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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Villa’s Stock Falling Can Bent Produce A Rally?

Written by on January 21, 2011 | 11 Comments »
Posted in Aston Villa, Manchester City

It is perhaps an indicator of how poor Aston Villa’s season has been that their 4-0 loss to Manchester City was not their worst defeat of the season……. so far. The low point remains the 6-0 thrashing handed out by Newcastle at St. James’ Park in the second match of the season.

But no matter the score line both performances were quite abysmal and although Villa have to wait until April to face Newcastle again they get another crack at a Manchester City side that seems to be building momentum as the last third of the season draws near.

A visual Villa’s weekly league position mimics that of a troubled company’s stock price – decline interrupted by a brief and tepid rally followed by further decline to a new low.

This week Villa decided to take decisive action and that meant spending money that was not made available in August to Martin O’Neill – hence his resignation.

No doubt the money was not there in August because the owners did not believe there was a need to spend – now with relegation a real threat the money has been found (borrowed really).

The price of relegation far exceeds the cost (initial fee of $30.5M rising to potentially $38.4M) of bringing Darren Bent a proven Premier League goal scorer to Villa Park.

Since August 2005 when he signed for Charlton, Darren Bent has scored 81 Premier League  goals while Didier Drogba has 83 and Wayne Rooney 82.

The games started and substitute appearances are also relatively close; Bent 160 starts and 31 as a substitute; Drogba 157 starts and 35 as a sub; Rooney 159 starts and 13 as a sub. Not bad company to keep.

Gaining rapidly on that elite group of goal scorers is City’s Carlos Tevez. The contribution of Tevez to the City cause has been enormous with 37 Premier League goals for City in just 52 starts.

He now has 63 Premier League goals in 120 starts and 24 substitute appearances that also encompass time with West Ham and Manchester United.

Carlos Tevez
Anyone remember how easily Tevez fitted into the West Ham line up and saved them from relegation? Well the second piece is pretty much true in that he did have a significant impact and was inspirational –  but not the first. In his final ten games for West Ham Tevez scored seven goals although only four could be considered game changers.

Before he scored his first Premier League goal in a 4-3 loss to Spurs Tevez failed to score in 16 games. What’s more he was relegated to the West Ham bench (and remember this was a team in deep relegation trouble) on four occasions and did not even set foot on the park.

Stat Facts

Running on empty – Aston Villa’s defensive record is one of the worst in the Premier League having conceded 39 goals; only West Brom and West Ham have allowed more, 41. A third (13) of the goals allowed by Aston Villa have come in the final 15 minutes of play and no other Premier League side have conceded so many.

What difference does a year make? – Manchester City are only 4 points better off than after 23 games last season while Aston Villa are 15 points worse off after 22 games.

Falling foul – Manchester City have the worst disciplinary record of any Premier league side with 47 yellow cards and 5 reds so far.

Media Watch

It has been interesting to see how many journalists and bloggers have been happy to compare apples to oranges when commenting on the Darren Bent transfer.

As far as I can make out (using a consistent exchange rate of £1 = $1.60US) the transfer fees involving Bent over the last few years have been as follows:

Tottenham paid Charlton $26.4M

Sunderland paid Tottenham $16M rising to a possible $26M

So if comparisons are to be made then they should be made the base fees for both or the fees with add ons for both. To write that Sunderland bought Bent for $16M and sold him for $38M is over egging the cake.

11 responses to “Villa’s Stock Falling Can Bent Produce A Rally?”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Still with the Bent? lol

    All I know is, I would rather have 30-34 yr old Ruud van Nistleroj for less than 10M than a 26 yr old Bent for 24M, especially if my season depended on it!


  2. Boris says:


    I am curious to read about your take on Tottenham’s Steven Pienaar signing. No doubt that he has quality but how can he fit into this team? Is he to be a squad player? He is not going tobe happy not starting but who is he going to displace? I just don’t see it.

    Thank you


  3. Soccerlogical – In some worlds all you have to do is think it and it will happen.

  4. Boris

    Maybe an option of Bale to move to left back and Pienaar to play the left side midfield position. Pienaar isn’t cup tied in Europe so that means he is available for Champions League. Does not look good for Kranjcar though.

  5. Pep 5 Jose 0 says:

    Bale moving to left back?? More chance of a snowball surviving in hell than that. Bale has been scoring goals and roasting right backs (such as the supposed best right back in the world, Maicon) ever since he made the move to left midfield. Putting Bale back to left back would be to repress the Welshman’s vast talent and the fastest way to get him to want out of White Hart Lane. Plus, the current left back (the French lad) is playing fine. Bale is scoring goals from left MF. I don’t know of any regular scoring fullbacks anywhere on the planet.

    It is far more likely that Pienaar provides cover. I can only see him coming in as a sub and therefore not starting in any significant game (unless the team suffers injuries). He also is very valuable in a rotation system due to his quality and versatility.

    It is far more likely that Pin

  6. Boris says:

    Assou-Ekotto is from Cameroon. I personally don’t think he is a good back and Tottenham would do great to find a solid replacement.

    Bobby, it is worth trying what you have mentioned but the drawback is that Bale is not the best of defenders.
    Either way, bad news Kranjcar. He is gone by the end of the year if not sooner.

  7. Pep 5 Jose 0 says:


    Bale is a nightmare for the opposition as a left winger. I think the rest of the league would love to see him as a left back and as far away from the opposition’s net as possible. I know as an Arsenal fan I would love to see him as a LB.

    Your squad is better off with the French speaking Cameroonian as LB and Bale as a left winger than Bale and Pienaar on that side. Unless, Pienaar can play left back. If Bale is a poor defender, why would you play him as a LB?

  8. Reggae Gunner says:

    This is good business by Aston Villa, with all the support he has at the club with Young and Downing providing the support Bent will flourish not to say he was not at Sunderland

  9. Reggae Gunner says:

    If Spurs can sign Taïwo and a decent prolific striker such as Fabiano Spurs will be in good hands

  10. Pep 5 Jose 0 says:

    Bobby & Boris,

    So much for that snowball, eh?. Anyway, in the snowball’s defence, I would say that the Spurs dropped two points and were very close to dropping three. There’s a Frenchman in Northern London and a Scotsman with a very red nose (Rudolph-esque red; is his liver in his nose?) in Manchester who very much like the idea of Bale @ LB & Pienaar @ LM. Not to mention a rather defensively challenged Brasilian RB in Milan who applauds the brilliant team selection. What’s next Mr. Redsnapper? Bringing Beckham in at RM in place of Lennon?

  11. Pep 5 Jose 0 says:

    Bent is already paying dividends on that premium. I don’t think Soccerlogical will bother you about it this week, at least, Bobby.

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