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

Encouraging Signs For Lambert

Manager Paul Lambert has said that he felt there were plenty of early encouraging signs following our opening friendly victory over Mansfield earlier tonight.

Speaking to the Official Site following the three one victory courtesy of a Darren Bent brace and a solo goal from Gary Gardner, our manager said.

'It was a useful workout. It's our first game this season, two halves with different teams, and it was pleasing. What is more pleasing is that everyone has come through it unscathed. Jores hasn't played for a long time, Charles is the same. Chris and Gary have come back into it. Darren has returned from his loan spell at Fulham. Alan has come back and, I thought, was excellent. I was delighted with the whole group.'

Lambert goes on to say that really we should've been a couple up ahead of their opening goal, but he was pleased with the response after that because we did keep chipping away and creating chances and ultimately we got our reward for that with the fresh team in the second half and three good goals.

With Gardner getting himself on the score sheet and looking relatively composed in the middle of the park, and showing signs of the player we all hoped he would become following his performances at U21 level, Lambert picked him out for special praise.

'If there is one lad who deserves a break, it's Gary because of his injuries. He's a terrific lad. He will have to fight, but if he plays like that and does things like that, why not force his way in.'

He goes on to say that Benty obviously has the knack of being in the right place at the right time, and since returning to training 'to be fair to Darren' he's really knuckled down and worked his socks off so he deserved those goals tonight in the manager's eyes.

Well, one game down, the bombsquad proving their worth, our newbies looking decent as well as the rest of the squad, but it wasn't competitive and with respect, it was Mansfield, so I doubt anybody can, should or even would, read too much into this result irrespective of whether you are positive or negative ahead of the coming season, or even if you're desperately hoping it's all been a bad dream and it's still early May 1982.

And on that note, I'm off to continue toasting the victory.

Up The Villa!

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 17 2014

Time: 11:44PM

Your Comments

Good result, bent back on the score sheet?...should never have been loaded out last season.
Villa always
Decent run-out for all involved, and yes, not a bad start.
Pride of Lions
Good to see the two long term injured, Okore and Zoggy back.
The Fear
Which side scored first, again. I have not read the article as I have zero confidence in Lambert and don't believe a word he says.
kevinl48
"right place at the right time". It's called goalhanging and you can't get away with it in the prem. The opposition were probably Bent's level and with a **** load of chances that he apparently had, managed to score 2 ( whilst missing 4.) Our suppliers of crosses are obviously of superior quality to the opposition also and therefore managed to create so much. Again, we won't get away with this in the prem.
Villan444
moaning, moaning... had we won 80-0, some would still be moaning.
delirium
Bents managed it 106 times in the Premiership though so don't think you can justify he cant get away with it mate.
aston.villafc
106 goals in 11 seasons. Been relegated 3 times. Yes that was 3 times. Only broke double figures 4 times and when you consider that Lampard has done it 10 times in a row..... Never played in a successful team as although he's the main striker, he inhibits others by goalhanging and does sweet FA else. Basically if the team scores, it's him on the end of it. That means that his total is near enough the team's total for the season. He played against players at his level last night. Yes he's good at finishing in the 6 yard box but he's NO Lineker or Fowler and the time is long gone at the Prem or even Championship standard for goalhanging poachers who offer absolutely NOTHING else. He's not quick, strong, powerful, alert enough to turn it on in this league in this day and age.
Villan444
Take away 24 goals in 1 season for Sunderland and he's scored 82 in 10 seasons. I'm showing him up with stats and that's all that anyone has to rave about him with. On paper, he's poor. In real life, he's poor. Many are moaning about Wiemann this year but I love him for his workrate and role. Same with Gabby. They aren't self indulgent. They do jobs for the team.
Villan444
You can only beat the people in front of you. We won, we could have lost, but we won. As for Bent, At the very least until Benteke is back. Everything about that game sounds encouraging. Who's next for the new and improved claret and blue mincing machine?
andy5759
Villan444, whilst I agree with a lot of what you say (especially in your backing of Lambert at this difficult time), I think it's time you gave Bent a break. He still averages 1 in 3 for us, not a bad record and certainly better than someone like Bowery could ever have. Until Benteke is back, and maybe Kozak (he never really got us too excited before his injury), then he's a decent option to have. Gabby in particular was embarrassingly poor last season… you can't even say 'at least he worked hard' because he really didn't last season, and 4 goals for a striker is laughable (I think Bent managed more at Fulham). Bent doesn't contribute to the overall game like Benteke does, but he can finish when given chances. At a time when Lambert has very little money to spend, he's worth giving another chance to, so we might as well get behind him and will him on to score a few for us next season. No point in him rotting in our reserves.
HolteEnd2610
Still think we need a mobile livewire quick forward, some of the youngsters could certainly come in and do the job and make a name if given the chance. Agree with HE2610 4 goals for Gabby is not good enough in the Prem.
Eddy1
Benteke is class.... Gabby is pace.... Weimann workrare good.... Kodak is height.... Bent is a poacher.... Together they give us options. And options is what you need. Hence bent does have a place in our team as a super sub.
Ali Arab
Well said holteend 2610 but you've got no chance of 444 dropping his boring bent hate campaign. Bent has faults but so does everybody else, but apparently because everybody else contributes more that's ok even when a lot of the time that contribution is garbage. How 444 can overlook weimanns shots to the stands ratio which is huge, and gabbys goals per game is a joke
SidGodSid
Agreed Ali Arab .. Gabby does have pace and Weimann great work rate but in the premiership forwards need far more tricks in there bag, both those players need to be 10+ goals a season, if that happened we might not find ourselves in the bottom half of the table, our defensive issues are well documented but our goals 'for' column needs to be far higher. The counter attack away from home is all well and good but we need far more attacking at home ..and goals.
Eddy1
eddy1 my point was more trying to highlight the fact that having bent on our strikeforce is to our advantage. and the same goes to all our other strkiers. up front we have never been that bad. our problem for years has been midfield, lets hope cole and nzogbia start producing
Ali Arab
As Eddy says, you need more tricks in your bag in the prem. Bent can finish in the 6 yard box. You'll find that most strikers can if that's their sole duty for 90 mins. No-one else is as selfish as to offer so little to the team!!! If you understood the game Sid, I wouldn't have to overly explain it to non players like yourself. You obviously have a hard on for bent but don't like Gabby or Wiemann because they don't score enough.
Villan444
Putting the ball in the back of the net is a final touch on a team's attacking move. Without the likes of Gabby and Andi and their hard work, Bent wouldn't be able to ponse about in the opposition area waiting for a chance. If Lambert gave Andi the poacher job ( AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE TO DO,) then he'd score more than Bent. Bent is the sort of player who used to get picked last by the captains when choosing teams as he's useless at most things. Normally this type of person is so poor on the pitch that they get stuck in goal. I assume that he's too poor even for that role so they just told him to go and hang around the opposition's box. He's been relegated 3 ******** times. He's only scored 10 or more goals in the prem 4 ******** times at the age of 30. This officially means he's not a decent player FFS. No idea how some can debate with nonsensical, illogical reasoning.
Villan444
And ok Holtender, we play Bent until Benteke is back and then he gets ditched again and sits on the subs bench and the whole team has to change how they play entirely to accommodate 1 player for 2 months. Rather give the youngsters a go and get them used to playing in our formation than completely change the formation for 1 person.
Villan444
No hard on for bent 444 just bored of your constant brainless ramblings about the man. The only explanation is your some ex bird of his with a grudge.
SidGodSid
I'm just a connoisseur of football Sid and don't rate the bloke even slightly. Nothing personal with him. If you'd ever played the game or understood more then you'd be able to comprehend rather than looking at stats and saying "but he's scored 1 in 3 for us." You don't take into consideration how many of his goals were winning goals and how the team performs. He will show his grandkids the same stats in years time and he'll try to fool them in the same way that you've interpreted them. Let's be honest though, you have got a boner for him haven't you. You're not sticking up for our other players......
Villan444
villian444 if his job is so easy why are we not earning millions goal hanging? football is only about one thing and that is GOALS, and bent does put them in the net.
Ali Arab
Ali, did you not read the stats above. Only broke double figures 4 times in the prem !!!!!!!! He sort of puts them in the net when h gets 1 chances a game but contrary to what some would have you believe, he is NOWHERE near prolific. Fulham FC 14 years in the prem until a certain D. Bent turned up to help relegate them. Charlton 7 years in the prem and although old Benty didn't get them relegated in his first season, he contributed to it in his second season. We were admittedly near the bottom of the league when he turned up at our place but that is what he does, 'play for bottom half teams' because he isn't very good atall. Don't like moaning about 1 of our own but why is he still here if he's such a good player. Why hasn't he gone to Manure or Arsenal???? Oh yeah he went o Fulham and couldn't even get a regular game for them even though they were relegated. Don't want him at Villa or to be near the bottom of the league and the 2 are linked intrinsically.
Villan444
10 chances a game....
Villan444
444 you crack me up. Every player has strengths and weaknesses but you focus on bents weak points. I rate weimann and gabby for instance although I'm not sure weimann will cut it much longer, he's showing all the signs of a one season wonder. But they also like just about every other player have big time faults as well. Poaching goals is not a crime and is still a part of the modern game, just look what Germany achieved with a poacher up front for them. You might not like it but bent gives us options, even off the bench and might force some competition up front.
SidGodSid
Have to agree to disagree Sid. Even from the point where he'll have a shot saved and the rebound will be scored by a teammate, Bent will still have his head in his hands and begrudgingly go to celebrate whilst still looking peeved. It's about the team and from his body language, just don't think that he is about the team. In my not so humble as it should be opinion, Bent has 1 strength and countless weaknesses. He isn't a world class player ( or even a prem player) like Lineker, Fowler or even Klose ( who has many more qualities ) and we as ASTON VILLA should not be basing our whole play around relying on 1 person that limited, inconsistent, 1 dimensional and antique.
Villan444
villian444, do i like bent? no.... but here is a fact. if we did not buy him we would have been relegated in his first year. he has a year left having him on the bench is no harm to us. simple, would i extend his contract? no way...
Ali Arab
He wouldn't extend his contract, we wouldn't extend his contract. We bought him on the way that he was playing at Sunderland. The senile Houllier insisted on playing with a player like him and was taking us into the dark ages. He did NOT save us. Houllier's backwards tactics almost relegated us and due to his stubborn views and tactics, he needed a player like that. Bent cost us 24 mil FFS. No-one will even pay half that for him and it's not Lambert's fault. Eck couldn't use him, neither could 2-3 managers at Fulham obviously. I'm reading between the lines rather than looking at it on paper.....
Villan444
Villan444 I agree with your views on quite a few things but I think its a bit laughable how you try to make out you have some greater knowledge of the game over others, if you did you would realise 80% of goals scored are from players doing exactly what you say Bent does (goal hang) and you only have to go through a few videos of Bent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyOVufkLIFM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BXeVpv2bPY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GQ6VpgOT9A to see h does not just goal hang. He does his job very well, I also think if you really knew football you would realise putting the ball in the back of the net is one of the hardest things in the game and players that can do that are valuable. Bent is not perfect but no matter how you try and change the stats around the stats speak for themselves. I mean how ridiculous to miss out a whole season just because he scored 24 goals in it and it didn't suit your point of view lol No matter how they play, players are not bad than can score 100 premiership goals and especially for teams that are not top 6.
aston.villafc
aston.villafc, I don't make out I've got some greater knowledge of the game over others. I've just proved it RE: Bent by deconstructing his stats and career. Of course you can take out the 24 goals in 1 season as it demonstrates that this was a 1 off. He has scored 18 in a season (good), 13, 12 (still not bad.) But then you need to take into account that he has next to zero assists next to his name unless it's a shot of his that was saved. You also need to ask "what is he doing if he's not scoring??" He offers nothing else. You clearly haven't played the game either or you'd know that scoring is simply passing the ball into a certain area of the pitch and the hardest thing to do is to create that opportunity in the first place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77-JCef-FmI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bOrWMc_Es0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jBFKvjqrZ8 Please look at these incredible misses compared to your Bent promo videos. One of these he rolls about on the ground blaming some unknown force for him missing, the other 2 he just looks stupid which I think is the problem with him. This is nothing personal but I just don't rate him atall and have played with much better players in amateur leagues. He is not a terrible player. If you set everything up to play to his 1 and only strength, he will score a few goals. The team will not be successful though and they won't beat any big sides as he's so easy to play against. We are Aston Villa, not some bottom 6 side who needs to pander to some 1 trick pony and we deserve so much better. He will not be a regular this season and the return of the bomb squad is merely a way to try to get rid of them via loans or sales. If we can't get rid of Bent soon, he'll take us down for his 4th relegation from the prem.
Villan444
"The stats speak for themselves" LOL. They clearly don't. People like you engineer them to suit your argument. 3 relegations with 3 different teams FFS !!!!!! Surely that's a stat. The man cannot think on the run. He has a poor footballing brain. All his goals are set routines or drills which he's done 100s of times and all the opposition need to do is counter them. There's never any improvisation. Give him the ball in space outside the area, similarly to what Spuz did to Sol Campbell and don't bother approaching him. He won't know what to do with it.
Villan444
 

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