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That Darren Bent Situation

It seems like a lot of people are (excuse the pun) bent out of shape about the news of Darren Bent`s exclusion from first team affairs. The report of the 24m striker`s exile to training with the youth team in the Birmingham Mail has prompted a public outcry that he`s being treated terribly and doesn`t deserve to be snubbed that way.
The sad fact is, if he was truly worth the 24m we paid for him a few years ago, he wouldn`t be allowed to leave and we`d be fighting tooth and nail to tie him down for longer.

"How can you say that?!" I hear you proclaim. Well, I`ll tell you. If Darren Bent was the total package, he would have kept the captain`s armband for longer. If he was the ultimate striker, he`d have started every game. If he was utterly indispensible to Aston Villa, the manager would find it nigh-on impossible to implement a playing style without him. But he`s not. The fact that Christian Benteke was bought for 7m and scored 19 goals in his first year suggests that Bent`s style is too basic for Paul Lambert`s revolution and that this one-trick pony must be put out to pasture.

Ask yourself this.....if Darren Bent is as amazing as some believe him to be, why has he never played for Arsenal, Chelsea or United? Why aren`t Man City opening the purse for what would be the snip of the season to buy him? Why haven`t we been made an offer we can`t refuse, and why did he never make that big step up? I believe it`s because the game has changed. Clubs need a striker who can create goals from their own ability as well as team efforts in contrast to relying heavily on balls into the box like Bent does. Benteke showed us last season that he is more than capable of destroying defences on his own as well as scoring in the area and even creating chances for others. Unfortunately for Bent, the days of walking into the opposition penalty area and having the ball laid off for him have come to an end. I could be wrong, he could move on and top the scoring charts next season because his new team know how to get the best from him, but sadly I think it`s unlikely.

People have also posed the question of what would happen if we were to lose Benteke and we hadn`t yet sold Bent; I believe he`d still be sold. Paul Lambert is developing a philosophy at the club that focuses on the team, the ability of the team, the relationships within the team and the overall success of the team. To basically dismantle that ideology and say "right boys, get it into the box and pass to Darren" is tantamount to releasing a sky lantern near a plastic factory. Also, if Lambert did decide to build the team around Bent and he got injured (again), what then? We would certainly have developed a reputation as a one-mean team if Mr. Houllier had still been in charge. Yes, when he was bought he did his job of keeping us in the Premier League with his goals, but this is a new era and there is no room for sentiment when a man is not willing or able to adapt his game for the good of his employers to the tune of around 70,000 a week.

Why has he been told to train with the youngsters? This is open to speculation. Some might believe he`s fallen out with Lambert, some might say it`s because he`s being sold, eternal optimists might postulate that he will be passing his goalscoring experience onto the kids. My own opinion is that his ego has gotten in the way of his ability to function as part of a unit rather than being the big fish in a small pond which he thrived on at Charlton and Sunderland, and sending him to the kids seems more like a statement of his availability to other clubs rather than some form of cruel punishment, although I could be totally wrong. After all, as mentioned above, this is a man who cost us 24m, is earning a considerable amount of money but is unable to offer anything more than a well-placed shot from inside the area. Let`s not forget that he was handed the captain`s armband at the start of Lambert`s tenure, a sure gesture from the manager to say that he has faith in him and would like to see what he can do. It hasn`t been enough, and at 29 years old Bent may now struggle to find a move to another Premier League club of similar stature to Aston Villa.

Don`t get me wrong, I bear no personal grudge to Darren Bent. When we first signed him I believed it was a statement of intent, a sign that after years of struggling for goals that we finally had a man who would propel us up the table. He did that, regrettably from the wrong end, and all seemed well. However, Lambert is clearly keen to have players on board who believe in Aston Villa and are willing to work hard for the team rather than the team working hard for one man. If Bent met that criterion he would not be being sold, surely. In addition, consider that in 3 seasons Bent has scored 21 league goals and Benteke has scored 19 in one season. Consider that in 3 seasons Gabby has only scored 4 league goals less than Bent. Consider that Benteke, Gabby and Andi Weimann do a whole lot more for the team other than put the ball in the back of the net and it becomes clear that Darren Bent is inevitably surplus to requirements.

You need only look at the simple facts: Ashley Young, Gareth Barry and James Milner were key players for us, important members of the first team and they moved on to bigger clubs and found success. Bent will leave as a man who will be remembered for keeping us in the Premier League but just didn`t fit in with the new regime. That`s all. I wish him the best.

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The Journalist

Writer: Turkish Penguin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 3 2013

Time: 12:17PM

Your Comments

Someone has too much time on his hands !
I expect that Bent will have too if he doesn't move on this summer
villan of the north
He did his job, we would have lost more than 18m had we been relegated that year. He did very little after that apart from injuring himself and going shopping. He's not as prolific as you think, and his work ethic is zero. Thanks and goodbye, Lambert has to go with a 25 man squad ready for next season so lets move on.
Someone is using more than one user ID to access this site. Ref. the who has he played for - he played for Spurs and had a **** for a manager. Ref. who will have him - Newcastle want him (they get way bigger gates than us if nothing else) which indicates they are at least prepared to pay him similar wages, probably because they dont want a repeat of their last season. The issue here is not his contribution - the issue is the bush league treatment of a player who did what he said on the tin when he got here. It sucks. Its embarrassing. It overlooks how Benteke nearly put us in it in the last week. Its also bad business. Whoever buys him may have to contend with the fact it will take him up to half a season to get back up to full operating speed - that'd be one reason not to meet the asking price.
actually he's not training with the kids, hutton, Ireland and bent are training separately, no doubt to minimise the risk of injury while we await offers (fingers crossed). This isn't a statement by lambert about anything other than he's already had the chat with these 3 and their not part of the plans. I said on an earlier post, madness to include players who aren't scheduled to be here next season to have any involvement in a critical pre season. lambert and his coaches don't mess about in pre season, it's serious business from day one especially with our start to the season - 6 top 7 teams in 9 games.
pete the pessimist
good to have you back Turkish, had missed your articles. Not sure I am totally with your opinion on Bent, I think it is a classless way to treat players and thought Villa were it a bit above this sort of stuff. It isn't about fall outs, it is about around 8-9 players who aren't in Lamberts plans and who were told at the end of the season they were welcome to find new clubs. All fair enough, but not sure a player like Bent has to be totally edged out until he can find a club, few injuries and who knows, he might actually be needed
The Fear
not with you malacaxeta re: more than one user ID? You can login via facebook/twitter now as well as our own logins if that is what you mean?!
The Fear
Thank you Mr Fear! I'd like to think that he would be needed and that he would be the pinnacle of a potent strikeforce as was originally intended, but sadly it's looking like another "no way back" scenario to me. I think the real shame as well is that we spent 24m on one player and it won't be fully justified(unless you count the value of Premier League survival when he joined, of course!)
Turkish Penguin
Mountain out of a molehill for me, as stated by a couple of other he has just been asked to train separately along with hutton and Ireland as they have been told they are not part of Lamberts plans. I don't see anything wrong with that, if I was preparing the team for a new season I would probably do the same, no disrespect to the players but you would want everyone pulling the same way in pre season and in Germany so why include 3 players who you are trying to move on? makes perfect sense to me.
Strange thing is I believe he would score a hatfull for Arsenal they often play the ball into the box without having anyone to apply the final touch. But got to agree he does not suit the majority of styles in play today including ours. I think PL is singleminded in respect of what he wants and does not consider it a snub just commonsense in his eyes,unfortunatly it needs saying if this is the case as Bent has done nothing to deserve ill treatment or a lack of respect.
I think he would bang them in for Swansea. They seem to be a perfect fit for him, along with the other Villa outcasts Moore and Routledge (who have done quite well there). I doubt they could afford his wages though.
A quality striker in my book. There are people on here who just won't realise what they had until he's gone (or in 444's case, maybe never); fantastic finisher who has been treated shabbily.
the thing that annoys me, is not that Bent isn't part of PL's plans, or that people have fixed and somewhat incorrect views of a player (e.g. work rate wrt Ireland and Bent) but we are paying a fortune in wages for a player and if he isn't sold he will be a drain on resources with no return. A far better use of the player would be similar to the way Fergie used Hernandez, if he isn't going to be part of the starting set up he is a bloody good plan B when plan A isn't working and you need a goal. If Helenius takes time to settle / doesn't make it and /or we get injuries or suspensions to any of the starting front line we will once again be turning to Bowery or one of the kids despite having one of the premier league's all time top scorers on our books, seems a little bit daft when the alternative is simply to bring him in to the fold (he doesn't even need to be a regular on the bench to cover for injuries) whilst he is still a Villa player.
Agree onlyteaminthemids - he scored the goals we desperately needed. No other striker until Benteke has been able to do that. Want to trade him for Luke Moore? Or Heskey? Sidwell? Hutton? Makoun? Bent performed for us, scored the goals we needed to stay up and has been a model professional. By far one of our more successful transfers. He doesn't fit our current formation and is on a high wage. But what happens if Benteke becomes injured? How many other 10+ goal a season strikers do we have??
I don't even consider it a punishment. To his pride, maybe but if his pride was so wounded why isn't he shouting 'come and get me' from the rooftops to all and sundry? He's a widget in a machine that couldn't be upgraded, Lambert's right to discard him and get cheaper foreign replacement. This doesn't bother me, I drive a Hyundai and am perfectly happy with it. (Any Hyundai executives who would like to reward me for this blatant product placement can DM me).
Jimmy Hogan
Very, very well said Turkish. I concur with everything you say apart from the incorrect part about him keeping us up and I would've written exactly the same ( ;-) malacaxeta ) Astriel, he scores to the detriment of others because if he scores, no-one else does and it's rarely a winning goal and a large percentage are penalties. He would not get into Arsenal's or any other top team because its like playing with 10 men + a 6 yard box poacher!!! Another reason why teams that he inhabits are NEVER EVER successfull even though his goal average looks misleadingly good.
When I saw the title, I was expecting a "Bent is really good, honestly" article but was so pleased to see someone calling it as they see it and the way that it factually, realistically is. Amazing that there's still a few that can't see the wood for the trees/claret and blue tinted glasses?????
We seem to be missing the point largely. There's no justification for treating anyone like this - regardless of subjectively viewed ability. If anyone thinks that this is somehow necessary in order to convince someone that they should leave, they're deluded. A guess is that this is not Dilbert's idea - he's been told to do this.
mala - it's all hyperbole unless there's direct quotes. V444 - you are Turkish in disguise or is it the other way around ;-) anyway happy honeymoon to you both. Seriously though, good luck Bent. We have moved on already. Bent is gone, long live Benteke (or at least till Helenius / Weimann / Gabby start banging in 15+ each a season).
I originally typed a message ripping apart your arguments (because they are wrong and can be proven so). But it was actually too easy and a waste of space... I only need to point out one fact. One fact alone. For two seasons Bent scored more than the rest of our strikers. Combined! Plus assists! Take out his goals and we would have been relegated both years. I don't care if he did nothing else in the 16 matches in 2010/11 and 21 matches in 2011/2012. We needed goals and he scored them. The treatment he is getting from "fans" and this club is disgusting. He has been a model professional as far as we know and is one of the best "goal poachers" in the Premier League. His goals to game ratio is exceptional and these goals were crucial for us. Our formation no longer suits his style of play which is why he should be sold. But he doesn't deserve the treatment by the club and some "fans"... I remember at the beginning of this season a choir of fickle fans were calling for "Gabby's head". Now they have disappeared. It is easy to blame a player when they aren't given opportunities and their role in the team doesn't suit them. 3 years ago Bent was a hero... Don't forget that!
Don't get the point malacaxeta. Why isn't Hutton playing with them?? Why was Warnock not last season?? Why didn't you complain about them?? That's the way it is. Nothing personal from The Messiah or any mysterious behind the scenes anonymous jobsworth or owner. Player A does not fit into the plans so there is no point wasting coaching time on them which could be spent better elsewhere. He can collect his wages or man up and go find another club. Depends whether he values money over playing time.
He was never a hero to a lot of fans Astriel. The team ALWAYS comes first as far as I'm concerned. I take your point about his goals securing points but what you're failing to take into account is that IF A.N.Other player took his place then we may have finished higher. If Eck stayed and played him through thick and thin last season, we may be playing in the conference this season. All maybes yes, but you CANNOT say that 1 person kept us up because that is again ifs and maybes. The manager that decides to play the players in the chosen formation at that time has by far the biggest control over anything. The assists from the likes of Young or Downing kept us up just as much as the finish from Bencht because without them he is nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Turk sorry but your argument is irrelevant much of what you brought up has nothing to do with how you treat a player...
Agree this seems disrespectful to a quality player who just doesn't fit in with Manager's plans but is too expensive/valuable to just warm the bench, but I think this may be a simple as "I've got 32 players in 1st team squad and want to bring more in, I can only register 25 senior players and sorry Darren you're not one of them. I need to concentrate on those who are to and getting them to gel and that'll work better if they're not distracted by how you fit in or not"
Or if A.N.Other player was there we could have finished lower. Same argument applies... What is a fact is that Bent came here and he scored more goals than the rest of our strikers combined. Doesn't he deserve our respect for that? And who should we have bought? Which other striker would have averaged 1 goal every 2 games over 2 years under Houllier and Eck? Who would have kept us up? Easy to criticise the decision and offer no alternatives... And Bent is nothing without Young and Downing? Last time I checked in 2011/12 they were sold to United and Downing... And Bent was our top scorer by miles that year again under Eck. And Eck played Bent every single game he wasn't injured. And we stayed up that year... I agree 100% that the team should always come first. It is the definition of what is best for the team though where we disagree. We had 2 exceptionally creative wingers in Young and Downing who could create a number of chances in a match. We then had Heskey and Gabby - neither of which are particularly lethal in front of goal. Bent was a great fit - between Heskey, Gabby, NRC and Petrov we had a core of really hard working players. But no natural goal scorers. Another "team player" who averages 1 / 4 goals per match was not what was best for the team. That is where the difference lies - you associate work ethic with what is best for Aston Villa.
if we sell Bent, then lose Benteke, we will struggle to score goals, and only have ourselves to blame
That Kirsty Maclaren is a bit of all right though - eh Liam ?:)
23 games in all competitions 2012/13 and 6 goals. Not good enough. I thank him for the better performances he put in under Eck and Houllier - I am of the opinion that his goals in those seasons DID help us stay up. But last season was just not good enough and that is most likely why he's been frozen out. Hope he finds something elsewhere but he just is not in Lambert's plans. UTV
30 games from Andries Weimann and only 7 goals. That is even worse than Bent. Not to mention Bent only started 8 premier league games! And had 13 starts total. Hardly fair to blame him for not performing... As tokyovillan pointed out, if Benteke is injured who else do we have that is a proven goal scoring striker? Seems silly to sell off a striker with more goals than the entire team combined. * 2! Particularly since we run a 3 man attack - 2 injuries and our whole formation has to change...
Could debate for weeks. FACTS of the matter are that, If you use the other 10 players to work for Bencht, he will score, however, no one else will score and if the bloke is having an off day/worse than Sandra Redknapp day, the team scores no goals. Why would anyone want this when we could have our current set up where up to 5 different players could score and they are all playing for each other. Embrace the new era of football and forget about the 1 dimensional "use every resource to feed the poacher." The world has moved on, the rest of our fans need to also. Bencht is past his sell by date.
The season that Bent joined us, Young and Downing scored the most goals in a season so far in their careers. In fact if you compare 2010/11 to last year the goals were spread out across more players... Bent scored 1/5 of the total goals in the team - Benteke scored close to 50%. So if anything last year we were much more of a "one man team". So your "FACT" is highly dubious. Your "FACT" that 1 dimensional "use every resource to feed the poacher" style is outdated is rubbish. Look at Man United - RVP scored 26 goals with only Rooney at 12 and Hernandez at 10 making any other meaningful contribution. RVP scored 2/5 of the total goals at Man United. Seems like they are very focused on "using every resource to feed RVP". So I'm still not seeing how Bent is so terrible? He scored goals. He didn't screw up our team as claimed. He hasn't disrupted the team ala Dunne, Collins etc. He didn't dump the team after one season ala Downing. What is your problem with him then? His work ethic? Go get another Heskey then! And then wonder why when Benteke is injured we can't win games...
I give up Astriel. You clearly haven't played the game. RVP does a hell of a lot more than poach in the 6 yard box. Benteke scores from everywhere and ALSO assists, something that Bencht has never heard of. Bencht is ONLY a poacher and finisher of moves. All the other strikers gave more than 1 string to their bows. If all you had to do all day every day was finish a move with the ball at your right foot in the 6 yard box then YOU "Astriel" would score a comparable amount of goals and you haven't played the game before. Why can't Bencht do more??
You give up? You haven't shown why Bent deserves such disrespect and hatred. You keep complaining about Bent being a poacher and a finisher. Why is that bad????? I showed you that he doesn't disrupt the team and that our team work doesn't suffer. So what is the issue? If what Bent does is so worthless and easy why can't any of our other strikers besides Benteke do it? Why does Gabby average 1 goal every 4 games and Weimann 1 in 5. Why can't they do more? You have double standards... Bent must be world class, score and create. Gabby and Weimann can create but don't have to be consistent goal scorers.
Agree with you Astriel & for Given to be also treated in this way blemishes what I hope is going to be a brighter future. I don't want or expect the club I've supported for 50 + to act in this way
What Lambert is doing makes 100% sense to me. I think the media spin on the situation makes it look like he is being mistreated, yet if that were the case then surely there'd be a quote from someone somewhere expressing that.... Warnock, Hutton, Ireland have all had the same "treatment" yet none have come out publicly and slated the manager or club. I think Lambert has been honest with them and has focused on the players/squad that he will use for the upcoming season and beyond. Why integrate players into tactical training sessions who won't take to the pitch in a competitive fixture? It's a bit like rehearsing for a show with back-up actors who'll never perform on stage... And the whole argument about "treating him with respect" doesn't wash. Price tags and reputations should not factor in. If I pay 50 grand for a BMW and it only performs as well as a Skoda then I've every right to call it a piece of junk... These players are training at Aston Villa and are being paid handsomely to do so. The manager has every right to select the players whom he sees as integral to a team ethos, tactical discipline and work rate. For those of you old enough - I give you John Gidman and Andy Gray - two players who were talented and "big names." Everyone complained when they were sold. Two years later we were champions and three years later we were kings or Europe....
I do agree - Hutton, Warnock and Ireland have received the same treatment. Does that make it right? What does Lambert lose by keeping these players in the training camps - these are experienced players that could pass on valuable experience. 2 - what if Bent isn't sold? Statistically our second best striker at the club. Make sense not to use him at all ?! 3 - what kind of image does this set for the club? If you fall out with the manager then expect to be treated like a child. Put it this way I have never heard of a club basically freeze out several players. And I personally don't think it sends a particularly good message...
I cannot see how anybody can defend Bent. His style of play is so 2 decades ago, he offers nothing as a team player and only plays well in sides that relies upon him to score. I have said this so many times, all Darren Bent is interested in is Darren Bent absolutely nothing else (also maybe money). He has absolutely no desire to work for the team in any way, any player could 'goal hang' and score 20 a season. Even Heskey.....if all you have to do is hang around the box.
So tired of reading the same ridiculous baseless comments. I can do it too. Benteke is useless. He is an old school centre forward who can't dribble past 6 defenders and score ala Messi. We should buy him out of his contract and get rid ofl him. Oh and only 4 assists last year and 23 goals. How greedy! Sell him! Plus he has an agent who is trying his hardest to engineer a move - what a terrible guy... No desire to play for AV. Scored so few goals with his head and he is a big tall strong striker. Geez even I could score 30 a season with my head if I had his size... It is easy to make all these statements and provide 0 evidence.
It's got nothing to do with how players play although I think we were all glad of Bent two seasons ago ! It's treating people like you'd like to be treated & the message it sends out when you dont. As Astriel says why ? If Benteke,Westwood,Weiman etc go to one of the big clubs we'll have people banging on about lack of loyalty ,respect etc Can't expect players to do so when the club doesn't
Absolutely nobody here knows what went on between Lambert and Bent. Absolutely nobody, i'd not be out shopping if I was part of a team on match day....he is not professional, there are very few true professional footballers left. Its fact that Darren Bent does not offer what Benteke offers to the team as a whole which = hold up play, passing ability and brining the 'TEAM' into the game. 2 Decades ago maybe, but not these days.
FACTS outlined here:
Benteke has produced more assists in his first season in the Premier League than Darren Bent has in the past 4 seasons for any club.
Yes no one know what has gone on between Bent and Lambert. Which means you can't automatically assume Bent is at fault just as I can't assume he isn't at fault. So what is your point? And yes Benteke is the better player. No argument - but what happens if Benteke is injured????? Only asked that 3 times now. You think we can win games consistently with only Gabby and Weimann? And please please please please tell me why as a striker it is more important to "bring your team" into the game then it is to score goals... Last time I checked we have a midfield... Thought that was their job...
And you know what Astonbilla is right - it doesn't matter how good/bad Bent has been. A number of players have been frozen out - not just Bent. That sends a very bad message...
If Benteke is injured in the current system then Gabby would do a much better 'job' in the role than Bent ever could. The ball does not stick with Bent, he cant hold up the ball it just literally bounces off him, we play on the counter attack under Lambert and the Striker (Benteke role) is key to his style of play with the ability to bring in the midfield and supporting wingers/strikers. Had Lambert not evicted the Senior pro's last season, I just cannot see how we would have stayed up. Its about team ethic. A bad apple spoils the bunch, especially if there are more than 1.
If Benteke is injured, Helenius, Bowery or even Wiemann plays that role as the top of the spear. Bent does not offer enough to the team to justify his inclusion and he couldn't dream of replacing Benteke. You're normally quite sensible Astriel, it's nothing personal from any fans or management. They just don't rate Bent and his sole half-talent ( said half because he can't score from distance and several criteria need to be matched to enable him to finish off several other players hard work. ) I repeat again as you asked 3 times, bent cannot replace Benteke due to lack of work rate and ability. We are Aston Villa. If a player is injured or moves on, we replace them in the formation with like for like. We Do NOT run around after and change our whole set up for 1 player just because all he can do is poach. Other teams will play with 11 men. Why would we want to play with 10 + a goal hanger. The goal hanger must be able to do more than 1 touch finish in this day and age because the game has moved on. Please don't mention the Wigan goal because it was a scuff and he must've picked up some tricks off Benteke etc. in training. Too little too late. He's 29. Why waste time trying to teach an old dog new tricks when you can do it with 21 year olds who can learn so much easier and aren't set in their ways. Bencht has been paid handsomely and he's not a Villa fan. We don't owe him anything. He's surplus. It's like getting a new TV. You don't keep the old one in the lounge behind the other one just because it was new and up to date once upon a time. Or do you??
If your points were truly valid you'd only need to post once.
444 I've told you before about stating incorrect facts about bent. I'll mention the so called scuffed Wigan goal. Did he also scuff the one he smacked in from outside the box against Ipswich last season? You somehow miss those ones because they don't fit your 6 yrd garbage. Bent can score a whole range of goals and his record is right up there with the best. So what if he can't go past defenders, goals are the most important thing in football and bent = goals. Astriel has kicked arse on this thread.
LOL. Thanks Sid :)
Lol Sid. Astriel has kicked his own arse chatting rubbish. You mention 1 goal from 18 months ago and that means he's a natural. Are you serious. Reo-Coker scored 1 goal in over 100 appearances, does that mean he's prolific also?? His record is misleading because its self serving and NEVER benefits the team. You sound as alien to playing the game as Astriel but as I said, if all you has to do is wait in a certain area of the pitch for everyone else to do all the prep work for you and that's all you ever practiced then you'd be half decent at it too. A PLAYER MUST OFFER MORE, and bent doesn't. It really isn't as hard as you think if you just concentrate on that and do ABSOLUTELY nothing else aka Bencht. Do some proper research before you mention facts and find out how many of his goals were pens and how many we're scored from 6 yards before bringing up solitary incidents that buck the trend.
Lol again, "Astriel has kicked arse on this thread". LOL.
444 you are either lambert in disguise or some bird with a grudge who bent dumped years ago. Bent's goal ratio is 1 in 2. This is not a crime in modern football FFS. Change the record for once.
Let me end this argument now. 1) Rubbish - 2010/11 Young was our designated penalty taker. Bent took 0 pens. 2011/12 Bent took 2. So please explain what facts about Bent's penalty taking we are missing? 2) Our points per match with Bent in the team is higher than when he isn't. So yes he adds value. In a sample of 54 appeareances that is pretty significant. 3) Bent is one of 6 strikers to score 50+ goals over the last 4 seasons. Considering he has only started 29 of the last 76 games that strike rate is pretty incredible. 4) Only Hernandez has a higher shot accuracy of any player. 5) Bent has a higher aerial balls won per game than Gabby and Weimann. 6) His assists per game is poor but by not any where close to the worst striker in this aspect in the premier league over the last 4 years. So Villan444 those are stats. Those describe Bent's ACTUAL performances. Bent scores goals - FACT. We do better when he is in the team - FACT. His stats make him one of the best goal scoring strikers in England - FACT. His goals kept us up for two years running - FACT. Outside of Bent how many other players in our team have played for a top 6 team?
You're talking absolute sense Astriel. 444 and his deluded followers criticise a player who can 'only finish'. Bit like saying Ali could 'only punch'. Willie Carson could 'only ride a horse' . Some posters on here would clearly rather have a willing work horse who runs around with no end product (Gary Penrice springs to mind for the older crowd), than a top striker who at the right club and with the right service could yet be England's main goal theat if they get to Brazil. Priceless.
Wham! And Astriel comes back with a stunning uppercut....will V444 be able to counter? This is an ace thread and perfect for this site. I totally get the basic point of V444 - that we need a team of players who add more than their defined role on paper and that Bent has limited ability in terms of playmaking and so on - just so happens that this is combined with Benteke arriving and being rated higher in the world than Cavani and smashing goals and creating play all over the place meant he's frozen out - reminds me massively of what happened to Fowler when Owen arrived. It is a fact that Bents goals kept us up but unfortunately as we got well and truly found out with our tactics we were never going to be able to rely on Bent for much longer as our adapatability to change tactics / style of play would / was not productive to Bent thusly meaning that other teams benefitted from a one dimensional 'give it to Bent' philosophy. I am happy we have a team that looks like we will actually incoporate a playing style rather than counter attacking under MoN. We are now fitter, newer and hopefully better than the last two seasons. On the face of it, Bent came, scored goals and never ONCE chirped off to the press. Whatever the reasons for leaving him out (Sunderland getting player appearance windfalls maybe???) we should not forget his maturity or professeionalism. Astriel and V444 both want the best for Villa and long may it continue.
Great post Koolbill! I agree 100% that Benteke is a much better striker and our formation does not suit Bent at all... This is Lambert's decision and he is the one who will reap the rewards or face the axe. However it is the treatment of Bent (and Given) that frustrates. Somehow the debate has devolved from that - freezing out 5+ players from the team sends out a very bad message. Particularly when one of them was integral 2/3 seasons ago. This sets Villa in a very bad light. That is my biggest concern - not whether Bent should or shouldn't leave. It is the way we are forcing players out...
Koolbill - best post in a fascinating thread.
Two points: 1) teams are generally formed to feed the strikers opportunities to score unless your Spain in the last World Cup. 2) bent doesn't have many assists to his name because he generally scores when he has sight of goal. Aced 444 you lose :)
Daveyboy...extra funny. Cheers Only and Astriel.
Great set of facts Astriel once again proving bents quality. I personally feel bent has been frozen out purely for financial reasons. Every top earner bar gabby has been bombed out by lambert and this has been why he's been treated so shabbily. The frustrating thing is I still feel benteke and bent together could be lethal even as a plan b but lambert has not given it enough time to develop. Although it's unlikely, benteke and andi might struggle next season now defenders know what to expect, so to let a proven finisher like bent slip away for next to nothing is crazy.
At the end of the day Sid it is Lambert's call. His team to manage and his nuts on the line. So I will 100% back the decision. However if Bent doesn't end up being sold we have probably lost a potential resource that we paying a hefty wage to. Not to mention that because we so desperately want to sell him we are at a big disadvantage. Teams know that we want him off our books so why offer full market value. Probably explains why we are losing so much on the 24 million... I also like the looks of a 4-4-2 with Benteke and Bent and two decent wingers. Gives us a completely different game plan that teams would have to adapt to. We will have to see what Helenius brings to the table - we might be eating our words in 6 months time :D
OK. I agree with some points. It's just that I would rather have a team as Lambert has all day. We've got to think ahead 2 or 3 seasons as most live for now!!!! How long do we keep bent as our main man or as a "Hernandez " on 3 times everyone's wage
I'm glad I have partly changed your mind :) And I do agree Bent is not the future. Particularly since he doesn't fit into our wage structure. However if Benteke is injured/suspended next season I become a little bit nervous, Where do the goals come from? Until our new signings have proven themselves I wonder whether having Bent in the background as a backup plan isn't the worst idea... Next year or even January once some of our new signings have shown they are capable in the Premier league then move Bent on. I just feel it is too much of a risk at the moment... (also the way he has been excluded feels wrong).
Noooooo V444 I thought you were the kind of guy who took the Cobra kia philosophy to to your rants 'strike first, strike hard show no mercy!' My mental image of you has taken a Krane kick to the head!

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