Paul Lambert explains his captaincy thinking

Aston Villa striker Darren BentAston Villa manager Paul Lambert says he stripped Darren Bent of the captain’s armband because he wants the striker to concentrate on scoring goals.

Lambert has rung the changes at Villa Park since succeeding Alex McLeish at the helm over the summer, reshuffling the first team and bringing in eight new signings. One of those newcomers, former Feyenoord centre-back Ron Vlaar, has been named as skipper in place of Bent and contributed what the manager described as a “colossal” performance in Saturday’s 2-0 win over in-form Swansea.

Bent is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League this season and Lambert believes relieving him of his captaincy duties will help him rediscover his scoring touch. He told Sky Sports:

“I just wanted to give Darren a break, I just wanted him to concentrate on scoring goals. I think Darren at Newcastle the other week and against Swansea was excellent. He is playing well, but I thought I would change it and let him just concentrate on scoring goals.”

New captain Vlaar has impressed so far, with Lambert continuing:

“Vlaar was amazing, I thought he was colossal. He’s not a young kid, he’s not 21, he has been at a huge football club himself and is a top player.”