Does Paul Lambert have the full backing of Aston Villa fans?

Darren Bent

Paul Lambert has created controversy by leaving record signing Darren Bent out of recent Aston Villa squads. How are fans reacting?

There is no surprise that Paul Lambert's post-gam press conference after the Reading win was overshadowed by questions over Darren Bent.

To the outsider, it is bemusing that Bent, who started the season as captain and is Villa's record signing cannot even get a place on the bench when fully fit.

Only Lambert and Bent know what has gone on behind the scenes, but in his press conference the manager was increasingly tetchy on the subject; the full question and answer session including 22 questions on the player can be read here.

So we decided to take an in-no-way scientific look at what supporters are saying on twitter about the situation, to take a snapshot view about what they think of their manager's stance, below are the results:

@astvil123: Lambert: "Give me time." Paul, I and many other #AVFC fans will give you as much time as you need. We're thrilled to have you at the club.

@richardyallop: He picks who he wants, he picks who he wants, Lambert's the manager, he picks who he wants #AVFC

@mt_jim: On Bent, I'm glad Lambert picks the team and not the national media that all of a sudden love Bent. #avfc

@villa_robbie: who ever lambert picks it his descion shouldent have to answer anyone#avfc

@bedworth05: Paul Lambert needs to meet Bent somewhere in the middle goals win games and we don't score enough, and Bent would change that #fact#avfc

@riotbananas: Our best forward has been forgotten about since Lambert took over. We'll lose him for good soon. #AVFC

@richywatson85: So yeah I've decided I'm not a fan of lambert. His " I'm the boss" theory just goes too far. Killing villa killing bent #avfc

So as shown above, it's fairly split, even if as stated its just a microcosm of Villa's large support. Fans are split into two camps, those fully behind Lambert and backing his plans for the team, and those who are sceptical about the Bent situation.

It's perfectly natural, Bent is a reliable goalscorer, but he hasn't performed when given the chance this season, and Christian Benteke has outshone him and deserves his start, yet the former's reliable record suggests he is more than capable of being an asset to the team.

And then there is the rumour Bent is not being played because Lambert wants to save money based on an appearance bonus. Bent cost £18 million but it is claimed the fee could rise to £23 or 24 million if he plays 50 games. So far he has played 47. It was an issue raised by Richard Keys yesterday, however the club have made no comment on the reports.

 

Could it be that Lambert wants the money to spend in January? Are things that tight at Villa? It wouldn't appear so after Randy Lerner banked a mini-fortune with his sale of the Cleveland Browns, but only he and Lambert know how much the American is willing to invest.

However the flip side is that by Villa not playing him, they are driving down his price tag and the money they may get from a potential sale, which isn't wise and sort of negates the above.

So the theories will go on, and so will the questioning. Lambert just needs to know that so long as he can get Villa winning regularly as they did last night, he'll keep the doubters at bay. It's clearly a controversial issue, and it appears he does not have the backing of all the fans, but for now its probably safe to say the majority are behind him, so long as the results are there.

How do you feel about the Bent situation? Are you backing Lambert?

image: © wonker

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch