Aston Villa - I Was Wrong (So Was McLeish) Bent Has To Go!
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I Was Wrong (So Was McLeish) Bent Has To Go!

I was wrong, (so was Mr. McLeish), but Bent has to go!

As a leading and complete doom and gloom merchant, even snapping up 16/1 about us going down, the recent performances have proved me wrong. Whilst many have commented that the better performances of late, have occurred without Heskey, I would point out that they have also occurred without Darren Bent.

I was partly right when I posted an article at the start of the season asking whether we should play Ireland or Agbonlahor? I felt that if we played Ireland it would have to be in a 4-5-1, and if we did that where would we play Gabby? Mr. McLeish briefly dabbled with Ireland early doors, but chose a more defensive approach, going 4-5-1 with more defensive players in midfield, and playing Gabby out of position on the wing. Now there is nothing wrong with 4-5-1, but you need the right players in the key roles. The most important role is the one up front.

I was wrong in my article because I thought Gabby would be sacrificed. The choice shouldn't have been Gabby or Ireland, but Gabby or Bent. Mr. McLeish has been wrong all season because he believed the one should be Darren Bent.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! Darren Bent can't play up front on his own.

The defensive pass/punt forward is never won by Bent. The ball always comes straight back, and we are under the cosh again. The front man in a 4-5-1 has to be Gabby. Gabby is the one. Mr. McLeish has to convince Gabby and boost his confidence at all times. He puts fear into even the best defenders, and when he plays up front on his own he will often be able to chase down hopeful passes and stop the ball coming straight back. Gabby remains Villa through and through, and is our best player. Bent must be sold in January before his value drops further, and the money used to buy a couple of hungry young players. That lad Redmond from the Blues might not be a bad shout before he gets snapped up by one of the big four.

So I admit it I was wrong, and I apologise to all the optimists who kept telling me so. (Especially Mr Fear). There are even signs that Mr. McLeish is discovering what his best side is. Shame it's taken injuries to certain players for him to find it. Still being lucky can be better than being good sometimes. Now do the right thing Mr. McLeish, sell Bent while we can still get a good price. And yes I am referring to him as Mr. McLeish because after yesterday he deserves some respect.


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The Journalist

Writer: 2big4seatswannastand Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 2 2012

Time: 9:44AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Sell Bent ? You are of course joking...
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 09:51:00

We were drawing against Chelsea until Bent came on, he then won the aerial punt forward you claim he can't? We then score the 2nd goal and then Bent himself scores the third? Were you watching ?
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 09:53:00

Nice positive front pager though...jeez
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 09:54:00

Your argument assumes the premmis that we are going to continue the long punts up field fromdefence. Well after a goal scorring performance from Bent against Chelsea and a noticable lack of long punts I would like to think that you are completely wrong....again apparently.
villan of the north
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 09:55:00

I agree to a point with this article, but would say that Bent was often used as a lone striker at Sunderland and worked very well in the role, the difference now is that he has been so isolated with you because you haven't been pushing up from midfield enough to support him. He is never a player to pick up the long, high balls as playing with his back to goal really isn't his game. However I actually believe his main problem this season is in his head and when Darren doesn't get thing going his way he is half the player he is when all is going to his favour
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 09:56:00

Squad game mind, not all about a starting 11, and presuming Ireland is to continue playing in such a rich vein of form then the through balls he can provide to benty or via the wingers to benty are invaluable...Gabby gets injured or goes off form for a while or the constant need to change tactics or have a plan b also requires players of quality...his goals kept us up last year and good teams have a strong squad, so with over 100 premier league goals and a scoring ratio of 1 in every 2/3 he stays for me...interesting article with some good points & if were as skint as we all believe we are......?!
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:06:00

Think either can pay as loan strikers, I would say that I think Bent is probably slightly better than Gabby as that stay up top and do little else type of role (not a criticism of Bent that, he is good at getting in the right positions) whereas Gabby's game is a bit more rounded but possibly he's not as clinical. As they said in the commentary the other day, Gabby just needs to add total belief to his game and he could be even better.

I want us to keep both though, let them compete for their places.
The Fear
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:08:00

There must be room for both? Both class players.
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:11:00

Interesting article. I was thinking something similar insofar as to play Ireland needs 3 in midfield and I was wondering hot to permutate the other players. Petrov is needed as is a defensive mid. So it looked to me as if you want to ply Bent, then the decision is 2 out of Albrighton, Gabby and Zoggy. But Gabby is not really a winger and to be honest he isn't a natural goalscorer either. Bent is. In the end I took the cowards way out and decided that this is what managers get paid for. Interesting decisions ahead though if we are to use Ireland. Sell Bent? As pointed out above this is a squad game now and it took us how many years to get a natural goalscorer?
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:13:00

Hell no......we gotta keep em.... lets just see out January...see where we are....and i suspect (hoping dear GOD) our fortunes would have changed and we're making it hard for others challenging 5th and 6th spot we need Bent ....Gabby.....together.....
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:14:00

It's ok playing 4-5-1 away from home, but we need a slightly more attacking 4-4-2 at home don't you think? I do tend to agree, Bent isn't the type of striker that holds the ball up too well, he's there to put the ball in the net......
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:15:00

So both can play up front on their own and have a positive effect on the team and they can both play in a front two and equally important a front two together...with the modern day squad rotation, different tactics at different times, the requirement to be able to change games, a plan B, add the need to have a strong squad that creates competition for places and as with any team Injuries then I think he stays...!
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:18:00

We cry out for years for a goalscorer. We get one. And not just anyone . . . . . . . . we get one of the top English goalscorers of the last 10 years. He is in his prime. Scores regularly for England . . . . . and you want to sell him?????? You are completely stark raving mad. Oh no, lets not work to a system that gets the best from a natural goalscorer, lets work to a system that gets the best out of an injury prone midfielder who has one and half good games in 18 months. So your solution is to get a team playing a system that now creates chances and to sell the striker who would convert thos chances into goals??? Go fetch this man the men in white coats. You say our last three performances have come without Bent. Well we lost against Arsenal. We couldn't score against Stoke and when Bent came on as a late sub against Chelsea we scored another 2 goals, one of which was scored by the man you want to sell. I have seen some ridiculous articles in my team, but this one is right up there with them. Next you will be saying we should sell any keeper who saves shots and midfielders who tackle and create chances!!!! Message to editors. This sort of article should never get to the front page and is exactly the sort of reason why many think Villa fans are fickle and lack football knowledge. I understand that there has to be no bias, but this sort of internet chat is what leads to whispering campaigns that Villa fans want Bent out. The whispers become chatter, then shouts and then a clamour for us to get rid. You have aduty to stop this at source. It is destabalising and uncalled for.
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:21:00

voiceoftheholte - quality mate
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:24:00

personally if Ireland can put in the work that he did against arsenal and chelsea, against many sides I'd play 442 with both Bent and Gabby up top giving more options for passes from midfield. If we want to get really radical there's always 352 with Gabs and Bent up top, Ireland, Nzog, Albie, and two from Petrov/ herd / clark / Bannan / Gardner and warnock in midfield and three from collins / dunne / cuellar / clark / warnock at the back
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:32:00

I'd move Gabby on and get a strike partner for Bent , They can't play together and Gabby on the wing is a no no. Just a thought , I often think if Gabby hadn't come through the ranks would he have already been shipped out ?
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:34:00

Oh sod it, what voice says...!
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:37:00

Came on at 1 all, should have had a penalty and involved in second goal, scores the third. Ridiculous comment
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 10:52:00

Really stupid article kiddo, yeah we've played poorly up ubtil recently but bent is an asset, one we can't lose, play him or gabby in front of Ireland and were laughing.
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 11:03:00

lol, got the comments going, facebook is savage! I like different opinions and have respect for them though, I'm virtually a Saint really if you think about it. No? Ok, well, just thought what with Dougy getting a knighthood that anything goes these days!? Ok, shall we settle on ***** Fear? As long as I have a title I don't really care!
The Fear
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 11:08:00

I totally agree - Bent is not a 'team' player, and requires constant service for his goals. In some games this season, it's as if we've been playing with 10 men. Gabby is a far better alternative up front, and the 25 million quid or so we'd get for Bent, can help strengthen the team in other areas.
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 11:41:00

I think we can see from above what we all (99.999%) think I this suggestion. Voice Of The Holte by name, VOTH by nature. Could not have said it better myself.
Adam Deuce
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 12:06:00

Well that rattled a few cages. My point is that Mr McLeish will play 4-5-1 more often than not. Darren Bent has only scored 6 goals this season, often due to poor service. He is not as good a "hold up" player as Gabby. The improved performances have come without Bent, apart from an important 10 minutes on Saturday. There is speculation today that Liverpool are about to offer in excess of 20 million. If they do I am sure that he will be sold. Will I be wrong again? Time will tell. If he stays, and only gets 11 or 12 goals this season, his value will fall considerably.
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 12:16:00

Agree with the article. Bent can do nothing well except poach. Eck will not create these poachers chances so he doesn't fit. If we were to get rid of Eck then as others have said, I'm sure a competent manager could have us playing with a plan B or C and Bent would be very valuable. We could've easily lost the other day but Ireland was on fire and gifted bent a nearly open goal which he only just managed to get past a Cech who is nowhere near the player of recent years.
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 12:31:00

Villan444, so what if he 'only just' got it past the Goalie, it went in! Some people on here are after any possible reason to moan. Can't see the thinking behind getting rid. Scores goals, does a great job playing on the shoulder of the last defender and, even if we stick with Gabby up front on his lonesome for a few weeks, it offers an option to alter things should they not be going according to plan. Are these the same people who complained that MON never rotated? Or that we never had a 'natural' up front?
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 12:41:00

Franco, Ireland could've just as easily scored himself. Bent was only in a slightly better position. Are we going to play him so everyone else can do all the work and pass it to him from 3 yards to hope that he scores more than the person who has made the said pass?? As you agreed with me, he offers an option to change to a plan B. Regardless, at the moment due to the formations and tactics that we use, Gabby should start on his own up front and we can only afford to carry Bent now that we aren't carrying Heskey, Hutton and Bannan. Some just like to moan at other posters. We've won 1 game and all the Prozac jockeys have come out of the closet to brown-nose Eck.
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 13:20:00

Your forgetting that before the last 3 matches poor benty has not had any support whatsoever. He has been so isolated that when the ball did get to him there was nobody within 20ft, which has made his performances look very poor but i don't believe that's his fault. Bent doesn't take people on he needs the support from midfield, now that it seems to be coming we need him in the team to convert the chances as I'm sure we all agree he is much more clinical than gabby. On the other hand gabby has been working his socks off and having one of his best seasons. We've been crying out for competition so let them get on with it.
Lion Heart
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 14:22:00

I think everybody has gone MAD lol please ppl selling Bent would be absoloute stupidity, for years the only thing Villa lacked was a 20 goal a season stricker now we have him but we lack a manager that knows how to use him, the manager is the problem not Bent, sure Bent offers nothing else to the team he can't hold play up or support wingers that has never been his game, he was bought to score goals and given proper service he will score all day long, plus I might add that when he played up front on his own this season he has won most long balls hoofed up to him just the rest of the team is so deep that there is nobody to collect the 2nd ball, Gabby and Bent should be played up front together simple as, we should play a 4-4-2 with Cuellar Dunne Collins Warnock, Petrov and Ireland in the middle 1 holding 1 given a more free role, Albie and Zog on the wings and the 2 boys up front, that should be plan A at home with a lot of options still left on the bench to change things, Bent needs to be kept and the manager needs to go casue its his inept tatics that is the problem as DB9 has played this way his whole life and always scored and ECK has played this way his whole life and well usually got relagated its left to commen sense from there...
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 18:08:00

It wouldn't matter who our number 9 was...even Rooney or Van Persie wouldn't score in this team...but selling Bent ? Effing ridiculous talk !
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 20:22:00

McLeish definitely is the problem but I don't think Lerner is man enough to admit he's wrong yet again,
Report Abuse
02/01/2012 21:33:00

i agree with most of the article. I was actually thinking at the end of the Swansea game that i wouldn't be fussed if we sold Bent for the same or more than we paid. Bent doesn't suit Eck's style at all and unless McLeish leaves there is no point in keeping Bent and as you say he will lose value if he plays the rest of the season with us. One thing that i thought that i'd point out though is that Bent has always played as a lone stricker except for when he was at Spurs (where he did't fit because he can only play as a lone stricker). The biggest problem is that we don't play counter very often and we don't have players that can see a pass quick enough.
Report Abuse
03/01/2012 09:50:00


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