Do you remember the first time? It may have been many moons ago for the deathly denizens of In Off the Ghost, but we still remember it well. The overwhelming anticipation, the tantalising potential of success and the nerve shredding prospect of humiliating failure. There is no getting away from the fact that the first time is crucial. If you make a flop of your first impression there may be no recovering. Forever judged on your earliest performances you could be earmarked for failure, cast aside and ridiculed. However, get it right first time and the possibilities for future success are endless.
It makes us nervous just thinking about it. So imagine how Darren Bent must have been feeling. With the weight of anywhere between £18 and £24 million pounds resting firmly on his shoulders before his debut for Aston Villa against Manchester City, expectation was astronomical. There was also much excitement here on the eternal terraces of In Off the Ghost, with our posthumous punters eager to see if Bent could up his game or whether Villa Park would witness the biggest balls up outside of a Labour Party shadow cabinet re-shuffle. As it turned out, Bent scored the winner in a hard fought 1-0 victory for Gerrard Houllier’s struggling side, leaving Roberto Mancini’s men empty handed. We were contacted by the afterlife’s most prominent Man City fan to discuss the game, a cold welcome to Venetian adventurer, author and notorious ladies man Giacomo Casanova!
“Although it pains me to say it, Bent made all the right moves on his big night. He was in the right place at the right time to ruthlessly pound the ball past Hart and exploit City’s loose defending. He didn’t let the pressure to perform get to him and he took his chance to make a good first impression with relish. He seems to have already seduced the Villa faithful who were chanting his name throughout” said Casanova, with a gleam in his eye and his hands in his pockets.
“Bent seems to be a man after my own heart,” added Casanova, leaving us to wonder whether he knew something we didn’t about Bent’s private life, “he takes great delight in scoring goals and he makes cultivating the most pleasure possible his chief business. Clearly economy in pleasure is not to his taste either, as his potency is there for all to see in his goal scoring record. 128 goals in 308 games shows that he is no stranger to indulging his lust for putting the ball in the back of the net.”
“Alas, for my beautiful Man City, it was clearly a frustrating night. We came so close so often, but we couldn’t quite muster the penetration our efforts deserved. After such a successful season I am not used to having my desires left so unfulfilled. I guess I’ll have to direct my energies somewhere else until our next fixture.”
So with City succumbing to Bent’s advances, the Villa faithful will be hoping that their new signing will bag the goals to thrust them up the division into the warm bosom of mid-table mediocrity and Premier League survival.
(All material in this blog is entirely fictional and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone, alive or dead, other than those of the author.)