Date: 8th February 2007 at 5:14pm
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What a drab affair it is to watch an England team try and entertain. The result last night against Spain was bad but more alarmingly the performance was dour. There were few silver linings in the frost-bitten sky and is it any wonder?

Shaun Wright-Phillips, for all his talent should not be playing for England at the moment. He cannot establish himself in a long ball team and hasn`t since his farcically extortionate transfer fee took him from Manchester into London.

Kieron Dyer has made an excellent comeback from injury but is still a yard short of the player he used to be and he isn`t getting any younger.

Finally, Phil Neville at left-back? I`m confident that I am not the only one scratching my head at that selection.

Now I`m also confident you are all aware of the direction I am taking this. Why was David Bentley not considered? Perhaps even a mention for Stephen Warnock as well?

I`m going to focus primarily on Bentley because he has been exceptional this season and has continued to raise his game every time new questions are asked of him. He has scored some wonderful goals and created some too.

Why then was SWP preferred over a player who is younger, in-form and can offer something different? Well it is because he plays for Chelsea.

Bentley is a player very much in the mould of David Beckham. He has a wonderful delivery and variety to his crossing and passing. He has drive and an eye for the clever pass and audacious effort on goal. All of this was on show for the under21`s on Tuesday at Pride Park. At least it was appreciated there as Bentley picked up the Man of the Match award.

Surely Steve McClaren must take notice now. The boos that echoed around Old Trafford were for McClaren and his backward selection. Other than Ben Foster, McClaren used his main players and a group of has-beens so it is little wonder that there was such a one dimensional and blunt attack. SWP couldn`t find Crouch all night, I guarantee Bentley would have.

McClaren needs to shuffle his pack and move away from the boring Eriksson tactics and really look to blood some fresh talent. Joey Barton got his chance too but he comes into a position that is already sorted. Phil Neville is no longer England class, so why not try Leighton Baines in there. He is captaining his Wigan side and has been a solid and consistent performer.

Aaron Lennon is excellent and will have the wide right berth but why not bring in someone different like Bentley?

I just hope that Bentley takes heart from his excellent under21 performance and continues to put in high class displays for Rovers even though we are an unfashionable club and struggle to have our players recognised.


16 Replies to “Bring in Bentley to Banish the Boos.”

  • It is always the same for Rovers players trying to break into the Eng set-up. So often they are over-looked and miss out. I’m sure Bolton feel the same with Nolan. I wasn’t one of these people callling for Bents to be in the Eng squad earlier in the season, but on the back of his efforts so far he would certainly deserve it.

  • Look at the england performance, result and reaction! I am glad we do not have any of our team involved with that circus at present

  • I couldn’t agree more, James. Although he didn’t have his best performance against Rovers, Reading’s Nicky Shorey has been over-looked himself for this friendly and I agree that Bentley deserves a cap. He was brilliant for the Under-21s and will bring effort and work-rate, which is more than can be said for most of the England team.

  • I noticed an article on the site about shorey. I must admit that I have seen little of him but what I have seen has been impressive. He constantly impresses so again, another name worthy of mention but he doesn’t play for a fashionable club does he, no offence aimed at Reading there, I have a lot of time for the club. I honestly believe Benst should be considered, given his chance!

  • Extremely glad for Bentley. Yet, I’m getting nervous about his new contract not sorted out yet. It’s just a matter of time before other clubs will come in for him.

  • Stevie Mac is a joker, what he’s playing at I’ll never know. He’s been with the England set up for years now so if he doesn’t know what his players (or should I say his “regular” players) can do by now he never will. It was a friendly for christ sakes WHY didn’t he try people like Bents, Baines, Matthew Taylor etc. and even Barry from the start. The way things are going I can see his reign being a short lived one. Failure to qualify for the Euros and he’ll be shown the door. If we’d lost but put in a performance with new players given a run out (the whole point of a friendly!) he’d earn a lot more respect. HOW he saw fit not overlook Bents in favour of a player not even playing much for his club and a guy recovering from injury I’ll never know.

  • Both Darren Bent and Leighton Baines are injured, Hughes Da Man. But I agree, McLaren would probably not have included them anyway. The likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Andy Johnson, and Keiron Dyer have not been playing regularly for one reason (injury) or another (not picked) so why were they in the squad?! He is, indeed, a joker.

  • As well as Bentley – why not Steve Warnock at left back? It’s time that the Germany Failures were booted out… Goodbye Messers Lampard, Crouch, Dyer, Ferdinand, Wright-Phillips, Defoe.

  • Warnock would have been a far better step forward than Phil Neville, what the hell was that all about?!?! For any Rovers, Reading, Portsmouth Wigan etc players to get in Stevie Mac will have to watch these sides, and I don’t just mean at Old Trafford, the Emirates or Stamford Bridge etc. oh and of course the hotbed of English International talent the Riverside…When these clubs play at these grounds they often play different, he has to watch these clubs at Ewood Park, the Madejski Stadium, Fratton Park and the JJB, but can you see him rolling up there? Not very likely! I’d agree again with Ex Ewood some of the players are given too much of an easy ride Lampard as good as he is CAN’T play in a side with Gerrard, only Eriksson and Mac seem not to see this, Crouch not International quality (from the start for sure), Dyer needs to prove he’s going to be around long term to justify a place. Ferdinand gets it too easy but I personally would keep him around, along with Defore (as a sub) and Wright-Phillips, but ONLY when he plays, which he isn’t!

  • Yeah why not try out some others like Warnock, a tad premature maybe, but certainly Matty Taylor. He should have been given a shout thats for sure. Mac isn’t dynamic or brave enough to mix it up. At least if he did and it didn’t work he would get praised for trying something new. There are far too many players in that squad who are in their on rep or the club they play for. Bents has Euro experience too this season so I really can’t see what he is missing.

  • Lets just check… Jenas was in the England squad and Bentley wasnt?!?!?!??! Apart from Mr.Ronaldo I cant think of a better right winger in the Premiership….. And he could do a lot worse than pick Warnock at left back. I suspect the only reason he didnt get a look in is because he has only just started on a run of first team games recently.

  • How the hell Jenas has been getting in the past few years I’ll never know, seems like he’s there just to make up the numbers!?!! I (probably most of us! EVEN the FA!!!) had doubts over Stevie Mac, think he’s being found out. I know winning changes the view of people but mine wil be VERY hard to change on him

  • Jenas has had his day and he is only 25. It’s about time the dead wood was replaced with newer talent, exuding the spark needed to re-ignite England. Players like Bentley, Warncok, Taylor, Baines, Ashton (when fit), Reo-Coker and Shorey needed to be given that chance instead of these has beens who cannot affect the squad.

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