Coming off the bench for just 10 minutes of action in a huge local derby when your team needs a goal is not what a prospective England striker should be doing. Firing home a cool-headed finish to equalise for your team with just two minutes on the clock, however, is bound to catch the eye of Roy Hodgson.
As is the enigmatic status of Darren Bent, currently sat in purgatory with no idea where his career will turn next. At Villa, he has started every game but one, yet competition for places is fierce, after the arrival of Christian Benteke in the summer.
At international level, a freak ankle injury back in February ruined his chances of playing at Euro 2012 and ended his season as Villa slowly fell into a relegation scrap. It now seems Hodgson’s plans have moved on since then to accommodate a different type of striker, while Villa still need a talisman.
Bent has a lot to do to secure another England chance, and form at club level is all-important. Yet without a winning goal in the Premier League this season, his reputation as a match winner is fast depreciating. Thank goodness he scored at the weekend.
The Aston Villa marksman rocked West Brom’s travelling support last Sunday when he volleyed home the equaliser, earning manager, Paul Lambert, a crucial point and restoring some sort of pride against their Midlands rivals; his finish was composed and determined, a gift in front of goal that still needed converting.
Bent must build on this strike against Spurs, this weekend, and start netting regularly for Villa if he has any chance of convincing Hodgson to try him out for England again. At 28-years-old, Bent does not have time on his hands and must hit the back of the net for Villa before Christmas comes around.
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