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Gabriel Agbonlahor tipped for England

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes Gabriel Agbonlahor deserves a chance to ease the pressure on Roy Hodgson and aid England's bid to qualify for next summer's World Cup.

Gabby Agbonlahor celebrates after putting Aston Villa ahead at Norwich
Gabriel Agbonlahor has started the season well for Aston Villa.

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Agbonlahor, 27, has been overlooked at international level since he won the last of his three caps for his country in 2009, and has made no secret of his ambition to be part of England's plans for 2014 should they make it to Brazil.

Despite a heavily depleted squad for Tuesday’s 0-0 draw in Ukraine -- which brought strong criticism for England manager Hodgson -- the Villa forward was not considered as a replacement for the squad after the loss of Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge.

Agbonlahor has produced some of his most consistent form since the turn of the year and has had an excellent start to the season against Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.

As a result, he was talked about as a possible call-up after the 4-0 victory over Moldova, but has ultimately seen himself fall further down the pecking order with the selection of Southampton's Ricky Lambert.

Lambert would be delighted to see Agbonlahor's run of form rewarded with a call-up for the final two qualifiers, but has no concerns that a continued policy of overlooking his striker will have any damaging effects.

He said: "I'm not going to tell Roy Hodgson how to do his job. That's his prerogative, to pick the national team. It's hard enough to pick any team.

"From my own point of view Gabby has been playing fantastically for me, he really has. In the last three games he's been excellent. He's been at the top of his game against the best teams in the land in Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

"To be fair to Gabby he hasn't let it bother him. He has just got on with it. You can't influence somebody to pick somebody. But for me and this football club, he's playing really well and long may that continue."


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