Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Gabby for England!

I see that Tony Morley is bemoaning the fact that Gabby has not been called up for England duty - he reckons that Gabby would be a good squad player and (if not included in the starting 11) could be brought on to use his pace in the latter part of a match for England, and boost England's chances.

Perhaps there's something right in what Tony says. Given the shortage of strikers available for England, and Gabby's playing record since the beginning of the year, I'd say that Gabby has been overlooked and perhaps deliberately.

It makes me recall how often Villa's players have been overlooked for England since the War, the main exception being (1) after Villa's EC success, when England had no choice but to select a couple, but they never made great use of Cowans (2) when Graham Taylor was England manager and (3) in MON's days at Villa, when he probably had influence at the FA.

I can think of England failing to make use of Villa's players going back to 1952, when Johnny Dixon was at the height of his form, but was overlooked. Then the case of Nigel Sims, who was surely the best keeper in England for a period, but lost out - though I think it was something to do with the Wolves' chairman being on the FA and sour grapes about Sims leaving them for Villa. The FA also took their time in making up their minds about Gerry Hitchens, though I admit Gerry had a lot of competition in the c-f spot.

Alan Deakin is another example. When Bobby Moore broke through, some thought that England's 2 wing-halves should have been Deakin and Moore. None of Mercer's Minors got to the England first team.

But Brian Little's case was all too obvious as a magnificent failure to use real talent by the FA. Gidman also probably deserved a better chance.

It seems to me that Villa's success before WW1 always rankled the ruling bodies in football and they've since done their best to push Villa down the ladder - just as the London papers have tried.

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