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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.
moaning, moaning... had we won 80-0, some would still be moaning.
Bents managed it 106 times in the Premiership though so don't think you can justify he cant get away with it mate.
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?
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.
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.
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
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 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
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.
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
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.
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
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 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.

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