Villa’s treatment of Darren Bent is “unfathomable”
When Norwich beat Aston Villa 2-0 in May, Paul Lambert was wearing a Canaries tracksuit. This weekend he hosts his former club as boss of the Midlanders, and pressure is mounting on the Scot to steer his team to a much-needed victory. Ahead of this emotionally charged encounter for Lambert, the Life’s a Pitch team focus most of their attention on the notion that he doesn’t seem to fancy record signing Darren Bent.
“Aston Villa aren’t functioning well,” says the People’s Tom Hopkinson. “There’s no cohesion in the team, they’re lacking goals and they’ve got this problem with Darren Bent, which seems absolutely crazy to me. Why would you pay £18m – rising to £24m [depending on goals and appearances] – for a striker and then not use him? He’s a man who’s going to score goals for you. It’s unfathomable to the rest of us.”
The People’s Dave Kidd agrees, and can’t understand why Lambert is choosing to rotate his most dangerous striker with new signing Christian Benteke. “If you’re in a relegation battle, the two most important factors are Premier League experience and goals – and Bent has both,” he says. “He’s crucial for Lambert. It’s crazy that he’s being isolated.”
If the England frontman continues to play a fringe role in Villa’s first team he will doubtless grow restless, and a move away from the club could be the only answer, according to the Sunday Telegraph’s Jason Burt. “The only solution for Bent now is to sell him,” says Jason. “[Lambert] clearly has no faith in him, and doesn’t want to build the team around him. They’re not going to get their money back though, and that’s the problem.”
The panel also discusses Norwich’s recent victory over Arsenal.
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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Aston Villa v Norwich, 12.30pm, 27 October, Sky Sports 2
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