Aston Villa took a big step yesterday in their hopes of rejuvenating their flagging season, by sacking head coach Paul Lambert. The former Celtic manager had presided over a woeful goal-scoring spell in recent weeks and after a ten game losing streak in the Premier League they find themselves in the Premier League's bottom three and staring relegation in the face.
The usual names are now doing the rounds regarding who will be brought in to replace him. Tim Sherwood, Michael Laudrup. It is almost like a random sacked Premier League manager generator in the bookies lists.
Regardless of whoever does finally get the role there is one universal act that should be taken immediately by whoever takes the role. Darren Bent must be recalled from his loan spell at Derby County.
Bent and Lambert never hit it off. In January Lambert said it was 'nothing personal' with Bent, the Daily Star reporting the Scottish manager as stating:
"I think Darren has got to be honest with himself. If you ask anyone here, or any of his team-mates, they'd tell you it's nothing personal.
"I never stood in his way to go to any other club. The only clubs that came in for him were Championship clubs."
Essentially the pair clashed, and Lambert simply appeared to not rate him.
|Position||Team||Goals||Total Scoring Att||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Darren Bent||FW||Aston Villa / Brighton / Derby||5||18||16||595|
|Gabriel Agbonlahor||FW||Aston Villa||3||31||23||1,876|
|Andreas Weimann||FW||Aston Villa||3||31||24||1,590|
|Christian Benteke||FW||Aston Villa||2||48||16||1,232|
But rate him or not there is one undeniable fact about Bent - he knows where the net is.
Here is a startling fact for you. Bent has played just 222 minutes of football for Derby during his loan spell and scored four goals. Compare that with the time it has taken Villa as a team to score their last four goals and the reason why Bent should be recalled becomes immediately obvious. Villa's last four goals have come spread across 972 minutes, a whole 750 minutes more than it has taken Bent to score the same amount on his own.
When you hear that, it is hard not to believe Bent's recall should be the first thing the next Aston Villa boss does.