SMITH ON SOCCER - Same name but different motivation...

WE'RE Bent double this week.

Not with pain but with two strikers bearing the same name but with very different agendas.

Marcus Bent, formerly of this parish, returns to Bramall Lane desperate to find the form he showed last time around when he scored 20 goals in 48 appearances.

Since he left Neil Warnock's United in 2000 he's been to ten other clubs as a transfer or on loan but never quite found the strike rate he had at The Lane and has wandered the length and breadth of the country playing in the top two divisions searching for the edge he showed as a youngster.

He was quiet and shy back then and seemed like a really nice kid.

Over the years the strikers' curse of lack of confidence seems to have been a problem for him on the field.

Then there's the other Bent.

Darren, transferred this week for 18 million-plus from Sunderland to Aston Villa.

His fellow striker Kevin Phillips said he was only moving: 'For the money'.

Without being cynical it's sometimes hard to see what players actually want from the game - apart from money.

There's Darren Bent playing in a team that's sixth in the Premier League and going places under a top young manager, on around 80,000 a week and worshipped by 40,000 Mackems every time he pulls on the shirt.

He may think he's going to a historically bigger club and he may be right.

But there won't be many outside of Birmingham B6 who will have a lot of time for him. Though Steve Bruce and Niall Quinn will think they've done a nice bit of business - they paid around 10 million and will get up to 24 million from Villa.

One thing is pretty certain, Marcus Bent won't have quite the same relationship with his new United team mates that he had with one Paul Devlin the last time he was here.

Firey winger Devlin was an all-action scrapper with pace and skill who would often set up Bent for chances - many of which he snapped up.

But it didn't always work the other way. Marcus Bent, with a striker's eye for goal, was sometimes a little less selfless with the ball when it came to returning the favour.

A good few times the pair had a ding-dong rows on the pitch and on at least one occasion they squared up to each other at Bramall Lane during a game.

Blades will be hoping for similar commitment this time round.

Got a view? Leave a comment below.

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