Gabby looking to establish a dream partnership with Gestede; it isn’t going to happen

Gabriel Agbonlahor

So as above really.

Here’s the link as to what was said by Gabby in the Daily Mail and it all sounds great. Except that in my opinion, it’s seriously flawed.

Gabby talks about how Gestede is the perfect sort of player to play off, because he is such a great header of the ball. Which is all well and good, but we’ve just sold a player who was equally as good at heading and holding the ball up, in Benteke.

And Gabby wasn’t particularly productive playing next to him, was he?

Just to clarify that, he scored six goals in thirty-six appearances last season. His record was similar the season before, but in fairness, it was better the season before that.

Overall, the fact is that Gabby has scored 84 goals in 364 appearances, which is basically really poor and not even one goal in four.

Just to keep my thinking on an even keel and try to remove any Villa bias, even Carlton Cole’s record is only slightly worse and I thought he was utter rubbish.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Gabby was far too often played out of position (out wide), similar to Weimann, who also couldn’t score for us.

But the simple truth is I think he’s past it and is beyond improving. He’s well known for his pace, but if you analyse his game, it’s about his only attribute. I don’t rate his work rate, his movement or even how he reads a game. He’s awful when it comes to one-on-ones and he’s best remembered by me for his more instinctive goals, where he flicks some body part out and scores.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh, because he has scored some important goals, but the overwhelming feeling is that he’s simply not productive enough for someone who is supposed to be a striker.

The trouble is, he’s “Mr Aston Villa”. And he signed a four-year contract just last September, for around £60k a week, I believe. A crazy decision in my opinion and one that probably came from Lerner. Whatever, it’s one we’re stuck with. Which other club would even think about matching that?

Which is why he’s being given every chance by Tim Sherwood, I reckon.

Gabby’s problem is though, that I don’t think he suits the style of play that Sherwood wants. He isn’t good at fast, short passing and is better given the ball in front of him to run on to, straight down the middle, as his crossing isn’t great either. While that’s an option, I don’t believe that’s what the manager wants.

Hence I think Sherwood is probably looking for some way to get Gabby out.

In short, I think his days are numbered.

It’s a shame in a way, because Gabby loves the Villa and we all love one of our own playing for the team, don’t we? I mean, his mom lives a couple of minutes walk away from me (I doubt he still lives there).

But the fact is he’s one of our highest paid players and he simply isn’t producing what he’s paid to do, which unless I’ve got it wrong, is score goals.

I’ve added a poll to see if you agree or not.


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  1. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain August 17, 2015 at 11:53 pm . Reply

    I’d agree with just about each line in your post Badger.

    I admire Agbonlahor’s ‘loyalty’ and that he was a Villa fan as a kid, etc. BUT his actual record as a striker over the last 8-9 years is simply awful, and I don’t go for any of the excuses such as playing out wide. He simply isn’t a natural striker, nor is he a playmaker or much of a defender. You could put a mechanical hare on the field instead of Gaby and have it run at 90 mph, and our results would have been about the same.

    If he’d been any good, other clubs would have been in for him before now, but other than some rumours about Wenger wanting him [back in the MON days] as far as I know, nobody has ever tried to buy him off Villa. Enough said.

  2. Benno
    Benno August 18, 2015 at 3:25 am . Reply

    Yup, not gonna happen. Once everyone is fit, Gabby will be lucky to be on the bench.

    Just seen a couple of articles linking Richardson to a move back to Sunderland. Would be a good move for us, especially if the 2m price tag is anywhere near right. We have Bennett/Crespo as back up to Amavi and it would free up another squad place. Maybe we could throw Tonev in as part of the deal, he would fit in well there!

    GIDDYVILLAN August 18, 2015 at 7:10 am . Reply

    I’ll be glad when Gabbys benched still to this day he feels he’ll be starting,time for a reality check you ain’t as good as you think chap.

  4. Andrew
    Andrew August 18, 2015 at 8:09 am . Reply

    Big question is will Gabby get benched? We often play two strikers and unless we sign another one, I see Ayew getting benched. Gabby’s obvious well past whatever his best was under O’Neill, and while his pace is dangerous, that’s all he has and since Houllier bulked him up, he’s not as quick as he was, nor does he seem to have the muscle anymore either. Loyalty is great and everything but when players aren’t good enough, they’re not good enough and he’s not. We still often played with 2 Am’s and Gabby and Benteke together, so I think it’ll be the same way now with Gestede when he gets fully fit unless again, another striker signs.

  5. BWS
    BWS August 18, 2015 at 8:11 am . Reply

    Loyalty is in short supply in the world of football and that imo is a quality we should admire in Gabby but on saying that should he be in the team? No chance. his performances over the past 4/5 seasons have been inconsistent at best and he should imo be used as an impact player coming off the bench. He don’t offer enough to justify 90 minutes on the park.
    And wages of £60k a week? For a player 28 goals in 4 season? £100k a goal seems a little excessive to me.

    1. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson August 18, 2015 at 8:57 am . Reply

      Badger ,you’ve described him well that’s how I see him, he’s served his purpose and its a shame the day as come, we have to move on and he don’t fit in to our new team, it seems he’s clinging on to a player by saying in the press how he Love’s to work with them, again he runs around like a headless chicken and times up.

  6. Holtender
    Holtender August 18, 2015 at 9:15 am . Reply

    Good article Badger, maybe slightly harsh but completely fair. If we could play local derbies every week he would be in my team, outside of that, everyone we’ve bought this summer is much better than him.

    In his defence, sometimes, his best runs are untrackable, he can completely pin a defender and hold it up like a big man, he’s capable of instinctive finishes and decent headers. However these things happen a handful of times a season and then are usually immediately followed by something unfathomably incompetent, or often no decision at all as he runs down endless blind alleys.

    I hope a period on the bench will do him some good, he could be an effective sub if he gets his head right. He’s served us well and hopefully will continue to do so in more of a squad role. It’s just the Villa he was a key part of is long gone, the Villa he’ll one day end up leaving behind will be by far the best Villa he’s played for.

    I do miss singing that great song of his these days though! One of our best.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 August 18, 2015 at 10:17 am . Reply

      Impact sub – particularly away from home where his pace late on in a game might bring more effective results. Admire the loyalty though.

  7. Dave67
    Dave67 August 18, 2015 at 10:44 am . Reply

    Gabby, he is just not good enough his job is to score goals and we can all see from his record , that does not happen enough

    #HELENIUS August 18, 2015 at 11:10 am . Reply

    Terrible touch, terrible goalscorer, terrible passer, terrible tache. Everything about him is terrible. Yes, ok, you can say he’s loyal but has any club actually ever come in for him with an offer even close to turning his head?? None that I can recall, and who would want to pay for a 5 goal a season striker? You’d have to be barmy

  9. pat57
    pat57 August 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm . Reply

    Still think that Gabby can do a job for us but perhaps he needs a bit of a shake up and a period on the bench wouldn’t do him any harm.

    Perhaps his main role in future might be as an impact sub brought on fresh late in the game when defenders may be tiring a bit. Could see him doing okay there.

    Otherwise I’d like to see Gestede and Ayew play, two big, physical front men, backed up with some creativity from Grealish, Gil and Gueye.

    Still optimistic.

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