Darren Bent is one of my favourite Charlton strikers of the recent period, although clearly there are other candidates such as Andy Hunt ('he plays up front') and Sir Clive Mendonca. I was therefore pleased to read on Twitter that in an interview for Charlton Live to be broadcast at a later date Darren Bent said that the reason he did not sign for Crystal Palace in the summer was because of his Charlton connection.
There has been some grumbling at Fulham about Bent but he scored the winning goal against Stoke on Saturday, taking Fulham out of the relegation zone. I can't believe they will be there at the end of the season, although Martin Jol may have gone by then. Palace are clearly heading for the drop.
In their recent book The Numbers Game Chris Anderson and David Sally have a whole chapter headed 'They should have bought Darren Bent.' I think the book was largely written before Anderson came to London and started coming to The Valley occasionally.
They analyse strikers who produce key, match winning goals. They state: 'The real hero of the list is Darren Bent. Indeed, if Chelsea had analysed goals using our methodology, rather than a simple count of who had scored the most, perhaps they would have realised that the way to turn round their desperate league form in 2011 was not by splashing £50m on Torres, but by paying half that for Bent, the most consistent marginal points producer of each of the two seasons.'
They calculate that in 2009/10 he was responsible for 45.9 per cent of Sunderland's points and in 2010/11 he contributed to 31.5 per cent of the points for each of the teams he played for that year.
Bill Edgar's column in The Times yesterday notes that Darren Bent's strike partners over the years have included a namesake (Marcus Bent, of happy memory), an extension of his name (Christian Benteke at Aston Villa) and one with the same initials (Dimitar Berbatov at Spurs and now Fulham).