Date: 9th June 2007 at 12:33am
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Blackburn Rovers Manager Mark Hughes has added his voice to the debate on David Bentley’s withdrawal from the England European Under-21 Championships.

Stuart Pearce is not very happy (to put it mildly!) at Bentley’s withdrawal (click here to see what he said) but Hughes is backing the decision.

Sparky told the official Blackburn Rovers website (brace yourself as there are no breaks in this statement!):

David has told me he is exhausted and I completely understand.

“Although he takes representing his country very seriously indeed, David has barely had time to catch breath over the past 10 months and he clearly needs a rest.

“Having spoken to him and heard how tired he feels, I don’t think he would do himself justice by taking part in the trip. If England were to reach the final of the competition it would mean David having just six days holiday between the two seasons and that would be an unsatisfactory situation for everyone involved.

“He is very keen to make progress on the England senior scene and he does not want to compromise his chances for next season by failing to take the necessary break now.

“I have spoken with Steve McClaren and Stuart Pearce on the issue and they know my views.

“Having managed Wales for five years and then spent close on three seasons with Rovers, I appreciate the various dilemmas surrounding club and country issues.

“Not once in my tenure at Ewood Park have I refused a player or a manager the opportunity to figure on the international stage, despite losing some key players to games in mid-season in places as far away as Australia and South America. Indeed, Brett Emerton will miss the whole of pre-season due to his involvement with Australia.

“I know we also have Matt Derbyshire in the England under 21 squad for the forthcoming trip, but Matt’s case is totally different to David in terms of full games clocked up over the past season or so.

“The bottom line is that David requires some much-needed rest time in order to recover from the rigours and demands of what has been a demanding schedule.

“It is in his interests to get himself re-charged and we look forward to welcoming him back fully refreshed and ready for what is a very important pre-season for us, including a crucial Intertoto Cup fixture next month which is our passage into the UEFA Cup.

“It is important that common sense prevails, for the sake of England, Blackburn Rovers and, most importantly, David Bentley himself

The fact that Sparky has already spoken out about his disapproval of Bentley being a part of this tournament (before Bents was even selected) is not really going to go in his or Rovers’ favour, especially as Pearce has said Sparky asked for Bents to be withdrawn before the player withdrew himself.



20 Replies to “Hughes Backing Bentley”

  • Obviously Sparky has to look out for his Rovers players first and foremost but I do worry about the fall out over this. How would Sparky have viewed something like this had he been in Pearce’s shoes?!?!

  • If someone knows how to deal with it, its sparky. He coacehed international and club, he knows the contrasting dilemmas. Sometimes, international coaches dont think about their players. if beintly playd in the competition, his form next season will not be anywhere near the level he reached this year, hence he wont even get a chance for the first team

  • There is nothing wrong with him not wanting to play in the tourney but he should of spoken up before the 23 man roster was annouced. And i do think this is a major blow to his future england career. I can understand his apprehensiveness of playing to much, as i have seen the effect this year with TH14 tired out, but he should not of hurt his team the way he did by pulling out the day before the plane leaves.

  • It was poor timing I agree Gunner but if hes tired, hes tired end of story. If this hurts his international career then its their loss if that pettyness and small mindedness gets in the way of selecting a talent to play for England, after all, its been like that for years!

  • gunnerkid107 – Agreed, the lateness of the withdrawal is pretty poor and I too agree the consequences to his future England career could be negative as a result (hopefully for our (England’s) sake not!) As you say you’ve seen first hand how things have got to Henry, but he has been playing virtually week in week out for X amount of years so, Bents has had one full season! I’m not getting at Bents (as what is best for Rovers is ultimately the most important thing) and he has put in SOOO much this season so it is little wonder he if ****ed, but he MUST have felt like this a few weeks ago, so could he not have said so then?!?!

  • BomBom – Small mindedness and “who you play for” rather than “how well you are playing” has got in the way of players playing for England for years, totally agree but refusing to play for your country so late on before a tournament is not really on is it?!?! Like I say fair enough the guy is ****ed, we know EXACTLY why he would be as he has put sooo, sooo much in this season, but should he have not spoken up sooner? Withdrawing so late on off the back of not one but two “snubs” for the senior side just days before COULD be viewed as fishy and could cast doubts over his temperiment/commitment? Although on the other hand (again as I have said previously?) maybe Stevie Mac knew the score with Bents, hence the reasons WHY he didn’t play a part in either of the England games?!?!

  • I agree that Bentley should of puled out prior to the match and this will bring his rep into question again but the reasons he did it for are sound and Pearce IS overreacting.

  • also in breaking bbc news bents replied to pearce.. sounds fair enough to me, seems the other england players dissuaded him as much as anything else!

  • MikeyGamst – I’m not so sure Pearce is overreacting to be honest, but after reading what Bents has had to say (an article will be added soon) my opinion has swayed again (it keeps happening on this matter, I think it’s my patriotic side also wrestling with my thoughts lol!)

  • Bents4eng – I’ve seen them to dude (as I said in my reply to Mikey and article will be added soon) and after seeing what he said I am seeing why he did it (again, it’s about the millionth time my opinion has changed lol!) As for the Mido to Birmingham for £6 million, all I can say is good luck Birmingham as you’ll need it!

  • The only potential problem i can forsee for DB is that next year, he plays all game sfor us again, gets POTY again and then England call him up for the Euros, would he then pull out due to fatigue?? that is my only concern if I was McEricsson

  • This is a likely scenario (well in as much as Bents playing almost every game for us, donig well and maybe even getting the Player of the Year again) but at least he’ll have the benefit of already having a full season behind him (as he has this, and should be wiser for it) so it won’t be so new to him, know what I mean?

  • Yes but the same scenario would present itself wouldnt it and if he was selected and went, ppl would throw this years u21 tourney at him and say he was picking and choosing! Hes in a no win situation as he has been honest. whoever said honestly was the best policy eh?

  • Yeah, very true dude but by the same token if he did get sleected, went and played a blinder people would soon forget this. Fans can be very fickle as we all know. So maybe the honesty is the best policy theory will work after all lol!

  • This is different to the Chris Sutton case dude, similar in a way I know, but I genunely believe that it isn’t a case of Bents thinking he is “above having to play for the under-21’s” as Sutton did the “B” side when he refused to play.

  • Merlin, look at it this way mate, when Sutton was selected for the B side, he was one of the better, in form strikers in the league, so why a B international??? Alan Smith hardly plays yet he starts against Brazil!! Sutton stood his ground with his opinion and paid for it with his international career. I cant recall seeing Glenn Hoddle lifting any trophies for England, can you??? Bentley is doing what nearly every one of us do on a daily basis, looking out for number 1. He has dreams, ambitions and goals and if this is what he feels he needs to do to achieve them, then let him get on with it. Just because half of your club squad get selected for internationals irrespective of whether they play regularly or if they are in form or not does not mean that this happens all around the league! You sir, have been spoilt!

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