Date: 7th June 2007 at 10:40am
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An alternative from BomBom to my take on David Bentley being overlooked by England on Wednesday evening (again!) His full title was in fact “SHOCKER Bentley left picking splinters out as Dyer & Jenas get a game!” sadly this was too long to fit in!!!

Once again, this time in Estonia, Steve McClaren left David Bentley and Rovers fans disappointed by deciding not to blood the right midfielder, choosing instead to give former old boy Stuart Downing a run out, along with perennial squad members and perennial under achievers Kieron “Completely” Dyer and Jermaine Jenas another cap.

Whilst it is very little surprise to the majority of Rovers fans, who fully expected David to sit on the bench all night, it highlights McClaren stubborn streak whereas it seemed he was bowing to public and media opinion by including him in the squad, only to see him play absolutely no part in the friendly international against Brazil or against Estonia.

Dyer replaced Beckham on 68 minutes and, although I was unable to see the game, I would imagine that Dyer’s (and Jenas and Downing’s) biggest weakness on those flanks is the inability to consistently provide accurate, dangerous crosses from out wide. To be fair, Jenas is not a wide player and Downing is capable if not internationally capable.

With Peter Crouch also playing this evening, it gave them even more of a target to find and hit from out wide.

The first review and rating of the England lads I come across read like this.

Kieron Dyer (for Beckham, 68): Slotted into midfield well and was positive down the flanks, but lacked final pass or finish – 6.

“Stewart Downing (for Cole, 75): Middlesbrough winger produced another competent showing and tested keeper Mart Poom with a right-foot drive – 6.

“Jermaine Jenas (for Owen, 88): Little chance to make an impact – 6

Downing was “competent???” Should England internationals be more than “competent?” Granted Jenas was given very little time to do anything other than warm up thoroughly. The biggest tell tale sign, for me and I am sure, other Rovers fans would be that the reviewer highlighted that there was no end product from Dyer, despite getting into good positions.

This is something that David Bentley is more than accomplished at and can do so as and when required, from deep or from the corner of the 18-yard box.

I have to say; I am more than disappointed with Bentley’s lack of opportunity for England, even more so when McClaren continually turns to the same players on the bench to deliver.

If England are fortunate enough to qualify for Euro 2008, I sincerely hope he continues this determined approach as I can imagine, being a goal behind in a crucial group game and needing a spark from the bench, when he turns to his options, he will take the same thought process and put Dyer on. Why does he think that suddenly Dyer will turn into the second coming of Christ and elevate his game?? Personally, I would rather someone who CAN cross, who can deliver when needed and who would inject something into the game. The only question mark is whether Bentley IS indeed, international class?

So, with that in mind, can David Bentley do that for England??? Not even Bentley truly knows that answer but until he is given an opportunity to show what he is can do at that level, neither will McClaren know!

Simple answer, start selecting squads on playing form not on player names!!!

It may well do England a whole lot of good if this current team failed to qualify then finally, someone might just look up and realise that there are far too many players in that squad who are there on reputation and reputation alone. Until that time, England fans will just have to put up with an under performing Frank Lampard, an unfit Michael Owen and a bench load of long lost reputations!




34 Replies to “Bentley Left Picking Splinters Out?”

  • This was actually written and submitted to me around the same time as the Bentley bit I wrote, but it wasn’t until much later (after I had even written then published mine) that I even realised he had done this, it was not an attempted to hog the front page! As you can see we BOTH agreed that we felt it was more a ?”publicity thing” that saw Stevie Mac include Bents in any case, my estimations of Stevie Mac rose a little with his inclusion (and the overdue recall of Becks) but these estimations were not raised for long!

  • Technically though Bents wasn’t even left picking splinters was he, as he wasn’t even named on the bench, not sure what the stands are like in Estonia though?!?! On the article though, I couldn’t agree more with BomBom, if these players that Stevie Mac keeps looking to (from the bench) are still not doing it, it is DEFINITELY time for change. I am convinced that bents IS International quality and WILL deliver is Stevie Mac grows a pair, as it looked (for a brief, brief moment he had!)

  • I read somewhere that he wasn’t even in Estonia – He’d been sent to team up with the Under 21s. I heard some pundits talking about the lack of product from Dyer, who then when onto say “when Lennon is back, he’ll come in as the understudy. Only thing is his crossing – Most end up behind the goal. If he can sort this out, and also learn some real wingers skills then we’ll have an automatic replacement.” Er, HELLO!!! How about the most consistent English crosser in England already being ready!!!!. I just hope Bentley excells in this tournament and shows everyone what he can do, on a stage that hopefully McErikkson is watching.

  • Sooo many of the current England set-up are players that I HONESTLY can’t understand WHY they are still in! Even my mother (bless her!) said people like Jenas, Dyer and Downing MUST have something on McEriksson (I like that one Head Rover Heels!) for them to constently be selected! This is something people have mentioned several times on here. I’m looking forward to the under-21’s tournament, we have a good squad going, and SHOULD see a lot of two Rovers STARS out in Holland, not that McEriksson will watch much of it I guess!!!

  • I must admit.. the last 3 games for England I’ve seen Downing play he’s looked a solid backup for Cole. He’s a natural left-footer and his right foot is good too. I give him my approval (plus I’d never advocate playing Bents on the left). Jenas’s appearance… don’t get me started.. he was *****e as always. Dyer makes great runs always.. but I think in the whole game he completed 1 successful pass out of about 10 (I’d like to see the stats)… I just fail to see why McClaren didn’t just give bents a run out. At 3-0 up and becks slightly injured bwhy not give the cap to someone who it would mean a lot to instead of players already established as poor squad players

  • Dyer is a player that can play anywhere – but nowhere that well.

    I cannot believe that Jenas was even selected ahead of Carrick a guy who has been instrumental in a championship win!!

    It all adds up to the fact that Maclaren is a muppet, who is tactically weak. In all honesty Sven did a better job.

  • Bents4eng – As soon as Becks picked up the injury I thought here we go bring on Bents, then I remembered he wasn’t EVEN on the bench so he wasn’t get a run out. Someone has suggested he wasn’t even with the squad as he had gone off to link up with the under-21’s?!?!

  • Wellsy – Totally agree. For all his faults Sven did do a better job, in fairness to the guy he did a pretty good one in fact, he just bottled it with important decisions, and more to the point important decisions at major Championships!

  • To give Jenas a game b4 Bents is scandalous, if he had played SWP or Lennon then fair enuff, they have played for England b4 and they are rite wingers so u could have understood, but Jenas, an average central midfielder ( in my opinion ) Bentley will never learn if he never gets a chance so its about time that England gets in a man that has the guts to try these players in full competive matches against better players, no offense to the U21 but u learn by playing against the established players with experience

  • You are not alone in your thinking re: Jenas though Clint, in fact you are probably being more “diplomatic” than most lol! Good to see you back posting again.

  • I couldnt help it mate lol I must be the only one on here that likes Spurs as a team just I think he’s not good enough to be in it!! Simple as that. U get players who’s names are picked up by the press cos they have to champion the next good English talent ie: Jenas, Johnson, Parker, Reo-Coker, Bale to name a few, with the exception of Bale they havent really set the league alite! hold my judgement on a 17yr old already worth £10m until he plays. Spurs I think bought an ok player but not one that would really do anything special to the team, now I know they will argue and point towards Rovers players but im not being cheeky just giving my opinion, other folk will have different ideas and consider Jenas the best player in the league, then fair enuff, but u’s need medication lol

  • jenas, downing, and dyer do absolutely nothing again, pritty pointless in bents’ goin apart from training with england.

  • There are a few players that can walk into that England team that dont really have to do anything to be picked, just be fit – Owen is one of them. Lampard as has been shown does not play well with Stevie G so one of them would have to be dropped to the subs bench, but wot one?? Id go for Lampard simply cos Stevie G seems to bring his A game to England more times than Lampard. And how Carragher sits out while Ferdinand gets picked alongside Terry, along with Woodgate (when fit) its scary. Both a re much much much better than the Donkey. The England team would look very different if the sqaud was picked on performance rather than who the papers and mangers rate

  • One thing I noticed dude (and I’m being BomBom picky here lol!) you say Bale as an English talent, let us not forget he plays for Wales though 🙂 The England squad would not only probably look much different as you say Clint if picked on performance rather than repuatation, but would also see better performances from England too! The Lamps and Stevie G debate will rage on, against Estonia etc. they can play together, against the better teams can they? NOPE, again as you say. I would definately go for Stevie G over Lamps also.

  • Yeah yeah yeah, hes plays in the Premier League is wot I meant sorry lol I just think £10m for a 17yr old who hasnt done anything to prove he’s worth that kind of money? I dont mind being proved wrong there either! When a Engalnd manager starts to pick players that dont make him popular and insteads makes the team play then we’ll have a team! Other countries have the culture of if they are good enough they play, England seem to have a lot excuses except in the cases of Owen and Rooney ( prob more there but for the purposes of my story lol ) who for me were and still are overused because of the hiding a England manager will get in the papers should they lose or draw. England will need a man who will use these good young players, especailly in friendlies, my God wot else are they for, well this and formations etc, with a view to introducing them to the team in the future, this will aid the player with experience and give the manager more to pick from for tournaments instead of dragging half fit players to world cup games lol. This may never happen cos the FA do sem incapable of picking a strong manager!!

  • Bentley will be better off for the experience but the fact he wasnt on the bench was probably due to his lack of versatility. Even so, the man is beeter than any alternative on current form.

  • Im back after a loong night suffering with toothache then had to got to work at 7am this morning.. All in al Ive had one shat day!!!! Bentley can play on the left but whether he is as effective, especially for an international team would be questionable, same goes for him playing through the middle.

  • For England he would DEFINATELY be most effective on the right, although he could play on the left if needed. FAR to many others are ahead of him in terms of a player through the middle. How’s the tooth now dude?

  • Tooth still giving me hassle this morning! now i gotta go to court, dont worry tho, its not cos ive been a naughty boy!!! dunno where it came from, started around 2am thurs morning and is giving me occasional time off from pain!!!

  • Clint – Totally agree dude, £10 million for an unproven player is a HELL of alot. Chances are he will be all that but not all 17-year-olds, let alone 21 or even 25-year-old etc. cna sustain their early promise or even build on it, Spurs will be stuffed if Bale doesn’t, but will obviously be laughing if he does.

  • MikeyGamst – With Bents pulling out of the under-21’s maybe this explains why he didn’t play a part for England?!?!

  • I think you may be right mate, good call HDM. I’m not suprised he is fatigued given the effort he put into last season.

  • BomBom – You need that bad boy (your tooth!) looked at, I had a toothache for months, the tooth had gradually warn away over the years after I broke a bit off (on of all things the softest EVER winegum!) until it had a gaping hole! I got a temporary filling late last year, maybe earlier this year but this is now waring away D’oh! I can’t afford the rip off prices they charge to have it fully seen to. BomBom’s going to jail for being a naughty boy! Was it cruelty to these chimps you have doing all your posts on Vital Football lol!

  • not literally though bombom, you have adapted the saying… you pay monkeys, they type on the board for you…

  • LMAO! I think the RSPCA have that covered BomBom as they will not let you have them back after you’ve served your time for mistreating them lol!

  • But what about bubbles……….? LOL i would rather the RSPCA than Social services mate! at least if its the RSPCA i got a chance of getting my animals back!!!

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