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Villans make England push

Bent urges Lions to pursue Gabby partnership

By | 7th November 2011

Whilst they were on the books of Aston Villa, Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor both excelled for the midlands club, leading them to European football and even the brink of the Champions League in an era of success under Martin O’Neill.

However, despite their individual and collective success, both were continually marginalized for their country, overlooked in favor of a multitude of other players.

Neither featured much in England’s unsuccessful bid to qualify for the 2008 European Championships, nor did either of them make Fabio Capello’s 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup.

Many thought that neither were good enough for the Three Lions, and mid-table was their level; but Ashley Young’s move to Manchester United has reignited his once-stagnant England career, with the former Villa winger now one of the main cogs in Fabio Capello’s England side, and a sure bet to travel to Poland and Ukraine if healthy.

Young now has 18 senior caps and 4 goals, compared to Agbonlahor’s 3 senior appearances, the last of which came in October of 2009.

Whether through loyalty or lack of ambition, it seems that Agbonlahor’s decision to stay at Villa Park has severely hurt his chances of making a mark for his country; now 25, it seems that a young generation of English hit-men including Daniel Sturridge, Connor Wickham, and Danny Welbeck may be preferred to the Villa starlet.

But a recall has materialized, and fellow England striker Darren Bent, who has worked well with Agbonlahor since joining Aston Villa, has praised his team-mate in a bid to have Agbonlahor given another chance.

Bent stated that “there is no reason that myself and Gabby cannot get back in the England team together and it should help England that we play week in and week out together at club level.”

The pair’s chemistry up front offers an interesting option for the Italian manager, who will be without Wayne Rooney for the first 3 matches (for now, at least) and one that deserves consideration.

Bent and Agbonlahor do have the rest of the season to work on an already-promising partnership, and the friendly against Spain will be a good chance to see how they work with their international colleagues.

Agbonlahor has the motivation to prove his doubters wrong, especially former Villa boss Gerard Houllier, who he says “killed” his England career.

It may not be the most likely scenario, but the two frontmen who currently sit 8th in the Premier League table could prove to be a deadly force for England come this summer in Poland and Ukraine.

Reader Comments

The below views are those of our readers and do not reflect the opinions of Premiership Talk or its employees.
  1. Tim Reynolds says:

    Young was back as an England regular before united signed him , it was one of the reasons they did.

    He was out a favour with England because his Villa form dipped, then it came back and he wa sin

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