Bent to Aston Villa? He’s on his way

Stories that Darren Bent had put in a transfer request in the summer but was persuaded to stay would explain the contrast in his performances this season compared to last.  Pete Sixsmith speculates on some other reasons, and like Jeremy Robson (below) takes the long view.

Well, that has been an interesting 24/36 hours hasn’t it? Almost defeat to the Mags, imbeciles running on the pitch and then a transfer request from Darren Bent. As the Chinese say, “May you live in interesting times”.

 Except I would rather not, or at least not if they are as negative as these “interesting times” are. I don’t want to dwell on yesterday’s game- enough said about it and I am getting a bit worried about myself, when Newcastle fans compliment me on my fairness. I must be getting old. What next? A pat on the back for Nick Clegg? An acceptance that Bernard Manning was “quite funny”?

The idiot who ran on the pitch, one Ross Miller, clearly has the brain cells discarded by a semi educated aardvark. Whatever the reasons for celebrating, it does not extend to pushing over an opposition player. The youth should be thoroughly ashamed of himself and turning up to apologise to Harper and then appearing on 5Live should not prevent him from being barred from the Stadium and the possibilities of a custodial sentence.

 This is the second time we have done this in Derby games and there were unsavoury scenes at that awful England v Turkey game a few years ago. It is likely that the FA, in between fining players for Tweeting, will take a very dim view of this. Not good.

 Then we have the Darren Bent story. Initial reactions were shock and surprise, but the more I think about it and the more I hear of the background the less surprised I am.

The story is that his head was turned in August by a foreign club, (Germany? Spain?) which may well explain his relatively lethargic performances this season. His body language has not looked comfortable and his reaction to Danny Welbeck’s goal against Blackburn now looks a real give away. He set the goal up and then failed to involve himself in the team celebrations.

Apparently the transfer request went in on Friday. I suspect that had Welbeck or Campbell (or even Billy Whitehurst) been available, he would not have played.

So,why? Kevin Phillips on 5Live put it down to money and the opportunity for Bent to make even more money. That seems reasonable but is there more to it?

Is it because he feels uncomfortable in a basically mono-cultural environment? Birmingham has a much more culturally diverse population and he may feel more at home there.

Is it because he has yet to find his perfect striking partner? He never looked settled with Kenwyne, so off he went to Stoke. He has not gelled with Gyan, so maybe he got the vibes that the Ghanaian was the number one boy up front. Who knows?

His timing is disappointing with a transfer request handed in before the most important game of the season and then made public the day after a bitterly disappointing day for all Sunderland fans. He has definitely gone from hero to zero in the eyes of many.

 Will we miss him? To be brutal, on this years form, not a great deal. He’s a footballer and the vast majority of them come to a club, stay for a couple of years and then move on. A few stay to become legends  – Hurley, Ball, Bennett, Quinn – but it is an ephemeral job and you take from them what you can. We took a bagful of goals and then make a decent profit when he moves on.

 The story on 5Live was that Robbie Keane will be in as soon as Bent goes. He’s a player who has been linked with Sunderland a few times (and with most other Premier League clubs as well) and he could prove a better link up with Gyan than Bent has. Who knows?

 This is a very difficult time for Sunderland fans. The fear is that we will undergo a slide like last year and all the good work done in the first half of the season will be undone. Management, players and fans need to stick together for the next few weeks. A positive response at Blackpool from all is required now.

24 thoughts on “Bent to Aston Villa? He’s on his way”

  1. We need the Club to clarify exactly what the chronological series of events were in Bent’s transfer to avoid any unjust sentiments regarding the player and any further acrimony with Villa.

  2. It was only shut for an hour Mike. Just a miscalculation at the Probation Office on Redheugh Bridge which had everyone turning up at the same time on Monday morning.

  3. Let’s be honest ; most footballers – like the rest of us are motivated by financial reward – although theirs is obviously a lot higher . I think we have had his best year , and can’t see him scoring as frequently in the future , although good luck to him if he does , as long as it’s against the toon and not us
    Time for us to move on there must be a few decent players out there who could improve our lot with the money we have

  4. Sunderland are a better team wrt results when they play 1 upfront, I’m not sure when Campbell is back, but with Welbeck and Gyan we have a good stike force if we can keep them healthy. I don’t predicted a down turn in form because of the traitorous Bent but would like to think the team will be determind to give him the finger by increasing our form and qualifying for Europe, would Ilike to see Villa go down? Yes yes yes as retribution to an unholy and despicable mercenary, I will send him 30 oieces of silver if I have got enough tanners

  5. Bill: There’s some nonsense on the 606 boards about Bruce quittting started as a joke by the unwashed that people have seen the headline for and not read the thread properly.

    Bang on the money again Lee. He was a transient, a player that came and went and won’t be remembered in the same way that others before him are remembered and respected for their contribution. I didn’t believe all his BS, but still feel as if we’ve been diddled by a cheap con artist at the same time.

  6. Your right as well Jeremy, the way things have gone have left a bad taste in the mouth.

    Enough dwelling, let’s look to the short term and hope the club pull of a decent replacement, who will only help us cement our place in the table, and then get someone in permanently in the summer.

    Just remember, players will come and go, we are in this for the long run

  7. What’s this rumour that’s around that Bruce might quit in protest at Bent’s transfer being allowed to go ahead? No truth to it, I hope.

    I suspect Aston Villa and Darren Bent deserve each other. You don’t always get what you pay for.

  8. Best summary of the sad saga Lee. Spot on mate. Totally agree with every word.

    Bent just couldn’t fake it when he knew he was off. That’s the most dishonest aspect of it. It’s cheating his team mates, his manager and the supporters and essentially cheating football.

    Now that the shock of events has subsided it’s becoming apparent just what sort of bloke Bent really is. I hope the Villa fans are ready to have the dirty done on them when his time comes. Sick and sad indictment of modern football regrettably.

  9. After watching Darren’s press conference at Villa, I can only summarise that Bent spent 18 months cultivating his honorary Mackem , “top lad” image. Which is now exposed as a money-grabbing, self-centred, bullshitter.

    Cristiano Ronaldo worked & trained hard right to the last at United. As a result, he’s still held in regard by fans. I can’t say Bent will be thought of like Ronaldo.

    Read between the lines here, Bent said ‘I knew nothing of Villa’s interest until after the derby match’. Gerard Houllier said ‘we’ve been tracking him for weeks now’. Would that be around 7/8 weeks Gerard, because this is the amount of time he has lost in front of a goal. Pretty rapid time line as his transfer request was only put in on Sunday night.

    Every target is pretty much tapped up in the modern day game. Its one of those things you sadly can’t get shot of.

  10. Posted a comment a few weeks ago posing the question whether Bent would get back in the team after an excellent display by Gyan and Welbeck. I was of the opinion then that Bent is a very good goalscorer but not a good footballer. He rarely controls the ball and brings team mates into play. A Spurs friend told me his main problem is that he misses too many easy opportunities. A point proven only too well since the Blackpool game. He had a one on one v Newcastle and made a complete mess of it. Whatever his reasons for leaving I bear no hard feelings. He helped us become a better club but now it is time to move on and find and use better footballers than he is. £24 million is another good reason to sell. Spurs get 10percent of the profit. They will think we did a good job as well.

  11. Maybe he should have waited until we signed Muntari and Sessegnon in the transfer window. Doesn’t he realise that you can’t sign anyone between August and the New Year?

  12. Apologies for the delay in getting some comments from first time posters up here – new visitors are very welcome. Unfortunately the delay is due to having to check for spam before approving the posts, and other inconveniences like being at work (that’s Joan, standing in for M Salut).

    Having heard the Villa press conference an hour or so ago, it sounds as if Bent was unhappy with the service he was getting from midfield.

  13. Aye Pete but he’s also said that South Americans take six months. Here we are with the snow and freezing fog and Da Silva is off to sunny Spain, barely having kicked a ball in anger in a year and a half. As for Riveros, you’d think he was acclimatising to being on the moon.

    Nice theory though that may have some credance. I think Gyan will be more effective when Bent has gone, but that’s going to depend largely on who else comes in.

  14. Clem, the BBC sports journalist, did the sports section on Look North last night and obviously the main talking point was the transfer request by Darren Bent. Interestingly Clem said that this was not the first request from Bent, he had asked for a move in the summer.
    So, although I am still not convinced that Bruce is up to the task, I think there has been some shrewd management of the situation by Messrs Bruce and Quinn. Being aware that Bent wants a move they have identified Gyan as his replacement and Quinn has succeeded in bringing him to the club. Bruce has sensibly said that Gyan needs 3 to 4 months to settle into the club and Bent can have his request granted in the January transfer window.
    There is no point keeping an unsettled player, and £18 million rising to £24 million is good business. We have a player in Gyan who has shown glimpses of his excellent potential and almost exclusively without Bent in the team. So, good luck to Bent and well done Niall and Steve.

  15. You’re dead right Martin. He was never going to get another 20+ goals for us again this season of any other.

  16. I don’t think many fans will be disagreeing with you Lee.

    Regarding replacements, I don’t think Robbie Keane fits the bill. He’s too old, and long past his best. Hopefully we’ll be in the market for two strikers, not just one. But I would like to see a bright young prospect, rather than waste 5 million on a has-been.

    Bent (by name and certainly by nature!), already a multi-millionaire left for the money!! But I believe he’s has had his best days at Sunderland. He will never be as wildly appreciated again in his career, and although he’ll get a few goals, he will never be as prolific.

    We’re going to be linked with everyone except Bob Lee in the next few days. If nothing else it will be fun, and it will occupy us, rather then dwelling on another pith poor performance against the Minstrels, and Darren “greedy twatt” Bent!!

  17. This season ,I don’t think Bent has performed anywhere near last season’s standard .
    We still need to find another forward before the window closes , preferably somebody who can hold the ball up , a Kevin Davies type of player

  18. “An acceptance that Bernard Manning was “quite funny”?”

    You must admit Pete; Bernard Manning was funnier than the moron who ran on the pitch. Apparently his Dad took him to Newcastle’s training ground yesterday to apologise. Unfortunately it was shut. Newcastle that is. Not the training ground.

  19. Villa fan. I am a bit shocked, especially with the £24m being mentioned. I was also surprised to hear that he was only on £35k at your place?

    I did hear some rumours that Emile might be going in the other direction. He has been excellent this year, played in the right position by Ged, but is very injury prone. Could be useful back up/bench player to Gyan and/or Wellbeck and SB has, of course, had him before. You could, of course, if you really wanted to do us a favour have Carew, but we would probably have to pay you an extra £2m or so!!

    Bent is the sort of player that we have needed for a while – a goal scorer – and I am not too concerned that he can only do it in the box.

    Do you think he will be a good partner for Gabby/Heskey or good as a sole striker playing with supply from Downing, Albrighton and Young – if we can keep the latter!!

  20. I completely agree Lee. What appeared to be a lack of confidence was probably a lack of interest. He wasn’t feigning enthusiasm. A few things have contributed to his decision. He’s gone and SB will be working flat out to strengthen the side with the windfall. On what we’ve had from him over the last couple of months we are stealing money. He wil doubtless go on a goal spree at Villa but once the goals dry up (and they will), their fans will be asking why 24M was spent on a player who is very limited outside the penalty area.

  21. I think the area has alot to do with Bents request to leave. We have to keep in mind the racist abuse dished out to his mother by one of our own fans and apparently he was given a very hard time by a bunch of scum bags on a day out in Newcastle.

    Still we have to put this in perspective, the fans really supported him and he made statements in December that he loved playing for the club and how passionate the area was about its football.

    Personally I have two word to describe the lad disloyal & greedy he owes alot to Sunderland and could have waited until the Summer to move on.

    I’m not usually a spiteful person but the baest case scenario for me would be to use the money wisely and finish in a european spot and for Bent and Villa to slip down to the Championship….I feel a bit ashamed to say it but that would put a big big grin on my face.

    And to all the skunks who are loveing this…….dont count your chickens. Fair enough we were crap the other day but you’re in for a hard second half of the season so dont get too smug just yet!!!!

  22. Many fans will disagree with me on this, many fans will join me……

    For the past 7/8 weeks, Darren Bent has looked like his head as been elsewhere. He has scored 1 in 8. We have done fine without him…….

    Don’t get me wrong, I am absoultely chuffed with what he has done for us, but, only a few weeks ago, he was all over the telly saying that ‘I can’t believe how well it’s gone. If the offer of an extension came up I’d be more than happy to sign it. It’s all about the football up here. It’s all passion, passion, passion, but the supporters’ intensity has never scared me. They are looking at me to get the goals and that is a massive confidence booster.’

    £18-24 million? I’d snap Villa’s hands off and pack his bags for him. Darren is not happy anymore, his performances have shown this. Yes it would give us only 2 weeks to find a replacement, but as I mentioned, we’ve been fine without him.

    It looks like Harry was right. If you don’t wrap him up in cotton wool and give him cuddles, he’s useless.

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