Sorry Darren, sorry Aston Villa: it’s not a perfect world


To boo or not to boo. Pete Sixsmith climbs on to his Soapbox to explain why feelings may be running a little high when Mr Bent takes the field, and why he probably won’t join in any barracking …

See also: the Aston Villa fan preview – with the Villa-supporting head of the Methodist Conference

Do we boo him or not? It’s a question that has exercised some of the finest minds of this generation – Sobs, Peter Horan, Joan Dawson, M Salut, Russell Henderson, all of them the equivalent of Bertrand Russell, Freddie Ayer and Aristotle (who was a bugger for the bottle, I believe).

In a perfect world, we should give Bent a round of applause for the positive memories he left us with and then Wes Brown should proceed to tie him up and put him in his pocket until 4.50, whereupon we can make it clear what a poor move he made. And in a perfect world there would be no Simon Cowell, no George Osborne and no John Terry; so let’s think again.

He will get an enormous amount of stick from some (most) supporters. That is to be expected. He told us that he loved us, kissed our badge and basked in the glory and adulation that we showered on him.

But once Inch High Private Eye (aka Capello) told him that playing with Ghanaians, Scots and Lee Cattermole would not advance his international career, off he went – to Aston bloody Villa!!!!

Had he moved to Liverpool, Chelsea or someone near the top end, it would have hurt, but nowhere hear as badly. But to go to a club that had appointed a French manager, was struggling at the bottom end of the table and who had some of the whingeiest fans this side of the Pecos, was unforgivable.

He has spent this week trying to worm his way round Sunderland fans and saying that he had to do it for his international future. He has said how much he enjoyed the aforementioned adulation after a miserable spell at Spurs, where the manager laughed at him and the owner refused to sell him for less than what they considered the right fee.

How much better it would have been if he had said nothing and accepted that he was going to be reviled by 35,000 people. A real man would have said nowt and got on with what he was paid to do and not tried to grease up to those who once loved him but who now despise him for embodying much that is wrong in the modern game.

What will I do? I probably won’t boo him – too old and too far away from him , but I hope to be able to laugh at him as he falls on his backside in the penalty box and misses an absolute sitter in tha last minute with Sunderland 3-0 up.

I want to see him reduced to the anonymous figure that he can be, and now that those players that the wretchedly overpaid Capello suggested he played with have sloped off to Old Trafford and Anfield, it would be grand to see him on his own with no service while Nicolas Bendtner and Connor Wickham send the crowd into raptures.

Should that happen, M. Salut may be the next recipient of a piece of Sixsmith lip-smacking!!!

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

9 Responses to “Sorry Darren, sorry Aston Villa: it’s not a perfect world” Subscribe

  1. CSB October 28, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    A good read Mr Sixsmith, and adequately sums up the dichotomy that many fans will find themselves in on Saturday, do you remember the good times or just the way it ended.

    One point I would raise though, would be the nafarious conduct of one Capellow, which I feel has been rather underplayed in the whole Bent saga andraises bigger issues regarding what is acceptable behaviour form an England manager and the FA. When the rumours started to circulate regarding Capellow influence in the matter the FA, probably predictably, said nowt, not a sausage, bugger all. Had the ‘wisdom’ of Capellows advice been given to a Man Utd, City, Liverpool etc I wonder if we might have seen a stronger reaction of condemnation from the press and other Clubs.

    The silence was deafening as if there was tacit agreement in what Capellow was advising. Even with Capellows imminent, and desrved, departure it has left another murky area of what should be viewed as legitimate behaviour, afterall we do not want future England managers becoming yet another recruitment agent for the so called big clubs.

  2. Ian_SAfc October 28, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Sometimes booing can motivate some players.
    But, to quote Alan Shearer (sorry) , “fans don’t boo bad players.”
    If thats the case, why was Kevin Kilbane roundly booed at the SOL by our own fans?
    That’s a puzzler to me. Can anyone tell me what was behind that. I asked my Dad, and he said, “don’t really know, except that he plays better for Ireland than us, and we want him to live up to that standard.”
    Anyone?

  3. Exiled Villan October 28, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    As an Aston Villa fan living in Northumberland what I cannot understand is the outpouring of hatred that is no doubt going to come Darren Bents way on Saturday.
    Your board had a chioce and choose to cash in on him – ala Henderson (although I suggest Kenneth D was on some kind of mind warping loopy juice to spend a combined £55m on him and Carroll) yes Bent wanted a move – but again that says more about your boards ambitions for your club that you really didn;t put up a fight to retain him ! But alas as I’ve found living up here … its so much easier to hate the opposition than look at your own clubs failings !
    I mention ambitons and probably shouldn’t ! As my club there sum total of ambition is surviving in the premiership. its a case of what could have been at the Villa …. We’ve seen the likes of Milner Barry Young and Downing go to Bigger clubs … its galling in some ways but you get used to it in the end …
    Don’t hate Darren Bent Sunderland fans …. he was passing through Sunderland dring his career … just like he’s currently passing through my club at the moment.
    Good luck for the reat of the season (apart from tomorrow and the return fixture of course).

  4. CSB October 28, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Exiled Villan,

    You will always get a small section of the crowd who will give former players a hard time, it just the way it is. I even remember Super Kevin Phillips getting a rough ride from some morons who had forgotten what an excellent servant to the Club he had been.

    The point with Bent was that he had been agitating for pay rises and moves away prior to Villa’s interest, and this had been affecting his form to the extent that his body language on the pitch said it all. Sunderland saved him from limbo at Spurs and Bent’s actions were seen as being somewhat ungreatful.

    But thats modern football for you, the whole loyalty issue is confused and thats both players loyalty to the Club and the Clubs recprical loyalty to the player. Money talks and increasingly is all that can be heard now. Yes Sunderland gained in the sale and they did choose to sell, however its not a choice they wanted to have to make, but when a player makes up his mind he wants to go for what ever reason (Tevez springs to mind) then invairably you let them go for the good of the Club.

    Benitez took some flack for supposedly tapping Bent up, but as is usually the case the parasitic agent would be touting his client to all and sundry regardless of his current club.

  5. chatnoir_safc October 28, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    @Exiled Villan

    For most SAFC supporters, it isn’t *that* he left our club, but the *manner* in which he left our club that has raised hackles.

    Bent put in a transfer request the same day that we just barely scraped to a derby draw. He did not play particularly well that day, and it felt like a huge slap in the face to all supporters.

    We were unable to replace him immediately (not that there are too many 20-goals-a-season strikers out there wandering about just looking for a new club) and his absence started us on a downward spiral that saw us plummet from the European places to the wrong end of the table.

    Compare it to Martin O’Neill leaving Villa two summers ago. He did it in a way that left your club in a hellish predicament, and but for Bent, you likely would have been relegated (or in serious danger). And there are supporters amongst your ranks that boo Gareth Barry when he comes to town, still annoyed at the manner in which he left Villa.

    I’m afraid no supporter of any club can be morally superior about this issue– across the country someone’s getting booed every weekend. You personally may not be doing the booing (which is fine) but just like us SAFC supporters, you have to answer for both the good and the bad amongst your fanbase– when we wear our colours, we’re all painted with the same brush.

    Worth noting that this pre-season/season Sunderland supporters have given warm rounds of applause for Ross Wallace (Burnley), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Thomas Sorensen, Dean Whitehead, Kenwyne Jones, Rory Delap (all Stoke) and Martin Fulop (WBA). I wouldn’t dare speak for everyone, but I’m fairly confident in saying Anton Ferdinand (QPR) will be well-received by our support when we descend to Loftus Road in December.

    That said, I won’t be booing Bent (for various reasons), but I understand why it’s being done.

  6. Marty October 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I can’t see the point in booing Bent. He’s not the first and won’t be the last player to leave the club in his prime.

    Obviously I understand the frustrations others will have on this subject and no doubt they will be vocal this weekend. Let’s hope he doesn’t score a bag full of goals on the back of it.

    But as a general rule I think fans across the globe are entitled to boo as much as they like at games if they are not happy about something. It is the lot of a football fan to vent their spleen when circumstances dictate.

  7. Jeremy October 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I won’t be there but wouldn’t boo. Booing would indicate that you care about him. He counts for nothing now. As others have said he was a complete hypocrite and dropped us in it during the transfer window. Had he wanted to leave “for his England career” he could have done so during the summer. He left for money and the greedy want to fill their pockets at the first opportunity. Players like always move on; that’s life. They don’t all move on like he did. Darren Bent has loyalty to Darren Bent PLC only and nobody else. He’s a top goal scorer but in terms of quality and virtue, he’s plankton. I hope he has a stinker and gets taken off after an hour.

  8. Tony October 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I won’t be booing either, but because the game is on tv here I might be doing a bit of swearing.

  9. Snick October 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Don’t know if I’ll boo him but I do know that any such derision WILL affect him so, from a Sunderland perspective, he’s fair game. The Spurs fans really got to him two years back – he went on to miss two penalties and wandered around like a lost lamb (when we were playing really well). Bent’s confidence is fragile at the best of times – it’s common knowledge that he normally needs five chances to score each goal – and he’ll get some serious jip tomorrow if he so much as misplaces a pass.

    Would also like to endorse Pete Sixmith’s assertion that Capello’s insidious comments on leaving Bent out of the World Cup squad were an absolute disgrace and should have been reported/exposed more widely. What a cowardly way to deal with the non-selection. “Yeah, you scored 24 goals Darren but sorry, I’m taking Heskey cos you play for a crap side. Move clubs and I’ll take another look at you.” Remember, he nearly went to Fenerbache in August 2010 such was his desire to move on. The chants tomorrow will be about perceived greed but I suspect Capello had more to do with his desperation to get away.

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