Departure Lounge – Darren Bent
As a bit of light relief from the feeding frenzy/ bullshit that is the end of the transfer window, here’s the first in a short series of articles on the dearly departed from DCFC.
Since his arrival at the club Rowett has openly spoken about his desire to reduce the squad size (and associated wage bill). He did a bit in the summer but is really starting to get somewhere in this window. The Ramspace Departure lounge is absolutely open for business, so let’s welcome our first guest to the entrance to the exit, Mr Darren Ashley Bent.
Bent first came to the attention of Rams fans at the end of 2014 with a strong display up front on his own for Brighton at Pride Park (in the days we used to batter Brighton for a laugh every time we played them). At the time there was lots of talk about our reliance on CM9 and a Plan B and more than a few fans took note and thought “we could do with him”. Someone at the club obviously thought the same and he duly signed on loan for Derby in the following January along with Tom Ince and Jesse Lingard (as an aside, at different points that season Derby had Jack Butland, Michael Keane, Jordan Ibe, Tom Ince, Benty and Jesse Lingard – WTF!!!).
Its fair to say this first spell was an unbelievable personal success for DB, smashing 12 goals in 17 games. However, with a killer injury to Chris Martin and Mr Punch, Shots, Cyrus and the rest of the Insane Clown Posse shipping goals faster than DB and Ince were bagging them, the season collapsed around our ears.
When he was released by Villa the following summer it was no surprise when he signed for Derby on a permanent basis.
From that point Benty seemed to get stuck in a nearly man mode. Probably suffering like most players with the managerial merry go round and general mayhem at the club at the time. Never really first choice for anyone, he regularly popped up and scored goals but was constantly dogged by niggly injuries and, whilst his poaching class was never in doubt, a general consensus that he did little else grew louder. That said Derby fans always seemed to stick with him and he remained a popular player.
Had he left when his contract truly expired last season everyone I think would have marked his time at the club as successful, regardless of the cost. However, having activated his now infamous 1 year extension and being linked to Rush/Wasserman, whilst not to Ravanelli proportions, he’s been under a bit of a dark cloud since filed firmly in the category of (big) money down the drain. Regardless of his injury I don’t think GR would have used him much anyway and I am sure Stephen Pearce has been counting down the days on Bentys contract on the wall of his office for some time.
Having said all that, DB always comes across as a great guy, undoubtedly has a gift for goalscoring and certainly gave us some great moments. His goal at Wolves is the obvious one, but for me his best moment was his screamer at West Brom in the cup (1m 20secs in video below but its all good). Goal out of nowhere, not a DB goal at all and absolute limbs in the away end.
We wish him well at Burton and if he can bag some goals against our rivals I think all DCFC fans would be “feeling hot hot hot!”