Has Harry Redknapp managed to unearth the Darren Bent we all saw score so frequently at Charlton Athletic?
Five goals in the last two games may have confirmed that. His stunning hat trick against Dinamo Zagreb in the Uefa Cup was one of pure goal scoring pedigree. He was able to justify himself as a worthy £16.5 million pound man by scoring with three top-notch finishes. Plus, a useful brace against super rich Manchester City, condemning them to a 2-1 defeat, placed a reminder to those critics and pundits who was against him – that Darren Bent is back and firing on all cylinders.
His time at Tottenham Hotspur so far, has been somewhat subdued but under the famous ‘Arry he is lavishing playing decent football once again.
Before Bent was completely overshadowed by fellow strikers Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane, and Jermaine Defoe and their moves to Manchester United, Liverpool, and Portsmouth respectively materialised to find him the only one left. Now Bent finds himself pinnacle in the set up and with that his confidence starting to soar.
He stood up and answered what was asked of him. He scored 11 goals so far this season, and from his pre-season exploits this should not come as much surprise.
With Tottenham as a team playing awful and having their worst start ever to a League season, Bent faded. Juande Ramos seemed to pay little faith in him, he often found himself on the bench looking wary.
Redknapp came ruthlessly in, changed the team fortunes, and played Bent up front with Luka Modric supporting. With that, the goals have been pouring in. The ex-Portsmouth manager must have the expertise in dealing with players like Bent. Whether it is putting an arm around his shoulder or a kicking him up the backside, Redknapp must be doing something right.
New Russian signing Roman Paulyuchenko have found himself playing sparingly as Bent has been given the starting berth and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Fabio Capello must be encouraged to see a gifted natural goal scorer finding his feet once again. Whilst Capello feeling his attacking options for England remain rather limited, Bent recent performances have certainly been eye catching and provided the England manager with something to think about.
His goal against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium showed his eye for goal, he pounced on a ball that Manuel Almunia had spilt and finished it superbly. He was on the ball like a flash and he reacted faster than any of the poor Arsenal defence did.
Bent has the ability to frighten any defender; his strength and pace is an asset to any team. Like many other strikers his form resembles his confidence. When he has it, he looks unerring but without it, he looks like Humpty Dumpty.
Surely, the Redknapp factor cannot play that much of a difference; the then, manger of Charlton Alan Pardew managed to get Bent’s confidence roaring, even though his goals did not managed to keep the Addicks safe.
At Charlton, he did not have the quality players around him like; he does in a Spurs shirt. Players like David Bentley, Luka Modric, Aaron Lennon, and Gareth Bale all supplying him with great opportunities and genuine goal scoring threats.
Bent would be undoubtedly be grateful, as Tottenham’s revival looks very much in action and he will need to continue this scoring streak if he is too fire his team up the table.