Tag Archives: Darren Bent

Bent move makes sense now and Arsenal setting up title challenge

Darren Bent's exspensive move to Aston Villa was highly criticized, but it proved to be the right move last weekend. Bent's goal sealed an important win for Villa over Manchester City. (Courtesy Bad English Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

It makes you think that maybe, just maybe these managers know what they are doing. A week after acquiring £24 million man Darren Bent from Sunderland, Aston Villa not only played with Manchester City, but beat them thanks to Bent’s first-half strike, not to mention impeccable keeping from American international Brad Friedel.

Personally, I have a soft spot for Sunderland, so after seeing him go, and the way it all happened, I was rather disgusted to see that outcome, but it got me thinking.

Perhaps Gerard Houllier does know what he is doing and maybe Steve Bruce, despite losing his No. 1 scoring threat can still get things done. Aston Villa had to dig deep, but they picked up Bent to assure that the club would remain above the relegation zone. My initial thoughts were skeptical. How could one player ensure that a club doesn’t go off the deep end and begin next season in the Championship? At least for now, the ex-Liverpool manager is looking pretty smart.

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Darren Bent move to Aston Villa could leave Sunderland lacking attacking punch

Darren Bent's proposed move to Astonv Villa would be his fourth transfer in England. (Courtesy Vic. T.)

By Ryan Fleming

If rumors of Sunderland’s and Darren Bent’s demise … I mean, change of paths are true, then I am utterly confused – sort of. After handing in a written request to manager Steven Bruce, Bent showed his desire at moving away from the Stadium of Light and on to bigger and better things. Really? Not quite.

Aston Villa have reported offered somewhere between £18 million and £24 million for the England international. The move makes complete sense for Villa, a team struggling against relegation zone and are as inconsistent as weather in New England. With the move for Bent, Villa are showing, to its supporters at least, that the team’s dedication to success can no longer be questioned and the fight not only against relegation, but to make an impression in the second half of the season, is on.

In regards to Sunderland, the move really doesn’t make much sense at least in the short term. Despite being managed by one of the best in the English Premier League, Bruce’s side has also struggled with inconsistency, especially as of late. Sunderland were embarrassingly shown the door out of the FA Cup by League One side, Notts County, after defeating Blackburn 3-0 and Villa 1-0.

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Sunderland Making Mark on Title Race

Steve Bruce has led his Sunderland club to wins over Chelsea and Manchester City, along with draws against Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham. (Photo Courtesy Struway)

By Joe Meloni

Seven months from now, either Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United will claim the 2010-11 English Premier League Championship. While headlines throughout the world will inevitably hail one of the clubs’ star players as the deciding factor in the title race – whether to excellence or injury – another group of players, likely to finish in the middle of table, may provide the goals and moments that give us our champion for this season.

Sunday afternoon, Steve Bruce’s Sunderland walked into Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and lit the table-leaders up for three goals in a dominating shutout win. Entering the match, Chelsea averaged more than two goals per game, while allowing a tidy 0.42 goals per match in 12 Premiership games this season. In those 12 games, the Blues pieced together a 9-1-2 record, and stood three points clear of second-place Manchester United with a game in hand and five points clear of third-place Arsenal. For fans in North London and Manchester, a pass was issued entering the weekend to pull for Bruce’s Black Cats in hopes of preventing the gap between Chelsea and their rivals from growing.
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Capello Finalizes England's Squad

By Cameron Dickinson of The National Game

All the speculation finally ended at 3 p.m. yesterday when Fabio Capello put the nation out of its misery by naming the 2010 World Cup squad.

Gone were the shock call-ups of the past (Theo Walcott in 2006 anyone?) as the manager appears to be placing his faith in those that have experience at the international level, rather than those with fewer caps.

Already some are willing to write off the tournament as they do not agree with some of the choices made by the Italian, but then this would be the case no matter who was in the final 23. At least the questions can stop for now, and we can now look forward to the greatest event in the world — which kicks off in just nine days.

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Mixing and Matching: From Celtic to Bordeaux to Sunderland

By Ryan Fleming

It wasn’t easy, nothing really has been for Celtic during this season. Sunday morning the Glasgow side defeated Dunfermline, 4-2, in the Scottish Cup. New signings, Diomansy Kamara, Robbie Keane and Morten Rasmussen tallied goals and an own goal by Calum Woods lead the Hoops to victory and increasing ,perhaps boosting, their confidence coming into tomorrow’s matchup at Parkhead against Hearts.

Throughout the week the players and coaches alike continued to state that the confidence they once had after the Winter transfer window signings is still there even despite the team’s loss at Kilmarnock back on February second. If you watched Robbie Keane’s long celebration after scoring from the penalty spot late in the match on Sunday, his confidence never left. It must have been a huge lift off the Irish international’s shoulders – getting his first strike on his new team out of the way.

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Darren Bent Deserves A Call-Up

By Kevin Koczwara

Darren Bent added another goal to his Premier League tally– he has 8 goals in 9 matches. and 1 assist. Bent’s goal in the fifth minute at The Stadium of Light gave Sunderland a 1-0 lead against Liverpool. The goal would be the only one in the game and also of much controversy.

Bent’s shot appeared to bounce off a beach ball that had made its way on the field. According to the rules the goal should have disallowed and play stopped until the ball was removed from play. A drop-ball would start play again. But the goal was allowed, giving Sunderland a much needed win against a top opponent, and hurts Liverpool in their hunt for the EPL championship. Now Liverpool’s chances of their first title in 20 years is slim to none. For Sunderland, they look to be in a good spot right now, they have a chance to qualify for European play next year.

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Give'en A Chance

Shay Given has put FIFA on the hot seat for their World Cup Qualifying system. The Republic of Ireland has every right to his opinion, not only is he right but he is bringing up and important issue that needs to be changed. (Courtesy Flickr mikebrown59)

Shay Given has put FIFA on the hot seat for their World Cup Qualifying system. The Republic of Ireland has every right to his opinion, not only is he right but he is bringing up and important issue that needs to be changed. (Courtesy Flickr mikebrown59)

By Kevin Koczwara

Republic of Ireland goal keeper Shay Given has come out and said what other players have been thinking: FIFA has set-up a barrier preventing smaller nations from getting into the World Cup final. By creating a seeding system FIFA has ruled out the chance that big-market nations(larger nations) will play one another in the play-off for the final spots for South Africa from European qualifying (UEFA).

The system that would make sense would be a random draw of teams. It works for the FA Cup and The Champions League and The Club World Cup every year. So, why shouldn’t it work for The World Cup?

This should be a hot topic in the footballing (Soccer) world. This system is surely working in the favor of potential play-off teams like France, Russia, Greece and potentially Portugal (if the stars align properly). And the system works against countries like Ireland, Bosnia, Croatia (in truth they should have no trouble beating just about anyone if they are healthy), Norway, and Scotland.

But FIFA could care less about the smaller countries who have less experience in the World Cup. What if one of those teams went on a historical run and made it to the Finals? That would not draw as many people as France or Russia (except maybe Ireland because people around the world have ancestors there, especially here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.).

Look at the Qualification Numbers for some of the teams that are in Second place and in control of there destiny.

  • Republic of Ireland – 3 times
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – 0 times
  • France – 12
  • Russia- 9
  • Norway- 2
  • Croatia – 3
  • Greece – 1
  • Sweden – 11
  • Scotland (tied with Norway in points, behind in Goal Differential) – 8

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Fantasy League Horrors

By Kevin Koczwara

Week 7 looks to be the first promising one in a while after I had to make some major changes and wait out some difficult stretches. It would help if I could get past what teams players play for and how the approach the game. I would have a lot more points if I chose a Drogba or a Wayne Rooney, but I refuse.

Week 7 looks to be the first promising one in a while after I had to make some major changes and wait out some difficult stretches. It would help if I could get past what teams players play for and how the approach the game. I would have a lot more points if I chose a Drogba or a Wayne Rooney, but I refuse.

Is anyone else being hurt in their fantasy league because their major players are being injured? I am being destroyed by injuries. I started with Theo Walcott and Robinho on my starting 11, and both got hurt. Robinho at least made it onto the pitch for a game or two, but I was sure he was a shoe in this year for major points in fantasy and high flying scoring numbers. Manchester City have so many weapons around him — Roque Santa Cruz is hurt, but when he returns he will be there 4 or 5 striker, he can start on any team in the Premier League right now.  But it was only a matter of time before Robinho got hurt before he could make a huge impact on my fantasy team.

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