Aston Villa - Not The Biggest Darren Bent Fan?
UK time is: 22:33:48
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Not The Biggest Darren Bent Fan?

Those who use vital regularly or follow me on twitter will know that I am not the £24 million pound strikers biggest fan at the minute.

What I wanted to do is just explain my point of view a little bit more clearer because in the forum it goes from a debate into a slanging match into a comparison to Gabriel Agbonlahor and I don't intend for it to go in any of those directions.

Bent close up

So to start with, I understand and appreciate that Darren Bent has a very strong goal scoring record, no one can take that away from him, However IMO if you just look at the goals it`s a very blinkered view.

He isn`t a 20 goal a season striker and the reason I believe this is because he has achieved over 20 PL goals just the once in his 8 seasons in the PL.

Heskey has also hit 20 goals once. Point proven?

Bent's record.

*Ipswich 1
*Charlton 18
*Charlton 13
*Spurs 6
*Spurs 12
*Sunderland 24
*Sunderland/Villa 8/9
*Villa 9

Bent running

Out of Bent's 100 goals 74 have come from open play, so taking away his penalties he scores on average 9.25 goals a season from open play. Of course penalties are important, However the reason I take them away is to prove that his ability on the pitch in open play isn`t as great as we are led to believe, if it was he would have more than 9.25 goals from open play IMO

This is where the comparison to Gabby always crops up, because I am told we are in trouble now Bent is injured but I always point out that Gab has a stronger more consistent goal record when he is played in his natural position and when he is 100% fit.

Anyway I digress

Bent with Herd

My problem with Bent is his lack of overall ability on the ball and the lack of impact he has on the game when we are not set up to create everything for him.

Last season we had the right set up for Bent, we had Young, Downing, Albrighton & Gabby all working the wings and laying his chances on a plate for him (95 of his goals are from in the Penalty Box)

This season we do not have the same luxury, we are down on quality and have a manager who is playing square pegs in round holes, so we need the 11 men on the pitch to be working for each other and scoring goals from all over the pitch

Well this isn`t something that Bent does at all well.

In his 8 PL seasons he has only contributed to 14 goals for his teams, which is pretty low considering that most of the time he is playing as a lone striker so he is the focal point of the attack, who IMO should be bringing the other players into the game and holding the ball up to allow the midfield to push up and support him.

Bent hands to ears

Now considering he is only behind Rooney and Drogba in the last 5 years for goals scored you would of thought that a top team would of come in for him?.. Until you look at the bigger picture

Drogba 54 Assists
Rooney 69 Assists
Bent 14 Assists

When you see his overall contribution I think it becomes more clearer as to why his average finish with the teams he has played for is only 12th.

I wanted to write this article because I don`t want to keep discussing it on the forum any longer, and I saw something on twitter that was written by @arhindtutt.

He isn`t a Villa fan so it`s not a biased opinion towards Bent, so I wanted to share it

his site is

Throughout his career Darren Bent has been renowned for his goal scoring ability. Many will argue being a striker that scoring goals is his primary function. However, as the former Ipswich forward is out of action for three months, perhaps now is the time to question how much Bent really offers to a team.

He does not possess a particularly high work rate. It is not necessary in football although it is an endearing characteristic to English supporters. Bent is more prepared to wait for the chances to arrive and with this comes the expectation he`ll be ruthless when they do appear. The striker offers little when it comes to build-up play but Bent is forgiven as long as he scores goals - something he`s done regularly.

The Aston Villa striker has 100 Premier League goals which is an impressive achievement. He is capable of the sublime in the final third as his finish at the Emirates proved just over a month ago. Bent`s never been too far away from the ridiculous though. Having missed a seemingly easy chance for Spurs in 2009, Harry Redknapp famously lambasted Bent saying he thought his wife could have scored.

How receptive the striker is to criticism has been something else open to debate but Redknapp`s comments were certainly harsh. It wasn`t too surprising when Bent subsequently moved on to Sunderland, one of four Premier League clubs he`s played for.

Bent on ball

Whilst he has achieved plenty of personal success with those he`s plied his trade within the top flight, teams with Darren Bent in them have struggled to achieve much. The average Premier League finish for a side containing the striker is 12th. Furthermore, he has only ever achieved two top half finishes in his career.

The closest Bent has come to success was when he was an unused substitute in Spurs 2008 Carling Cup victory over Chelsea. He started in the final the following year but Manchester United came up trumps in the penalty shoot out.

Since then he hasn`t come any nearer, so perhaps there`s something deeper afoot. Let`s compare him to the striker expected to deputise in his absence - Emile Heskey. He may be the bane of many football supporters jokes but don`t be deceived as Heskey is a fine player. What many fail to appreciate is how much he gives to the team, something Gerard Houllier tried to emphasise in his time at Liverpool, labeling him extremely influential and instrumental to the success enjoyed at the club in the early part of the 21st Century.

Glance at what Heskey has won in his career and it dwarfs Bent`s solitary Carling Cup success. The former England striker has been victorious in the League Cup four times whilst he has won the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup once. Add to that a Charity Shield and a UEFA Super Cup and Heskey will be able to look back on some career when he retires.

Bent is still a long way from thinking about retirement but he is coming to the point in his career where he`ll want to win something more substantial than a League Cup. As Emile Heskey has proved, goals are not everything for a striker even though he has also passed the 100 goal mark in the Premier League. Too many in the game only appreciate the goals and not what a player offers in his all round game.

Add up what has been paid for Darren Bent throughout his career and the figure nearly reaches £50 million. Clearly clubs value the goals column very highly. Villa paid £24 million for Bent last January whilst the total sum of fees for Emile Heskey comes to just £2 million more.

The case of Darren Bent then illustrates how deceiving statistics can be sometimes. It also highlights how many don`t appreciate the subtler side of football - i.e. those who don`t score the goals. Bent is yet to play for one of England`s elite in his career and although time is running out, he`ll need to add more to his game before it happens.

Look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this *Runs for cover*

Darrent Bent thread: Click Here

Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Prepared Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 5 2012

Time: 12:54PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
He's not given the right service
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:07:00

misleading statistics. last year bent scored 17 prem goals in 36 games. also your 'point proven' moment is disingenuous - heskey has only ever scored 14 goals in the PL.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:13:00

oh i see. still everyone knows he wasn't really given a fair crack of the whip at spurs, and still did ok. he is precisely a 20 goal a season striker. at a team that creates chances he'd be a 30 goal a season striker.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:16:00

I like Bent , he is a good goalscorer but he would get more if he wasn't so lazy
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:17:00

2001/2002 Heskey scored 20 PL goals for Liverpool. If you read the article again, 8/9 is 8 plus 9, which =??? thats right, 17... which is still not 20 goals is it?
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:17:00

a 20 goal a season striker, needs to score 20 PL goals a season for a few seasons to be labelled a 20 goal a season striker. Not do it once and thats it. I have also seen us create chance after chance that he misses, so thats also not a valid point
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:19:00

Anyway, No more from me on the matter... Enjoy. if some stats are wrong I apologise.. The main stats on Bent are correct though, :)
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:20:00

well . . . it's quite an important stat if you're anchoring your argument on the basis of it being true: heskey never scored 20 goals in one season. Bent's stats are impressive, all the more so that he achieved them with middling teams. All this article did was remind me that he really is a proven goalscorer.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:27:00

Interesting article and confirms my thoughts that he flatters to deceive. My main thought is that if Bent is played then it dictates other team members to a greater extent than other strikers do. Bent seems to contribute little other than goals and for me means that a touch player like Ireland is less effective playing in the same team as he needs more support around him. Maybe the next ten or so games will give us a chance to see how other players respond without hime, though lets not forget that he almost kept us up alone last year.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:35:00

Joerothuk, the heskey part was tongue firmly in cheek - you are focussing on the wrong part of the article. Bent is a goal scorer, thats all though. if he was as good as you seem to think, then why isnt he at a top club? why did Spurs sell him? 14 assists in 8 years is the reason why. He scores goals for crap teams who set up to play just to his strengths, in doing so they fail to finish any higher than 12th because the rest of the team do not get on the score sheet. its blinkered views like that which led to this article
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 13:51:00

Bent came into a struggling Villa side last season and if anything an even worse one this season. He has made 37 Premier League starts and one as sub (that is equivalent to a season. And has slotted home 18 Premier League Aston Villa goals. It seems to me he is the only Villa player doing what it says on the tin. So yes we might as well turn on him now .
Dudley Villan
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 14:02:00

Agree entirely Prepared. We have too many players that can only do 1 thing and are told to do it too frequently IMO. Bannan and his Hollywood hopeful balls. Heskey and his flick-ons......Bent really is a simpleton and although his 6 yard box finishing is as good as anyone's, no other parts of his game are even half decent. We aren't as good as Manure to be able to carry passengers and we will do better without Bent ( and Bannan hopefully) as we will have 11 men playing for each other as a team.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 14:06:00

Bent is a poacher, a fox in the box. Something we were crying out for as so many times our strikers were not in the box where we wanted them when balls came in. I agree he doesn't offer a lot else but that's not his game. Every player has their strengths and they have to play to them. I have said before bent is great when he is surrounded by very good attacking players. Ideally he would be better with a second striker to play with but our midfield isn't good enough to play 442. Bent does miss chances but so do all strikers, the good thing is it doesn't seem to affect bent too much and he just moves onto the next. I believe if he played for the likes of utd or arsenal he would score well over 20 goals. He's just so isolated in this team and we probably do need a striker that offers more. If we had the midfield of Barry, Milner, young and downing it would be a match made in heaven but right now he doesn't fit in with this team.
Lion Heart
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 15:23:00

only villa fans would moan about having a 20 goal a season player, no wonder people call us fickle. Who else do we have that could do this. Gabby started the season well but is now doing his usual impression of darius vassell.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 15:39:00

whats fickle about my opinion on Bent Fulford? Do you understand what fickle means? If you read the article again, you will actually see that I say when we had the attacking players he was good but that without them he isnt... Jesus H...
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 16:12:00

Villa are building a team for the Championship, so why would they want an England striker who has scored a goal every other game?
Steve Wade
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 16:40:00

How many times has he scored 20 fulford?? once. That doesn't make him a 20 goal per season striker. More like a flash in the pan. Anyone could score 9 goals which is what he has done if the only bloody thing they do is goal hang and lazily wait for someone to pass them the ball for 90 mins. If we had that midfield Lion Heart, we wouldn't need Gabby, Ireland, Bannan and Zogbia so could afford to play Bent there but still only for 60 mins tops. He is too lazy and selfserving to play 90 mins every game.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 17:14:00

your first point is he isn't a 20 goal a season striker. i did some research of my own. the following players scored 20 goals in the PL on only one occasion: les ferdinand, dwight yorke, andy cole, sheringham, rooney, van persie, BENT. (DB is in good company here) so players who did score 20+ in more than 1 season are the all-time greats: ian wright, thierry henry, van nisterlrooy, le tissier, shearer, drogba. and the following players NEVER managed to score 20 goals: owen, keane, anelka, defoe, HESKEY. your first point is bunk. you set an arbitrary threshold of 20 goals and judge him for slightly falling short on 2 other occasions (05/06, 10/11) your second point is that his overall contribution isn't sufficient. most people would agree with this, but surely you recognise in the last two years, our team has been absolute pap, with or without him. without him we'd have probably been relegated last year to boot. and the rest of the article is somebody else's opinion, waffling on about not enough silver ware. so what?
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 17:38:00

Sir Les was quality in the air aswell as being strong and powerful. Dwight was a genius as we all know and don't need to explain. Sheringham set up more goals per season than Bent has in his entire life. Van Persie has just scored 30 from every angle and distance and can play 9 or 10 and probably the best striker in the world at the moment. Rooney similar and both create loads aswell. All are far superior to Bent and played in a partnership scoring 20 NOT hanging around the goalmouth, getting everyone else to do all the hard work and then tap in like Darren. Andy Cole is most similar and equally useless at everything else while goalhanging but still created a fair few for different partners. Bent doesn't like playing with a partner and that's one of the main reasons that he left Sunderland, because he wasn't getting all the chances on his own. Just think that he's selfish and self serving and he should be able to bring more to the table than a 6 yard finish....
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 17:55:00

444 - almost find myself agreeing with you, Frightening eh?
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 18:22:00

LOL Gordon. I don't argue for the sake of it, just to be a tw@. It just comes naturally.....
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 18:31:00

If you look against Blackburn the number of shots we had and no one chased them down. Even on NZogs goal the other Villa players just stand and watch. Bent starts chasing down shots even before the ball leaves a player’s boot looking for the rebound off the post or the keeper. Often it does not come back but when it does come he is there to tap it in from two yards out and face the ridicule of some Villa fans. The same as he gambles on getting it the box and losing his marker every time the ball goes wide. Often the ball does not get delivered but he still makes the run and when it does come over and he is there to tap it in from two yards, those same fans who just follow the ball like a in a tennis match can’t wait to call him a goal hanger (as if there is such a thing in professional football.) He has missed 6 Villa games this season through injury 3 home 3 away Bolton (LC) Liverpool, Arsenal, QPR Stoke Blackburn. In those 6 games we LOST 3; drew 3 and Won 0. And we scored a total of 3 goals and one of those was a penalty.
Dudley Villan
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 18:50:00

Bent can't tackle - thats the only fact i can be certain about.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 20:21:00

DB9 is a finisher, it is the job of a striker to score goals, it is the job of a winger to create and chip in with a few, it is the job of a Midfielder to keep the ball and pass it to the creative players or if they are like ireland create and break forward from midfield, so what exactly is DB9 doing wrong? you are saying that because he does not create answell as score goals this proves he is a liabilty to Villa? Well if Villa had the team and players quality man utd, arsenal, chelsea we would not have to be so reliant on Bents goal scoring because we would have Lampard chipping in with 20 goals a season, we would have Nani and Ash creating and scoring also, but we have sold all our best players of real quality now so without players of real quality in our team who are not chipping in with goals themselves or playing well you can not blame Bent for this? we are derived of quality, take a good long hard look at our team, who should be scoring goals and creating, N'zogbia has 2 goals, albrighton a few, etc sorry but Villa does not have the players to back your claim that we are poorer with bent in the team, if we did have better players and we were still not winning etc i would understand your point.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 20:56:00

Give him service and he will score, we need players like DB. If we had him with MON we would have got top 4.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 21:09:00

Clive, the title isn't finisher. It's striker or attacker. Bent is neither of these. A striker can run with the ball, take defenders on, fool goalkeepers into diving the wrong direction, striking the ball accurately with power, head the ball into corners, hold the ball up, play throughballs, play 1-2s. Do I need to go on. Bent can finish, none of the others apply. If we were a smalltime team ( which we seem to be these days, then we could have 10 players all running their arses off just to pass to the only 1 that can finish?!?! We have several players who are half as good as bent at finishing but all can do many other things. Don't get me wrong. Bent is a good finisher. Is that enough for the once mighty Villa. He's not up to Rush, Lineker or Nistelrooy standard anyway FFS.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 21:42:00

And Clive, the reason that we score so few is that we hoof it up to bent who is useless outside 12 yards from goal and Eck expects him to score. The tactics dictate that none of our midfielders will score. Torres hasn't become poor overnight. The Chelsea setup means that he can't do what he's good at and Lampard gets more opportunities.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 21:48:00

OMG, why on earth are we arguing about this? The simple fact is if you give Bent chances, he will score way more than any other finisher/striker (call it what you want) we have down the Villa. I'd have Bent in the side more often than not and the BB game summed it up for me. He'd have got a follow up in that game, imo. I really don't see the problem, apart from bringing Heskey into the debate.
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 22:24:00

I kind of skimmed thru this but if you're telling gabby is better or brings more to the team you're just a blind faith fan... im one myself at times but not when comes to this DB9 would shine in a team that plays decent football and has good service hence his goal return under houllier...
Report Abuse
05/03/2012 22:30:00


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Villa Confirm 25 Man Premier League Squad (Thursday September 3 2015)

Sherwood On Gana - Richards On Gil (Thursday September 3 2015)

The Vital Villa Player Of August 2015 (Thursday September 3 2015)

Brad Guzan Remains USA No 1... For Now (Thursday September 3 2015)

Sherwood Ready To Take The Praise Or Blame (Thursday September 3 2015)

Ilori Makes Move On Loan (Tuesday September 1 2015)

Bennett Gets Cherries Loan (Tuesday September 1 2015)

Lescott On Joining Boyhood Club (Tuesday September 1 2015)

Archived Aston Villa Articles

List All Vital Villa Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
9. Everton 4 1 2 1 1 5
10. Southampton 4 1 2 1 0 5
11. AFC Bournemouth 4 1 1 2 -1 4
12. Aston Villa 4 1 1 2 -1 4
13. Chelsea 4 1 1 2 -3 4
14. Norwich 4 1 1 2 -3 4
15. WBA 4 1 1 2 -3 4

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Breaking League News

Albion Confirm 25 Man Squad
» WBA : 03/09/2015 19:27:01
Newcastle Announce Premier League Squad
» Newcastle : 03/09/2015 19:18:01
City Announce 2015-16 Premier League Squad
» Man City : 03/09/2015 19:12:00
Palace Announce 25 Man Squad
» Crystal Palace : 03/09/2015 19:05:00
Villa Confirm 25 Man Premier League Squad
» Aston Villa : 03/09/2015 18:57:01

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

How Was The Summer Transfer Window For You!?
Suggested By:  JP Fear
Excellent 30%
Good 63%
Average 6%
Poor 1%
Awful 0%