To be fair, we all know it too. He might be able to play for 30 minutes, but that’s about it. Marvelous Nakamba stepped in to fill his boots after an hour against Spurs, and his performance very nearly lived up to his name.
But we are not professional football players, so no one’s asking our opinion. Apparently Football Insider asked Darren’s, though. Bent stated:
Drinkwater, he is nowhere near the pace at the minute. This is why the managers earn some of the big bucks. I understand [Dean Smith] wants to get Drinkwater up to speed but not at the expense of the team . . . [I]t’s going to get to a point where the manager’s going to go: ‘Do I keep persisting with him until he gets fit or do I take him out and put someone else in there?’
Will Dean Smith finally listen? Or is he as decent of a manager as we all hope, and already used his eyes to see what was clearly in front of him at Spurs: Drinkwater was gassed by the half-hour mark?
Bent, however, is one to talk. Villa spent a record-breaking amount to bring him in in January 2011, and his nine goals in fifteen appearances made sure they stayed safe. Yet he scored the same number in 22 appearances the next season, and only 3 in 16 in 2012–13. He was sent off to Fulham on loan, where he did pretty much nothing to help them avoid relegation (three goals? Really?) and when he came back the next season, Villa realized he’d be useless in helping them stay up, and sent him back off on loan. Oh, and remember the shopping incident? In which he was sent home due to injury, but then decided to indulge in a little retail therapy, while Villa were losing to Liverpool?
While it seems like glass houses and stones, and pots and kettles, we suppose Darren does know what he’s talking about. He understands what it feels like when a manager doesn’t want to put him on the pitch, and he gets how difficult it is to come back from serious injury.
So if Dean Smith somehow missed how un-Marvelous Danny Drinkwater’s performance was against Tottenham, maybe Darren Bent’s words will penetrate his skull and a change will finally be made.