TFN Editor Hugo Greenhalgh reflects on Darren Bent’s recent tribulations after scoring on his Brighton debut…
In Greek tragedy, the term hubris refers to ‘excessive pride or self-confidence’ leading to nemesis, a moment of divine retribution. While the gods don’t appear to be shining on either Brighton or Fulham much this season, as soon as Darren Bent cupped his ear to the travelling support as he opened the scoring, it seemed inevitable it would come back to haunt him. This was the fifth time Bent has scored on his debut, having also done so for Charlton, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham, but it was not enough to seal the points which Sami Hyppia’s side so badly need. Bent’s celebration seemed to galvanise Fulham and they came back to win 2-1.
Since losing the talismanic Leonardo Ulloa to Leicester, Brighton have struggled to find the net this season. Indeed, their top scorer is defender Lewis Dunk. Bent’s arrival on a one-month loan was one of great excitement, a proven goalscorer with a point to prove after being left out in the cold by Villa manager Paul Lambert. This was his first goal since February and Bent’s mind will surely be on the January window and the possibility of sealing a move back to the Premier League, although he will of course be hoping to take Brighton out of the relegation zone in the process. Continue reading →
Despite his limitations, TFN’s David Wild reckons Darren Bent is well deserving of a second chance…
“There are not many young English players who have the pedigree and finishing class that Darren has shown over a number of years in the Premier League. In the League, only Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba have scored more goals in the last five years than his 81 goals.” – Gerard Houllier,
The story of Darren Bent is one that mirrors the changes in the fabric of the English game. Gerard Houlliers description of him here came in 2011 when Bent was 27, at the peak of his powers.
Such a goal scoring record, in line with the main front men at the two clubs competing for the Premier League title, should surely have made the striker a commodity hungered after by all of the top clubs in England, if not Europe. Instead at the time he was being transferred from Sunderland in 6th to Aston Villa in 17th in the Premier League Continue reading →
David Wild explores the decline of the utility man across the footballing landscape, and the normalisation of total football…
It’s the 60th minute. You’re 1-0 up and your first choice right back has just gone off injured. What do you do? Nowadays squads are large enough and filled with enough specialist players that this is fast becoming a problem consigned to the history books. In days gone by however most clubs could call upon a fan favourite utility player in times of need, willing to play anywhere if it meant time on the pitch.
Football used to be full of them. Paul Warhurst, an old Oldham favourite, would play a decent job anywhere on the pitch. He’s probably one of the only players who was as effective as a striker as he was a defender. This is excepting, of course, the ever memorable Dion Dublin, striker, defender and percussionist all in one.