I skipped England tournament to go on holiday to Dubai with my girlfriend.. but it wasn't my fault | The Sun

GABBY AGBONLAHOR has revealed that he skipped an England tournament as he went on holiday to Dubai with his girlfriend.

The now-retired striker, 36, had just completed his first season in the Premier League with Aston Villa and was in desperate need of a rest.

Agbonlahor agreed with Villa boss Martin O'Neill that he did not need to go to an England Under 21 tournament as he had become a regular in the team.

His performances during his breakout 2006/07 campaign saw him net 10 goals.

This caught the attention of England and it was thought that the-now talkSPORT pundit would play in the European Championships in the Netherlands during the summer.

However, Agbonlahor claims that O'Neill forgot to tell the Under-21s coach Stuart Pearce about the decision.


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Agbonlahor told talkSPORT: "I'd just played my first full season in the Premier League, 19 years of age, nearly 20 and Martin O'Neill agreed with me that having played nearly every game, 40-something games in total I don't need to go to this tournament.

"I need to rest and have a holiday straight away.

"But he didn't tell Stuart Pearce and the under-21s, he forgot to tell them.

"So I went to Dubai with my girlfriend at the time, went on a nice little break and I'm getting messages off friends saying 'your on Sky Sports News saying Gabby's gone AWOL' and I was like 'what do you mean AWOL? The gaffer said I don't need to go to the under-21s tournament'."

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Having made the news for his trip, Agbonlahor was able to calm the situation down once he had returned home from his holiday.

He added: "At that time as well there were better strikers that were going to play in front of me in the under-21s, so it was just a miscommunication.

"I came home and there were cars with cameras parked by the house and it was just a bit of a miscommunication between Martin O'Neill and England so not my fault.

"I was just taking a break after a hard season, a lot of games."

The former Villa forward earned three caps for his country during his 13-year career.

It was not the only time Agbonlahor had issues with the Three Lions as he was fined £20,000 after flying to Miami having missed out on a call-up.

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