Villa the Busiest and Best Team in the Transfer Window?

February 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

There are so many ways to look at the recent ridiculous dealings in the transfer window it is hard to decide on who comes out best but surely Villa, having been the busiest team with 4 incomings and 4 outgoings, are up there. In January Gerard Houllier managed to sign a young right-back, already being tipped for a senior England call-up, two vastly experienced international midfielders with age still on their side, and one of the league’s most proven goalscorers of the last decade. Well done Gerard! The potential £24m price tag for Darren Bent seemed a little ludicrous but in the context of what went on yesterday we could get done for robbery! Jean Makoun was cheaper than first thought it seems with Gerard Houllier stating that he folked out just £5m for the Cameroonian. Michael Bradley joined on loan yesterday and is highly rated in his native America having played 50 senior international caps at just 23. He joined on loan along with Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker, whose first 3 games have given much encouragement to the Villa fans, not least due to a fantastic solo effort on his debut. Add to these signings the significant wage bill slashing due to departures of the out-of-favour Carew, Sidwell, Davies and Ireland and Gerard Houllier will be sitting far prettier on his Villa perch! So how do you rate Villa’s transfer dealings this summer against our Premier League rivals? Has Houllier turned you round? To read my full round-up of why Villa can consider themselves well-off this February click here

Agbonlahor Set to Suffer from Bent Buy?

January 24, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Hot topic debates 

Gabby Agbonlahor has had a disappointing campaign for Villa this term in a season which began with injury and a lengthy lay-off with a groin injury. Despite returning to fitness the striker has failed to score in the Premier League this season in over 1000 minutes of action. The 24-year-old did net one in the Europa Cup Qualifying Round and another to extend on a decent record against Birmingham in the League Cup but has struggled in front of goal all season. His lack of goals has led Houllier to look to alternative options for the rapid frontman who has recently been moved onto the left wing. Martin O’Neill adopted a similar strategy upon joining the club, deploying Agbonlahor in a wide right position to decent effect. Agbonlahor has clearly worked on his delivery and his crossing has improved. His pace is an obvious asset for any winger but he lacks the flair of Albrighton or Young, adopting a more gun-ho approach. With the club having recently completed the record signing of Darren Bent, could Agbonlahor’s chances become limited without goals in his locker. Houllier is a huge fan of Emile Heskey who has been in outstanding goalscoring form compared to his usual self. Heskey has scored a goal every 150 minutes in all competitions with a record far superior to that of Agbonlahor. With Carew already forced out by the marquee signing of Bent I feel that Gabby may have to settle for a place on the bench soon if his form doesn’t pick up. If he were to play on the wing he still isn’t hitting the same sort of form of Albrighton and Downing so I feel he may miss out against Wigan with the arrival of Makoun and return of Heskey further increasing competition for places. I would have to say that a partnership of Bent to play off Heskey, a man who has benefited the likes of Rooney and Owen in games for England and Liverpool respectively, would be a more profitable one than that of Bent and Agbonlahor, which would no doubt offer one of the quickest strike forces in the league but could be somewhat one-dimensional. Who do you think should be the starting strike partnership? Do you feel that the current system of a lone striker should stay in place, further limiting the chances of the likes of Agbnonlahor?

Where’s Carew Going? Stoke Apparently! Medical Passed

January 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Specualtion has been rife surrounding the future of John Carew at Aston Villa but it now seems the former favourite may have played his last game for the club against the Blues last weekend. Since the 1-1 draw Villa have signed Darren Bent, a move which many believe will signal the end for the Norwegian under Gerard Houllier. The pair fell out over some pretty innocent comments regarding Carew’s expiring contract, which the striker took offence to. Since then Carew has failed to feature from the start, other than Sunday’s recall through injury and then a series of other ‘injuries’. Either way his heart doesn’t look in it anymore and it looks like he may be on his way with a loan move looking likely, with a view to what would be a free transfer come the end of the season. West Brom were thought to be favourites up until yesterday after holding a long term interest but it appears that Stoke may well have jumped ahead of the Baggies in the queue. Sunderland were also linked with a cheeky bid after Villa poached prize asset Darren Bent although this seems least likely. Despite Roberto Di Matteo’s admitted interest, it appears that Tony Pulis were willing to offer the club and player a more rewarding financial package. If Stoke were to get their man, who they have stated is a “a quality player and someone we would be interested in” then it has been touted to pave the way for a move to Sunderland for Ricardo Fuller, to replace Bent. Carew has now passed a medical at the Britannia Stadium and is expected to sign on loan until the end of the season, ahead of the weekend’s games. Confusing merry-go-round stuff!

Darren Bent Official Press Conference Quotes

January 18, 2011 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Transfer News 

After signing for an initial fee of £18m, Darren Bent was unveiled as Villa’s record signing at 7pm in a press conference at Villa Park. Here are some of the key things that the striker has had to say about his new club along with manager Gerard Houllier’s opinions upon getting his man, who incidentally will wear the number 39 shirt until the end of the season; Read Here

The Most Comprehensive Darren Bent Scoring Record on the Web!

January 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

To date Darren Bent has scored 81 Premier League goals in 186 appearances at a rate of 1 every other games (178 minutes). His record in cup competitions is equally impressive having scored 3 in 7 in the FA Cup (1 every 183 minutes), 4 in 6 in the League Cup (every 103 minutes) and 6 in 14 in the UEFA Cup (every 160 minutes).

CHARLTON ATHLETIC

In his first full season in the Premier League with Charlton having signed from Ipswich for £2.5m, he scored 18 goals in 36 games, the third most in the league behind Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy at just 21. His goals to minutes ratio was 1 in 176, just under 1 in 2. In his second season at the club he finished 6th in the Premier League scoring charts with 13 goals in 32 appearances despite the club being relegated. In 72 games in total for the club he scored 33 times at an average of 1 every 194 minutes.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

His excellent record was enough to win him a £16.5m move to Tottenham after turning down the chance to join West Ham. His first season at Tottenham was his least prolific, having to make the most of coming off the bench for much of the season, behind the likes of Berbatov and Keane. In his 6 seasons in the Premier League, Darren Bent has been outside the top 10 goalscoring charts just once, in 2007/08 and his first season for Tottenham. This was mainly due getting limited chances to start at White Hart Lane and he still netted every 193 minutes, just over 1 in 2, with 6 goals in just 11 starts having only played four full games all season. In the 2008/09 season he was Spurs’ top scorer following the departure of Dimitar Berbatov and finished 7th in the Premier League top scorers list with 12 goals in 33 appearances, only 21 of which were starts. The club went on to freeze Bent out of the squad, signing Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe from Portsmouth. Despite his goals record having dropped he netted 25 goals in 78 games for Tottenham at a rate of 1 every 179 minutes (2 games), better than his rate at Charlton

SUNDERLAND

A £10m move to Steve Bruce’s Sunderland in 2009 was to be the revival of the 26-year-old’s career. He scored a massive 24 goals in 38 games having played all but 30 minutes of the Premier League, topped only by outstanding seasons for Dider Drogba and Wayne Rooney. His goals to minutes ratio was the best of his career with 1 every 141 minutes, just over 1 and a half matches! His fantastic achievement earned him a place in England’s provisional 30 man World Cup squad though he was not chosen for the final 23, Capello = mug! He scored a brace on four occasions and netted a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Bolton. This campaign, after a slight lull of late, Bent remains in 10th position in the scoring charts with 8 league goals in 19 games. He has also scored 4 in 4 in the rest of his appearances this season. His record for the Black Cats is well below 1 in 2 having scored 36 goals in 62 games at a ratio of 1 every 152 minutes!

ENGLAND

The international scene is the only step up that Bent has struggled to make. At Under-21 level he scored an impressive 8 goals in 14 games though the move to the senior squad was more difficult. Bent did however, score his first international goal in September last year, coming on as a sub in the 3-1 win over Switzerland.

ASTON VILLA???!!!