Darren Bent and Kasabian demonstrate when the manager should take all the blame

This is not an attempt to absolve anyone of any blame for the unacceptable performance at White Hart Lane last night, but it’s become painfully obvious to me in the last 18 months or so that in the fans’ eyes it’s players that win games… and managers that lose them.

Let me give you an example:

Towards the end of last season, in what would be Gerard Houllier’s final game on the sidelines, we took on the hapless West Ham at Upton

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Video: Darren Bent’s Twitter Q&A, plus McLeish on Gabby’s hammy trouble

Darren Bent recently took part in a Q&A on Twitter whilst on England duty, here’s a glimpse behind the scenes. Perhaps a little on the whimsical side, I was still surprised by his answer when asked who is the fastest player he’s seen on the football pitch. (It’s not Gabby)

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In related news, I’m sure you’re already aware, but Gabby was forced to withdraw from the England squad once again with a

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Herd wins the plaudits, and a growing list of minor injuries

Chris Herd’s performances have rightly earned him quite a few headlines in the last couple of weeks. Initially for the wrong reason, but lately for the right ones.

Alex McLeish has said that he’s “a manager’s dream; the best trainer at the club”.

He will train the way he plays on Saturday by giving it absolutely everything. Herdy can improve technically if he keeps practising. There is no doubt in my mind that he has the desire.

Peter Grant has also talked about

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Video: Bent, N’Zogbia, Clark and Gardner battle it out on FIFA 12

The players are Darren Bent, Charles N’Zogbia, Ciaran Clark and Gary Gardner. The fella with the hair and the mic is Lukey Moore from the Football Ramble (no relation to the lazy former Villa striker). The competition is IGN FIFA 12 pro player tournament. The venue is Bodymoor Heath.

The winner is…

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The Darren Bent Ton Up Challenge

Darren Bent’s brace against Norwich on Saturday took his Premier League career goal tally to 96, he’s just four short of joining the Ton Up Club.

It’s a pretty exclusive club with former Villans Dwight Yorke and Dion Dublin, plus current Villan Emile Heskey, among its 20 members.

Bent’s definitely got his eye on getting past the doorman, he told the official site:

I’ve still got a few things I’d like to achieve, like 100 Premier League goals. I’m only four off it.

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Highlights: Aston Villa 3 Norwich 2

Two goals for Darren Bent, both set up by Gabby Agbonlahor who also helped himself to a goal and a deserved Man of the Match award. Those goals were bookended by goals from Anthony Pilkington and Steve Morison for Norwich in an entertaining encounter at Villa Park.

Both strikers now have five goals apiece so far this season and should be expecting a call from Fabio Capello ahead of England’s upcoming games against Spain and Sweden.

Aston Villa 3 Norwich 2: Bent scores twice, MotM Gabby two assists and a goal himself

A much improved performance from Villa in a lively game led to a vital three points at home thanks to two goals from Darren Bent, and a goal for the provider of both those goals; man of the match Gabby Agbonlahor. Goals from Anthony Pilkington and Steve Morison bookended the home goals, and set up a nervous final ten minutes.

Norwich opened the scoring, slightly against the run of play at the time, thanks to a superbly hit free kick from

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Menor que un club

Not everyone enjoys watching Barcelona play football these days, some find them incredibly boring, but I happen to be among the group who gets a lot of pleasure from watching them play.

I’m reluctant to hold them up as an example of what other teams should be doing – least of all Aston Villa – as they have players from another planet in terms of ability. Often, if you try to replicate Barcelona without the same quality players, you’ll fail miserably

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Getting back to business: A brief Euro 2012 round up from Villa’s perspective

The qualification for Euro 2012 is almost done. England will be in Poland and/or Ukraine next summer after comfortably finishing top of Group G, albeit by handing Motenegro an unlikely point and a place in the play-offs in the final game. Ireland also made it to the play-offs, and could be drawn against Montenegro, but Wales and Scotland miss out once again.

England: Ashley Young provided a rare headed finish to an even rarer superb delivery from Theo Walcott. Young then

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