BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Darren Bent (R) and manager Gerrard Houllier hold the shirt during a press conference to announce him signing for Aston Villa at Villa Park on January 18 2011 in Birmingham England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Sunderland are clearly struggling to cope with the loss of star striker Darren Bent, with Steve "I drop clubs in months" Bruce calling Bent a mercenary for leaving the Black Cats after two seasons, and now the club speaking out about Aston Villa's "wrongdoing" in their approach for Bent. Sunderland accused Villa of having approached Bent weeks ago, with Bruce stating that Bent has looked out-of-sorts at training, and suggesting his poor display on the pitch in recent weeks is due to his being focused on moving to Villa.
Aston Villa, for their part, released a statement denying an improper approach for Bent. The statement includes this amazing sentence:
"It is disappointing, however, that Sunderland should try to besmirch the reputation of the player and Aston Villa Football Club in the process."
"Besmirch" is defined as attacking the good name of someone, or as making dirty or soiling. While I appreciate the excellent use of a fun vocabulary word, it's not Aston Villa that needs to worry about their name being tarnished. The club may be sitting higher in the table right now, yet they feel the need to lash out at Aston Villa, who are fighting relegation. Perhaps Sunderland should accept the fact that they just got £18M+ dropped into their coffers, and concentrate on going out and finding some decent players with that money, not sit around moaning about the one that got away.