Often Partisan

Marcus Bent

Football is a funny old business – one minute, two clubs are fighting over your signature; the next you’re so far out of the team picture you can score four goals in a reserve team game and still not have a cat in hell’s chance of even sitting on the bench.

Step forward Marcus Bent.

When we signed Marcus Bent post relegation in 2008, we fought off the Bluebirds of Cardiff for his signature, and stumped up over a million quid to Charlton Athletic for the privilege. That season yielded just 3 goals for Marcus; one apiece in the 3-2 away win against Swansea, one in the 3-2 home win over Watford, one in the 2-0 home win over Forest.

Three measly goals in 33 appearances, of which 17 were from the bench. For a striker who cost us a million plus, this is a bloody poor return – almost Bosko Balaban-esque. There were a lot of criticisms levelled at Marcus; he was slow, ungainly and didn’t seem to offer us much at all barring being a lump up front who we could lump it up too. Evidently Mcleish wasn’t happy with his performances either, because he was packed off on loan twice last season; scoring a grand total of zero goals in ten league appearances for Middlesbrough and QPR – and then ignominy of ignominy, he was left behind with the kids whilst the rest of the first team went off to the People’s Republic of China.

What is even scarier is that Bent has another year on his contract – on no doubt a decent whack. As far as we know, he works hard in training – and evidently he’s putting in the effort in the reserve games right now because he’s got six goals in his last two games – even if they were against Harrow Borough and Southampton’s kids.

The rumour is now Marcus Bent is wanted by Ian Holloway up at Bloomfield Road; whilst he’s not got much money to spend on players he can probably offer Bent game time – and at Premiership level, too. Thirteen different clubs in a fifteen year career points to a rather nomadic career for Marcus, and I suspect a fourteenth won’t make a difference to him whatsoever. At the age of 32, Bent is at a point where his career will surely start to go downhill, and one last hurrah in the Premiership has to be a good deal for him.

As much as I shouldn’t, I do feel a wee bit sorry for the guy – it can’t be great being locked in the Jamie Clapham Memorial Cupboard, only being released to play the odd game against kids and trialists however much money you are on, and I hope for his sake he gets the move. No doubt when we’re down to one fit striker and we’re contemplating playing Liam Ridgewell up front with Michel, in a bizarre homage to the Purse/Hughes combination of the early noughties, we’ll miss Marcus – even if it’s as a lump to aim a hoof at.

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