Houston, I think we have a problem. A striker problem. Or at least, according to Alex McLeish, Aston Villa has a striker problem. For those of you who made it past the first half of the Stoke match without passing out, chin to chest, snoring a bit, you'll know that Emile Heskey didn't return to play the second half. His Achilles is bugging him again. Those who weren't sleeping -- did the Villa actually miss Ivanhoe? Or were others able to take on his role of poor passes and missing goals from close range?And then there's Darren Bent. I remain unconvinced that having his groin healthy would have actually helped Villa on Monday. The team looked the best they've looked all season against Arsenal, and many thought they looked more than decent against Stoke. So here's a question: the lack of Bent -- is it really bad news?
Bent's injured and will possibly miss the match against Chelsea. Ivanhoe almost certainly will. In the next few days, we'll explore this further on the blog, talking about whether we think the lack of strikers at Villa truly is a problem. Stay tuned!