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Oct 1, 2012

Lambert facing Bent dilemma

Paul Lambert is facing the first controversial situation of his short career as Aston Villa manager regarding the future of Darren Bent.

• Blog: Bent makes his point

Despite insisting there is "no problem" between himself and Bent, following his decision to omit the striker from his starting line-up in the 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion, Lambert appears to have a disenchanted player on his hands

Bent, who was stripped of the captaincy two weeks ago, was not introduced until the 80th minute at Villa Park, just 24 hours after Lambert's claim of not being afraid to leave out the £24 million signing from Sunderland.

The Scot has claimed that Bent, who was the scorer of Villa's leveller against the Baggies on Sunday, is "totally fine" at being left out of the side, four days before Roy Hodgson names his squad for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

"He was great. There was no problem. I just named the team and he was fine. I spoke to him in the dressing room as well. He was totally fine, totally, no problem, none," said Lambert.

"I need everyone, it's a collective thing. I never look at individuals. The goal was brilliant, it was a world-class finish. Everyone is as important as anyone else. I explained why I did the captaincy thing, it was to do what he did, to score.

"Darren has nothing to prove to me. I know what he can do and the goal scoring record he has, but as I have said before, I need everybody at the football club."

Bent, however, has said: "It's been a difficult couple of weeks, losing the captaincy first off and then finding out I wasn't playing."

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