Darren Bent was recalled to the Aston Villa first team against Fulham on Saturday, but could do nothing to help Villa avoid another defeat, with their 1-0 loss to Fulham meaning they have lost 5 of their opening 8 league fixtures this season.
The defeat left them 17th in the Premier League table as the season looks set to become another struggle against relegation for Aston Villa. So far Paul Lambert has failed to inspire the turnaround he was hoping for at the Midlands club, and was left frustrated following his sides loss at Craven Cottage on Saturday:
With the slow start to this season and the very poor end to last season, Villa have now won just one game in their last 18. They face Norwich at home in their next league, a game which already has become a must win for Paul Lambert as they then face tough trips away to Sunderland and Manchester City in November, and equally tough home fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester United. Having already faced two of the three promoted sides so far this campaign, suffering defeats away to both West Ham United and Southampton, Aston Villa know they will need to improve greatly if they are to match the big hitters of the league in both Manchester clubs and ever improving Arsenal if they are to achieve any kind of result.
Paul Lambert knows that at the moment he has the fans fully on his side as he continues his rebuild of Aston Villa. He has been in the game long enough though to also be well aware of the fact that football is a results business, and ultimately he will be solely judged on the results he achieves from now until the end of the season. If Aston Villa continue their very poor form, relegation looks set to be guaranteed which would be disaster for a club the size of Villa.
Darren Bent was brought back into the starting line up for the game against Fulham, and although he had little effect in the game, he may well yet provide the crucial difference as the season progresses. Despite his poor from for most of this season and the season previous, he is a very talented goal-scorer who knows how to finish moves off clinically, which is a rare commodity in today’s game. Paul Lambert must find a way to get the best out of Bent, and if he fails to achieve this by the January transfer window, he must seriously consider letting the striker go in order to continue his rebuild of the Villa squad. It will be a risky move by Lambert, but ultimately may prove to be the correct decision come the end of the campaign.
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