Villa boss hails 'beast' Agbonlahor

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Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish joined the growing list of plaudits for striker Gabriel Agbonlahor after another impressive display from the youngster.

The 24-year-old England international appears revitalised under his new boss at Villa Park, having previously fallen out of favour with former manager Gerard Houllier in the Midlands.

McLeish's faith in the forward has certainly been well-founded, and the player added to his account with the first goal in a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the weekend.

"Gabby is a powerful beast. He has great feet too and he's a kid that can get even better. He has shown magnificent fight to get himself into this team and that's fantastic because I know he loves Villa," the Scot told the official Aston Villa website.

"I've got a gem on my hands if I can keep improving this guy. He has so much to offer and he's actually better than I thought he was. I think he can be even better too.

"That depends on Gabby. The attitude and application I've seen so far is that of a determined player. He was phenomenal. He did extremely well. He is always on the move. He has to realise that power he has. I don't mean the power as a runner but the power he has on defenders when he runs at them."

Agbonlahor's strike partnership with Darren Bent, who grabbed the second from six-yards, provides an exciting and dynamic attacking threat for the Villains under McLeish's stewardship.


It's a dangerous partnership the manager is grateful to have at his disposal, and believes the pair can thrive as part of a traditional formation he likes to employ.

"Those two looked very dangerous. I had wondered why the pairing hadn't been a regular feature in many ways," he continued.

"You have to get the midfield right if you are playing a 4-4-2. A lot of teams will strive to get control of the midfield, enabling you to control the game and tempo.

"We've tried to find ways of getting the two of them in without it hurting our midfield. Gabby has that frightening pace. Benty would love to have that extra asset. Darren is no slouch, he is quick enough, and he wins a lot of the aerial jousts."

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Gabriel Agbonlahor
Premier League
Aston Villa

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