Aston Villa: Darren Bent Needs to Be Reinserted into Starting Lineup

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2012

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Darren Bent of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

After seven matches in the English Premier League season, Aston Villa are nearing crisis mode as they sit in 16th place in the table.

One of the problems facing the Villains is their inability to score goals.

The club have only scored six goals and they have benched their main goal scorer.

Darren Bent has been a proven goal scorer throughout his whole career in the EPL, with Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic, Spurs and Sunderland.

In the club's last two matches, Bent has been benched in favor of new signing Christian Benteke at the forward position in Paul Lambert's lineup.

In those two matches against West Brom and Tottenham, the only goal that Villa scored was scored by Bent, whose 80th minute goal against West Brom earned a draw.

Benteke has had plenty of chances to prove he can fill the shoes of the 28-year-old, but the young Belgian has been unable to finish wide open chances in both matches.

Against West Brom, Benteke looked like he did not belong on the pitch, as he played with no drive and was very lackadaisical before being replaced by Bent in the 68th minute.

The 21-year-old played a better match against Spurs, but he could not finish on the chances he had in his 66 minutes on the pitch before Bent replaced him again.

Bent has only scored two goals this season and Benteke has only scored one.

While the comparison can not be made by the numbers, the performance on the pitch of the two players and the experience of Bent should be good enough reason for Lambert to re-insert him into the starting lineup.

Bent will not only have an impact on the goal scoring issues at Villa Park, he will be a veteran presence in the lineup that the club do not have with Shay Given now on the bench, Richard Dunne out injured and Stiliyan Petrov still recovering from leukemia treatment.

The next three matches will be crucial for Lambert and company to succeed before they face a rough stretch of games.

In the next three matches, Villa play Fulham and Norwich in the EPL and Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup.

After that fairly easy trio of matches, the next four matches will be against Sunderland, both Manchester clubs and Arsenal.

If Villa want to succeed and avoid being stuck in the relegation zone going into that rough stretch of four matches, they will have to make their best effort on the pitch to win those games.

Included in making the best effort, is starting the most prolific goal scorer on their roster in Darren Bent, to ensure that goals are scored in those matches to secure wins.