Virginian Danny rides into town

THE Virginian has ridden into Ipswich looking to help the Blues sweep away all before them.Not the eponymous hero of the 1960s and 1970s television series but Danny Karbassiyoon who, like the cowboy who dropped in on the Shiloh Ranch for a quick visit but ended up staying for 249 episodes and almost 10 years along with Trampus, has agreed to extend his stay at Portman Road.

By Derek Davis

THE Virginian has ridden into Ipswich looking to help the Blues sweep away all before them.

Not the eponymous hero of the 1960s and 1970s television series but Danny Karbassiyoon who, like the cowboy who dropped in on the Shiloh Ranch for a quick visit but ended up staying for 249 episodes and almost 10 years along with Trampus, has agreed to extend his stay at Portman Road.

The 20-year-old was first spotted by Paul Mariner, who tipped off Bob McNab - and the Gunners scout wasted no time in getting him to Highbury.


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Not surprisingly with Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy ahead of him, Karbassiyoon's appearances for Arsenal have been restricted to just three League Cup matches, scoring on his debut in the win over Manchester City.

He has also helped beat Everton but was on the losing side against Manchester United.

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His initial apprehension about what he would find in the Suffolk sticks were soon allayed.

He said: “The facilities at Arsenal are amazing, among the best in Europe if not the world. We were warned that it would not be like this if we went anywhere else, but the facilities at Ipswich are excellent.

“I didn't know what to expect when I first came here but I have been really impressed with everything, the amount of pitches, the equipment and the guys who look after us.”

After a few minutes on at the end of the defeat at Millwall, Karbassiyoon made his first start for Town at Plymouth where he looked good for a half but found himself on the end of some rough treatment, and picked up a booking. His lack of match fitness showed, but the versatile player showed marked improvement in his home debut in the FA Cup against Bolton, and still has more to offer as he gets used to life outside the Premiership.

He said: “Not too much separates the Premiership and the top teams of the Championship. It is just as fast in Division One, if not faster and more furious.

“In the Plymouth game I noticed they gave you no time on the ball.

“It was great playing at Portman Road. The supporters gave me an ovation as I came off and I was really happy with that.”

Karbassiyoon has fitted in well and will be among a small group of Town players going to watch the Chelmsford Chieftains play ice hockey tomorrow, with Canadian Jason De Vos acting as their guide.

He said: “When I first moved over here I was shocked at the pace of life.

Ipswich is not as bad, it is quite similar to the city I live in Virginia which has about 250,000 people live in it.”

The name Karbassiyoon comes from his football-mad Iranian father who married an Italian girl, so Danny grew up playing 'soccer' ahead of the more traditional American sports.

He said: “I played baseball and basketball but soccer was the main sport.

“My dad played in the seniors and my mum was from Napoli so we watched Italian football on television a lot.”

The former college player gave up his holiday in America so he could join Ipswich on loan and he has no regrets.

Karbassiyoon said: “It was worth cancelling my Christmas plans. I figured there will be many more Christmases but there may not be any more chances like this.”

Blues boss Joe Royle will ask Arsenal this week for permission to keep him and that could be for a month or until the end of the season.

The young Gunner told the EADT that he had not as much won a state title before but was now looking forward to staying and helping Ipswich win the Championship. This particular Virginian won't have Trampus to help him, but he will have plenty more hired help fighting the cause.

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