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Bent Hails Ireland As Best Footballer At Villa

Darrent Bent has told www.birminghammail.net he thinks that Stephen Ireland is the best player at Villa.

The mercurial 25-year-old player has 2 years left on his current deal which saw James Milner move to Man City.

Ireland action

Bent says Ireland has to be played in the right position, which is in the hole behind the striker/s.

"There`s no point playing Stevie Ireland one game and then moving him to the right and then taking him out the team. You`ve got to play Stevie Ireland four or five games in that position and go from there. For me, as I`ve said before, he`s the best footballer in the squad, and if you want to see the best Stephen Ireland and get the best out of him like you did against Chelsea you need to be playing him - and I think that`s what we need to do."

Bent adds that as a striker Ireland is the sort of player you want behind you in the hole.... no, hang on, that needs re-phrasing... err... he says he`ll give a striker more chances played in the right position. Phew, that`s better. This is not 'that` sort of site.

Apparently he was very proud to win the supporters player of the season award (done via the Lions site man of the match votes) and that you could see after that 'he seemed like a different person`.

Just shows what a bit of faith and confidence can do for a player.

Ireland in Stan t-shirt

"To be fair, it can take time for players to settle and some need more time than others, but a happy, in-form Stephen Ireland is great to have. Confidence can make a massive difference to any player and when he is feeling good about himself the performances will follow."

Ireland won the man of the match Vital Villa poll five times last season and came second seven times.

Stephen Ireland Profile.

Forum thread: Would you keep Stephen Ireland?




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday June 21 2012

Time: 11:00AM

Your Comments

I agree, given the same position, a bit of confidence and a run in the team, I think he's quality. I also like the fact he's as mad as a box of frogs, there are way too many magnolia characters these days, we need more colour!
The Fear
Bent is spot on in that he needs to be played in a position behind the strikers and basically not have to worry too much about the defensive side of his game. he needs to be the creative and visionary force, just as he was under Mark Hughes at City. since then a mix of attutude, positional and poor teams seems to have massively dented his confidence and form, but I get the feeling that under Lambert and a team that is not only better structured, but also one that plays to its strengths, we could see him return to his best form. as a player I would also like to see him reconsider his international position and again play for the ROI, though I can only see this under a different manager that Trappatoni
oxfordspur
Bent is saying this for very selfish reasons. He wants Ireland to set him up for lots of goals and he also doesn't want anyone else playing alongside himself. Having Ireland as a non defending midfielder surely rules out the ability for a second striker. Don't get me wrong, if they score loads of goals then I'll be well happy BUT it's very one dimensional and would MUCH MUCH rather have players that can do more than one thing. I do think that Ireland is capable of playing a number of positions unlike Bent though. "We all want a team of James Milners....."
Villan444
When Craig Bellamy was interviewed, at a time when Citeh were starting to buy all the superstars, he was asked who was the best player in training. He said without hesitation 'Stephen Ireland'..Can Lambert bring this ability from the training ground into a match situation? A bit like the batsman who looks quality in the nets but can't score a run in the middle
krfeskivilla
I tend to agree with DB9. Bear in mind Villan444, we have Holman who can play wide and also come inside and bang in a few goals. It's nice to have a bit of flexibilty in the squad.
Pride of Lions
Said several times that he is a class above anything else we have. If he keeps up his workrate from last season there's no reason why he can't play in a two man midfield with a more defensive minded partner (like Modric and Parker at Spuds). With two up top and Holman etc wide we'd have the creativity and steel that should win us games.
AVbornandbred
My concerns: 1. Ireland has been injury prone and prevented himself from having a run of games to gain form. 2. Bent and Ireland in the same side will result in little help to the midfield. 3. This formation would likely result in Gabby being out of the side. 4. Ireland has scored very little in 2 years at the club.... on the other hand, its been a tough few years for everyone and if Lambert can find a good formation for these players, it could reap rewards. I think there will be winners and losers though. I mean how could Bent, Gabby, N'Zogbia and Ireland all expect to be part of our first team?
thekentvillan
I think the Steven Ireland situation is pivotal to how we're going to play and to be honest it depends a lot on how Paul Lambert wants to set up the side. I tend to think he's too lightweight if you go 4-4-2 with two wingers and it will leave us open in the middle. Alternatively you go 4-4-1-1 but leaves at lot on Bent's shoulders. You could take out one of the wingers and play a bit more narrow but then will we have enough width in the side. I think this is fundamentally the problem with players like Ireland it's difficult to really fit them into a side and is he good enough to build an entire side around his attacking brilliance? I'm not so sure. The one system where I think he would thrive is maybe the 3-5-2 set up Brian Little used to use with Ireland taking the Tommy Johnson role? I guess no one will know what's in PLs mind until the new signings start to arrive. I'm guessing we'll stick with 4-4-2 and personally I don't think he'll fit in and eventually move on forever the mercurial talent that he is.
Matt B
Top quality player .... He needs to play in his best position ..... it's not rocket science ! keep him and play him. ....... get Makoun back in training and bring in some midfield competition to add to Holman, couple of solid defenders to add to the up and coming young guns and get rid of the overated crap ie: Given, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Hutton, Gabby and Delph.
astonmilan
If we have Ireland behind Bent I believe we then would need two class wingers that cannot jus cross it but also come inside and find them through balls and shots. I believe if we brought Adam Johnson to play as a right winger with Zoggy down the left, we would probably have to bring in a player like Diame and partner him with Makoun, Diame to defend and Makoun to find the killer pass to te wings or through to Ireland. For me it's way too much work, I would probably prefer to sell Ireland and bring in O'Hara who isn't just a one trick pony but is also very creative.
Villa 4 Ever
Well said Bent, all his hours on Football Manager must be paying off with such good tactical awareness! And LOL @ Ireland in Bent's hole haha.
VillaHippo
Ireland is the only player we have capable of feeding Bent through the middle. Glad to hear Makoun is getting a fresh start too (apparently), McLeish must have seen something creative about him and sent him as far away as possible.
Stephen Jay Hawkings
Yeah Makoun must've been straight out the door the second one of the coaches said that he's a player that likes to pass it around on the floor!
VillaHippo
Very strong words from Benty there really. We all know Ireland 'can' the question is really 'consistently'. We saw some good flashes of his old self last season, we also saw him play into a bit of confidence and look more comfortable and even get stuck in defensively. IF he can build on that we are onto a winner, and it's all down to him. Fans responded in the votes (whether you agree or not that it should have been Given in reality), so he knows it's in his hands and if we see the effort and desire from him, we'll be right behind him.
mike_field
I agree 1 million percent, was saying that all last season. Playing him in the hole in a 4231 formation is not one dimensional it's more adaptable than 442. Look at the euro's and the technically better leagues around the world, that formation give you the ability to defend with a 5 man midfield and attack with a 3 man strike force with the wide forwards cutting in (this gives Gabby and Nzgobia room to breathe) tight to link up with Bent and the wing backs to get forward and provide the width. I'd love to see a 4231 setup, you could switch it to 442 easily enough throughout a game easily as well. What about this GIVEN NAUGHTON DUNNE CLARKE (INSERT LB) HERD HUDDELSTONE GABBY IRELAND NZGOBIA BENT - Clarke could also be a holding mid also
AdzVilla11
I think Ireland does have that ability to unlock defenses with that perfect through ball, that very few players in our current squad possess. I'd say that Bent up front, with Ireland behind him and N'Zogbia/Holman on either side is the best idea for us with our current players. A good combination of work rate and flair (with Albrighton subbing for N'Zogbia where defensive play needs to take priority)
zigthevilla
 

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