Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Redknapp:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Stuart Mcdermott on The thin blue line

"Jamie, superb article as always! I have to say that, as always, you're spot on. Arsenal have no momentum going into the last 5 games and i can't see them getting the results they ... " View all comments

Opinion Archive:

Christian hailed

'Benteke offers more than Bent, but Villa look short of quality'

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 27th October 2012 view comments

Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports that Christian Benteke fully warrants his place in Aston Villa's starting line-up.

The Belgian was once again preferred to Darren Bent in the Villans' first XI for the Saturday lunchtime clash with Norwich and rewarded manager Paul Lambert's faith by scoring his side's goal in the 1-1 draw.

Read our match report here

Redknapp believes the 21-year-old, signed by Villa from Genk during the summer, is a better all-round player than £24million man Bent, but says the striker could be playing in a struggling team for a good while yet.

"Benteke offers more to the team than Bent," said Redknapp. "Bent is an out-and-out goalscorer and plays on the shoulder, but Benteke works harder and is more of a presence.

"He did okay against Norwich and there were glimpses of quality - he is decent in the air - and he was their best performer, although Brett Holman was good at times.

"Ron Vlaar and Brad Guzan were outstanding at the back, though; Guzan, in particular, could see the whites of the Norwich strikers' eyes bearing down on him and he made some really good, brave saves."

Redknapp continued: "I have sympathy for the Villa fans as when I came here as a player and having watched them over the last five or six years, there was a star player who got you off your seat.

Pedestrian

"There isn't that player out there now, like Norwich had with Wes Hoolahan. Villa are a young and inexperienced side and are devoid of any real quality. This is a hard job for Paul Lambert."

Lambert took charge of Villa after a glittering spell at Norwich, during which time he guided the Canaries from League One to the Premier League, but Dwight Yorke believes the Scot has to instil more guile into his new charges if they are to climb the table.

However, the former Villa Park favourite was impressed by Norwich's display and, in particular, the performance of tricky midfielder Wes Hoolahan, who supplied the cross from which Michael Turner nodded in the Canaries' equaliser.

"Villa lacked excitement and their play was very pedestrian," said Yorke, about a side sitting just above the drop zone. "They are a big club with big ambition but it's no good having fantastic facilities if the team doesn't fit that bill.

"I really liked Hoolahan's first touch and left foot and he has got a low centre of gravity. He can see a pass, go past people and his decision making was spot on; he made everything he did look easy.

"Norwich are a good outfit; they showed quality and worked extremely hard and turned Villa over. They didn't get off to the best start this season, but you can see the changes that (manager) Chris Hughton is implementing and the players are buying into his ideas."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Paul Merson tips Sunday wins for Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool - but not Arsenal or Tottenham....

Phil Thompson

Ultimate #One2Eleven

Find out who did – and who didn't – make the Soccer Saturday experts' best-ever Premier League XI....

Latest News RSS feeds

Jose: Campaign against Chelsea

Jose Mourinho claimed "a clear campaign" against Chelsea is influencing referees after his side were held at Southampton.

Pardew no show after win

Alan Pardew did not speak to the press on the day he was backed to become the next Crystal Palace boss.

City denied by Burnley fightback

Manchester City threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.

Premier League round-up

Manchester City and Chelsea stumble as Arsenal move into fifth place with a thrilling derby win over West Ham.

Arsenal hold on at West Ham

Arsenal moved above West Ham in the Premier League after withstanding a strong fightback to win 2-1 at Upton Park.

Features

Premier League: Facts and figures from Sunday's games

Premier League: Facts and figures from Sunday's games

Arsenal’s midfielders provided the creativity and Burnley’s men gave us the hard graft on a tightly-fought afternoon of Premier League action.

Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey returns to Anfield to take on former club Liverpool on Monday Night Football

Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey returns to Anfield to take on former club Liverpool on Monday Night Football

Jonjo Shelvey returns to Anfield still looking to fulfil his huge potential, writes Adam Bate.

Premier League: Manchester United's limitations clear as their star forwards fail to find a finish at Tottenham

Premier League: Manchester United's limitations clear as their star forwards fail to find a finish at Tottenham

Manchester United limitations clear as they fail to find finish at Spurs, writes Sarah Winterburn...