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Competition is good, England tonight and Ashley Young, again

Ashley Young: Tired but not out and still an Aston Villa player

Competition is good. If you're a window cleaner and the only one in your town you get to control the price, level of service and quality of work. If another window cleaner comes in and offers a cheaper price, better level of service and higher quality of work, your customers will leave you.

To get those customers back, you're going to have to improve your service and quality and probably reduce your price. Competition is good for everyone.

Gabby happy with competition

The thing is, when you don't have competition, you get lazy. Gabby hasn't lived up to his potential, quite possibly because he has never had any real competition and because of the way the manager is setting up the team, he now has. I know Gabby can score goals and with the right support, he might even be the 20 goal a season striker, but I do doubt it.

Birmingham Mail, taken from club site
Gabby Agbonlahor has warned Villa's record-signing Darren Bent "I want your place" after confessing he would rather play as a centre-forward than a left-winger.

I doubt it because he has had his chances and now, the manage has spent a fortune on bringing in a proven Premier League goalscorer and I suspect he'll only get his chance up front again, if Bent is injured and he'll need to do something hugely impressive with those opportunities if he is to keep Bent out of the starting line-up when he is fit again.

As things stand, I think Gabby should be happy he is playing, even if it is on the left as I don't think it is long before Downing is moved back to make room for Albrighton.

Midweek football

I wasn't planning on watching the football tonight but with so many Aston Villa players in the squad and the chance that two or three might get a game, I know I will. In my humble opinion however, with so many competitive games these days, these friendlies are a waste of time and all it does is increase expectation. Still, I'm going to have a cheeky fiver on Darren Bent to score.

Ashley Young: Bish bash bosh

Ashley Young has assisted six goals this season, he is involved in a lot of what we do and while he isn't irreplaceable, he is important. Back in October, he also told us he wasn't signing a contract right now and that he was going to talk next summer. He also stressed that he had no problems at the club and was enjoying his football.

Ashley Young, October 2010
I've told the people at Villa that I won't be signing a new contract at the moment. I know they want to get it done now but my current deal still has a year to run after this season and I feel there is plenty of time to talk next summer.

I want to stress that I have no problem with Aston Villa. I love the fans and I'm very much enjoying my football. I want to concentrate on what's happening on the field and don't want to get distracted. It's a big season for me and I'm hopeful there are good times ahead under the new manager.

I'm putting this here again, because as of right now, he is an Aston Villa player. We might have an opinion that he is leaving and while I accept that it might be the common view, if only because we've heard what he has said above before from other players at other clubs, we have to take him at his word and not forget, he is an Aston Villa player.

So can we please, because it worries me that we are getting on his back, leave him alone. He is one of us, he will talk about a new contract in the summer, a logical decision considering he will be in a much stronger negotiating position, and get behind him. Right now, the entire team needs the support of everyone and like it or not, Ashley Young is an influential player for us.