Turn the sound down, Gabby - it ain't good news

Will Gabby Agbonlahor be leaving Aston Villa in the summer?

I'm on record as being a huge Gabby fan...but I'll open the book now. Gabriel Agbonlahor will be leaving Villa in the summer.

Fabio Capello got something right the other night that Gerard Houllier has been struggling with - and that is playing Ashley Young in the hole behind Darren Bent. It worked like a dream. Bent's movement was perfect, and pulled defenders away every time Ash got the ball.

Which was lots. Ashley Young wanted the ball, asked for the ball, demanded the ball over and over again. And when he got it, he did things with it. He played with pace and intelligence and aggression.

He deserved his goal. He added zip to the England side when he came on, and to my mind he was man-of-the-match - despite the papers' almost boring focus on Wilshere.


But I do wonder where it leaves Gabby Agbonlahor, all this England stuff, and the (deserved) focus on Young and Bent.

If I were Houllier, I would drop Gabby. Even though I like him so much. He isn't a midfielder. He isn't a winger. And. let's face it, he hasn't proved to us Villa fans that he can score goals at the top level.

Deep down, though we all love Gabby more than Darren, we also know that Darren is going to score more goals. And Fabio Capello may have also showed us that with Ash behind him, we have a potent force.

So where does it leave Agbonlahor? Here, I deserve at least one small rant at Martin O'Neill. If you make a player "undroppable" when they haven't even learnt the game yet at Premier League level - then how the hell will that player develop?

Gabby played poorly for most of the games I went to for two seasons, but was always guaranteed a start. I think that's hurt him. I think it's hurt the team. And I think it will see Gabby leave us in the summer - because he only knows how to play, and he only knows how to play one way.

Gabriel Agbonlahor has never been taught how to sit on he bench. Which, to my mind at least, means he probably won't. We can look forward to Ashley Young and Darren Bent forging a great partnership for Villa up front, but for Gabby - it looks bleak.

And that, I have to say, is down to dire coaching and dire management.