When I take a look at the squad that Hodgson has chosen ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and the Ukraine, I have to wonder why Gabby Agbonlahor was not chosen.
Players such as Jermain Defoe, a player who has really not featured once in the Premier League this season, has managed to get the nod ahead of Gabby. Danny Welbeck, a player who managed just a single goal along with a string of mediocre performances during the whole of last season, has also been selected.
It just doesn’t make sense to me but I have come to a conclusion: Roy Hodgson has not just snubbed Gabby Agbonlahor as a player, he is snubbing the whole Aston Villa squad as he is really only looking at players from teams inside the top six. In my opinion, there are a few other Villa players as well as Agbonlahor who could warrant call ups. Players such as Delph, Westwood and Lowton are not far off earning places in the squad in my eyes but Agbonlahor has the best case for another chance to wear an England shirt.
Gabby is a versatile player: not only could he play as a striker in the current England set up, he has also established himself as a very decent winger in recent years. Let’s look at some of the wingers who have been selected for England: Ashley Young and Andros Townsend. Both of these players play for big clubs but have they really done enough to warrant selection? Hodgson obviously thinks so but I do not. Young was injured for most of last season and has failed to impress since his move from Villa to Manchester United.
To justify my argument, having watched Young play at the weekend against Liverpool, I saw that he was by far one of United’s poorest players, often losing the ball and failing to create much when in possession.
Andros Townsend was another dodgy selection in my opinion: Townsend did not play much football during last season and has shadowed Gareth Bale at Tottenham for most of his career. Townsend is a very young and exciting player, there is no doubting that, but Agbonlahor has performed much better recently and deserves a place ahead of Andros.
The one and only Robbie Savage pleaded the case for the Villa player’s inclusion in the squad:
“If you are picking an England squad based on current form, there is no way that Agbonlahor deserves to be overlooked. He tore Arsenal to shreds on the opening day of the season. Anyone who saw him on that day would have marked him down as potential England material. He was sensational. If Agbonlahor played for a top-four club would he be in the squad? My guess is yes, he would.”
Savage made some pretty shrewd points when speaking about Gabby’s absence from the squad to reporters from The Mirror. I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with what he had to say. If Agbonlahor was playing for one of the top four clubs there is no doubt in my mind that he would be in the England squad preparing to face Moldova as we speak.
Roy Hodgson’s decision not to include Gabby in the squad epitomises modern football: it’s all about the money and the big clubs these days and Hodgson won’t take a second look at the Aston Villa squad.
It’s not all bad news though as Agbonlahor’s England snub means that our star winger has less chance of picking up an injury and he will be well rested ahead of the Newcastle game at Villa Park on September 14th.
It’s your loss, Hodgson, not ours.