabby Can Go

Agbonlahor silences his doubters.

Gabriel Agbonlahor made his Villa debut back in 2006 under David O’Leary. Since then he has seen many managers and enjoyed a few fruitful goal patches. Other than that he has been a long-serving servant who has not offered as much as we would like, apart from pace and the ability to make the odd decent cross.

Why do I say Gabby can go when he is a Villan through and through? He has not done enough for the side, in my opinion. At the start of the season, he enjoys a good patch: he scores a few and makes himself look like a Premier League striker. However, for every good patch Gabby has some bad ones. As a forward, this cannot be accepted when reliability is key. This season he has scored four goals and assisted in five. That is not acceptable for any forward. If we had another half decent one, I’m certain Agbonlahor would not be in the side. His form hardly flatters anyone. It is hardly form that warrants a place in the starting XI.

Season on season

Every year, without fail, we see the same Gabby Agbonlahor. He has a burst of four games in which he is almost faultless then an injury follows which keeps niggling him and we see him in shocking form for the rest of the year. Although he scored on Saturday, he did not deserve a goal. He has sometimes been the big match man and shone on the big stage. He is excellent at times yet in other games he may as well be at home. People say he is a Villa man. So am I. I will not get picked for Villa as I am not good enough and neither is Gabby. He is one of the better players we have but he still is not good enough, which is a damning reflection on our current team.

Countless managers have tried and failed to get the best out of him. There must be a reason why none of them have managed to do so. We have a player collecting a hefty pay packet for not doing a great deal. It may seem like I am launching an attack on one player here but Gabby is a senior member of our squad, a player others should look up to. Maybe Lambert and past managers see something in Agbonlahor that I obviously do not. Why has nobody ever really realised that Gabby is a poor player? His stats speak for themselves. His actual ability is questionable. The table I discovered below shows this:

We cannot hold on to passengers, especially this summer. Gabby’s supposed fire and passion for Aston Villa have not even burned brightly this season. I believe it is time to let go of our own Villan: he is too inconsistent, he cannot do the simple things well and even when he runs at players he looks like he will lose the ball.

Agbonlahor would struggle to get into any side in the Premier League. On paper, Villa’s team is arguably the worst side of them all. Cardiff, Fulham, and Norwich all have better quality players. You could build a decent side out of their players. I do not think one Villa player would feature in a starting XI made up of players from the bottom five teams.

Agbonlahor is past it now. Despite rumoured interest from Leicester City, I cannot see him going but I honestly do not see why he is still picked week in, week out.


  1. I think we have a strong core – Guzan, Vlaar, Okore, Delph, Tekkers – and some potentially decent players on the periphery – Lowton, Bertrand (if he stays), Bacuna, Westwood, Albrighton – with some ok back up – Andi, Kozak – but struggling after that. I would effect a gradual clear out and bring in 3 or so quality players a window in an ideal world!

  2. With you 110%. In fact i would go further and say for 25 games a season he is a damned disgrace! No pride in his performance- a passenger. Get rid asap!

  3. I must agree with you,so much promise every season but its never fulfilled.Helenius deserves his chance to impress,he’s young,strong and has aeriel threat.

  4. Totally Wrong !!! Gabby is being played out of position. He is performing better than most other players. He can score goals without help from other players. He is better than players at the mentioned clubs. His main down side is playing against top defenders. Long serving players need to respected for what they bring to the club.

  5. Matt, I was very interested in what you had to say about the current Villa side and Gabby in particular. I am 67 years old and have been going to Villa Park since 1952 so I represent the other end of the supporter scale. I agree with all that you have said and although memory is always suspect I can’t think of a poorer Villa side ever and that includes the side that went down to the old division three. I have never rated Gabby, although his speed was a useful attribute, unfortunately it ends there and I don’t see him any better than sub or impact player. He might be Villa through and through but in reality he is just an asset and unless he proves that he is vital to the future of Villa he can go.

  6. some interesting points there Mat and I largely agree , although I would suspect that part of the problem is that he’s not fully fit . Also although many would disagree , he’s not a striker as he’s far better out wide where he can run @ defenses,although he’s not a winger .
    Should he be dropped ? Well against Swans I thought he should have had 2 penalties which says something about the opposition & the ref as well as Gabby’s contribution . But I also hear that he & Delph, another player who I think appears to contribute much more than he actually does are the leaders of the dressing room , & it was they who told Lambert about his 2 deputies . So it could be that Lambert needs them in the match day squad , but personally I’d drop them . The problem then is who plays instead of them ? But perhaps if we can get a win against Hull PL can start to juggle the team & formation

  7. I agree, simply not good enough, and this is the very reason he is so loyal, nobody any better than villa will ever come in for him, I really hope their is NO new contract for him, we can do a lot better for 30k a week !

  8. Matt, for someone so young I’m not sure you know what you’re talking about. Two games come to mind Arsenal and Liverpool. They didn’t know what to do with Gabby, he just smashed through them. He won those games on his own.

    • Just because I am young it does not mean my views are irrelevant or far-fetched. Agbonlahor is inconsistent and a passenger most of the time. What are two good games in a Premier League season really?

  9. You’re talking about our only prem player apart from Guzan in the squad, all the rest are lower league players brought in for the wage. I find it hard to believe you lot constantly jump on Gabbys back, the only player who can go past the opposition. As for the stats, tell me how much better is anyone else in that poor team he is in or should be our flair player in? They need service in the right areas. I doubt you’ve ever played the game so I can tell you you’ll eat your words if he ever starts running at our defence.

  10. Gabby’s scoring stats shouldn’t be compared to a strikers as for a large portion of the season he’s not played as a striker, he’s played wide left. Last season too.

    As for quality and whether he should be replaced, well he’s no world beater… But we have far bigger problems than Gabby. If we were getting rid of our worst players first then we’d be getting rid of two thirds of the squad before considering Gabby!

    Fully fit and confident, and in a better side, he’s an asset in my opinion. But he’s not fit or confident and he plays for an appalling side.

  11. Keep him. Play him as a cf with Benteke and he’d start scoring and assisting, just like two seasons where he scored 10+ premier league goals with Carew. If we sell him to prem minnows like Leicester, guarantee he’d be top scorer with 15. Madness.

  12. Agbonlahor can be amazing at times, like in the games against Liverpool and Arsenal, but in other games he has not really shown the same creativity and flair as he did in those games.
    Really, we should get somebody who can feed Agbonlahor. Otherwise he will be on his own. Like the stats say, he is unable to cross, but ok, at least he gives SOME experience in the boardroom. Everybody looks up to him as h has scored, albeit in 271 appearances, 60 goals for Villa.
    I would be surprised to hear that Agbonlahor, a man who has played for Villa all his life, would be interested in a move. And a move won’t pay off either. There’s no way he will move, because teams have players who have quality either better than or equal to him who have pace, or attackers with guile and passing ability.
    Gabby can do it. But only on his day. Keep him, get one quality player to feed him, and we are done. Even a championship maestro like Andy King or even somebody like Peter Whittingham or Mile Jedinak could give Gabby service. And all the above will be proven buys of quality.
    Great to see people arguing. We know we are better tacticians as a whole than Blabbert, so let us at least assist him and Cowans(At least Cowans should give Helenius a chance,though).

  13. When Gabby was scoring regularly, (remember the goals that sunk Blues) He was playing down the middle with Young supplying the ammunition. Yes he has pace, lots of pace, but a winger he aint, coz he cant take on a defender and beat him.(no trickery / step overs etc.) Play him down the middle and you’ll see the difference.

  14. R u guys kidding? No way. I think he’s just frustrated he have o partner to play and this is the manager’s fault. He played him all over this season. No way!

  15. Gabby played really well as the lone striker under O’Neil when Carew was injured and it was played into his feet or behind the line. He held it up well when he had supportive runners and would occasionally turn and leave the cetre backs for dead. he got into the England team on the back of that and has never been played in that role since. Not his fault.

    he’s one of our better players, terrifies defenders and sometimes carries this weak team on his own. Use him properly and he’ll be worth his weight again. I’d certainly keep him before Albrighton.

  16. Gabby needs playing with a big man up front when we play at home we are far too narrow and that stuip 433 dont work we need wide player as villa parks one of the widest pitches in prem when we had young and dowing on the wings we where laughing making teams suffer using all the pitch and running defender raged 442 at home is always best but lambett far to blind or stuip ?

  17. If I were boss he’s one of the few I’d keep. At 27, he’s played almost 300 games for villa. If you get rid of him our whole side has no continuity. You’re looking at someone like delph or guzan being our longest serving players.
    Gabbys loyalty, long service, derby and big game heroics should have earned him that right. Can’t judge a man on stats and recent years. He’s been managed badly and deserves more respect for being a brilliant professional for aston villa. Bringing pride when nearly all hope and pride seems gone.

  18. Very logical thoughts Spike but if you get rid of Albrighton who is there to put the ball @ Gabby’s feet . But yes on his day Gabby can frighten defenders but it does not happen often enough . As for Gabby getting into the England team if he is so good why is he not still in the squad ? The simple reason is that he aint done nuthin to prove he is worthy of a return to International duty

  19. I don’t think the solution is getting rid of him. We’d be much better off keeping him as an impact sub and bringing in a real winger.

  20. U can’t get rid of him he as Villa blood running through him. Makes a change for local boy in team and someone who stayed loyal not like Barry, Young, Milner who all got bought out. Plus do we really want to be full of non English players? I still like O’neil days myself.

  21. He’s a bit like Albrighton but he can actually score the odd goal. If money was no option i’d sell him and get a younger replacement who still has potential, but as things stand i don’t think we have an option but to keep him. He’s ok no more than that.

    I’m laughing to myself that so many people think Guzan is a good keeper. He’s the most over rated player in our squad and the sooner we get a manager who buys a decent replacement the better! Good reflexes, but no positioning, no communication and no organisation skills.

  22. Great to read such passion for the club and about one player!
    When other supporters talk of our team, its usually ‘the one with the difficult name’ they focus on. There’s a reason for that. Gabby is Villa to outsiders. His goal against Swansea was testament to that drive and spirit we all know he possesses. That was sorely missed when I watched us faff about against Fulham.
    I’m with MrVilla on this one. Gabby hasn’t been managed right or given the service he requires to score lots of goals. Our wingers were sold on and cut-cost replacements put in. Reminds me of Liverpool a couple of seasons back. Gerard had to carry a lot of passengers in that team too. He stuck at it and we should do the same.
    We’re not Liverpool. We are Villa. Gabby is Villa.


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