Aston Villa news

Bent 'starstruck' by Pires and Houllier

February 3, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Despite being Aston Villa's club-record signing, Darren Bent has revealed he was starstruck when he first met former Arsenal star Robert Pires at Villa Park.

Darren Bent has enjoyed a scoring start
PA PhotosDarren Bent has enjoyed a scoring start

• Blog: A turning point for Houllier

Bent, who arrived in a £24 million deal from Sunderland in January, has already made his mark at Villa - netting two goals in three games, including a winner against Manchester City.

But the England striker and boyhood Arsenal fan says he was humbled when he first bumped into ex-Gunner Pires, who signed for Villa on a short-term contract in November.

"When I first walked into the changing room and I met Pires I was a bit star-struck to be honest!" Bent said. "He has been a top, top player for many years and to play with one of the Arsenal Invincibles is fantastic."

Bent, 26, has also been hugely impressed with Villa boss Gerard Houllier since moving to the Midlands from Wearside and the former Spurs and Charlton striker says it is an honour to play under the Frenchman.

"I've been lucky to play under some great managers but to play for someone like Gerard Houllier, with everything he has achieved, is incredible," Bent said. "He is a lot more technical than other bosses and knows the game really, really well."

Bent also confirmed that he will soon be returning to the world of Twitter, having abandoned his account following his move to Villa after it was inundated with angry posts - including death threats - from Sunderland fans.

He has changed his account name from @DBTT11 to @DBTT39 and promised: "I'll be back on Twitter soon. I felt it was best I kept off there for a little while but don't worry - I'll be back."