Date: 9th June 2007 at 12:27am
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David Bentley’s withdrawal from the England squad going to the European Under-21 Championships has not best pleased Stuart Pearce.

Bentley’s decision to withdraw from the squad on Thursday (made public on Friday) due to fatigue means that England will now only have a squad of 22 players as opposed to the original 23.

Speaking to Sky Sports News Pearce said:

I had an inkling when Mark Hughes spoke to me on Wednesday and said he wanted to pull the boy out, but I said ‘no’ as I didn’t find that acceptable.

“Then I spoke with David and he said to me on the back of a long season – and possible burn-out next season – that he would like to pull himself out of the tournament.

“I tried to say to him and explain the situation, ‘Where does that leave you next summer if you get in the full squad and have a full season? Do you say then you would be fatigued for the next season.’

“Also I tried to point out that I can’t pull another player into the squad, so England as a national side would be a player light – also I have the likes of Reo-Coker, Milner, you name it – they are all in the same position for me on the back of a full season, but they want to be here and want to represent their country. From my point of view to say I am disappointed is a massive understatement.

“But then again maybe I just come from a different generation

Although things have to be done in Rovers’ best interests I do have to admit that I can see where Pearce is coming from.

Pearce also found it had to understand the reasoning behind the withdrawal and continued by saying:

The fact of the matter is that you know full well that you might spend seven, nine, seasons in-a-row – the Lampard’s, the Terry’s they all do that and that is what players are aspiring to do – play each summer.

“If you play every summer in some way shape or form, it means you are representing your country either at a big tournament or qualifiers or whatever it may be.

“As I said, to say I am disappointed is a massive understatement

How this will leave Bentley with regards to the senior squad, only Steve McClaren will know, Pearce says he has no idea. He added:

I have no idea [how McClaren will react], but I have noticed it – I feel I have been supportive to him.

“He wasn’t in the Under 21 squad when I came in for whatever reason when I took the job.

“I thought he was arguably our best player for the two games I have had him, with that in mind I rang Steve and told him, keep an eye out – it is now a case of after today, I will put it to bed and it will be about these boys here who want to represent their country



19 Replies to “Pearce Not Amused By Bentley “Snub!””

  • I have to admit I do see where Pearce is coming from and my initial reactions (to Bents withdrawing) were one of surprise, but it has been a long season for him. But at the same time had this been the senior European Championships would Bents have withdrawn?!?! I think not! Maybe Bents’ International career is over before it has started?!?!

  • I feel for Pearce and he makes some valid points but the lad has made his decision, end of, no use crying about it now regardless!

  • -Kha0z- – Calling it a disgrace is probably a bit too strong, agree it is maybe not the wisest thing to have done (in view of the timing) but I honestly hope (and do think) their is nothing more to it than the fact he is genuinely done for after a gruelling season.

  • BomBom – Fair enough dude, as you say decision is made end of, no use crying about it but at the same time would you be so quick to want to drop the matter if it had effected Rovers in the same way?!?!

  • I say b*****ks to Pearce. Hughes asked him not to pick Bents and you would have thought having made the transition to senior level, Pearce might respect that. He didn’t so why should Bents worry about not doing Pearce a favour. To be quite frank it was an insult picking him in the first place!

  • I do feel a little let down bents didn’t fancy the tournament but at the end of the day he’s 22… i do wonder how he’s still in the under-21s in the first place. Pearce’s reaction is understandable, not just in terms of his personality.. but it’s obvious that he’s absolutely desperate to win the championship for England AND to prove himself, bents is obviously one of (if not the) best player in the squad, to lose him is obviously a big blow. ALso I don’t think Pearce’s comments about doing bents a favour by picking him in the first place are fair… you want to have your strongest players playing so why wouldn’t he pick him!?!

  • roversman – But is it not an insult of equal proportions to have declined the offer so late on after being given it thought?!?! I’m trying to view this objectively and can see both sides of the arguement (not that I’m saying others can’t mind!)

  • Bents4eng – He is (or should I say was lol!) still in the under-21’s because he was under 21 at the time you have to be 21 (during the footballing calender year I guess?!?!) to qualify. I must admit I probably didn’t read all of what Pearce aid properly, as the bit about doing BENTS a favour is crazy (as has been pointed out) the guy was without any doubt the best player (in terms of delivery) in that squad (arguably the tournament itself) so he will be a massive miss to the side. It would have been nice for him to have signed off from the under-21’s as a winner but if his body is telling him otherwise he’ll not be doing himself (or England) justice, not forgetting the fact he’ll be done in for Rovers before next season even starts!

  • Give me a feckin break Hughes.
    Firstly – the timing suggests that he simply was checking around to see if he could in effect – get away with it.
    Secondly, the reason seems to be to further his england senior career just as much as any potential burnout. If the senior squad called him up, would he reject them and cite burnout too? I think not. So when the u21 is calling him up for a tourniment rather then some nonsense friendly or qualifier.. he decides to reject it, as if he is somehow bound for an instant senior switch. I wonder how he can handle the seniors if he cant even handle the juniors.The other talk about him being burnt out for Rovers is garbage. So all the other players in the senior and u21 squads not only in England but all over the world arent tired also? They don’t play just as many games? It’s a nonsense arguement – he’s picking and choosing when to play, and in the intrests of honesty I hope he doesnt get in the england squad ahead of more commited and hard-working players.

  • To be fair to him, he has been honest, he sought advice from Pearce initially, then Hughes then the Senior England lads before making his decision. Yes it was very poor timing and had he “picked up an injury” whilst training with the senior squad then there would be no more said about it. Fact remains, he is doing what is right by him and his club, you cannot really resent that notion, after all, they pay his wages, if it costs him an international career then so be it. If people want to be petty minded about it then there is nothing David or us as fans can do about it!

  • -Kha0z- – I can see what you are saying to a degree agree and have said virtually as much but to say talk of him being burnt out for Roves is gagage is just wrong I’m afraid. Granted others have played a lot of games in that squad, but most probably haven’t played as many games as Bents? Those that have are used to playing that amount of games even though they are young, Bents HASN’T had this kind of opportunity before, not forgetting the fact our COMPETITIVE season start a fair bit before other clubs (the Intertoto Cup!) By “picking not to play in this tournament” as you say this would hinder his chances of senior involvement though surely, not help it?!?! Just out of interest which club do you support?

  • Khaz, in principle i agreed with nearly ALL of your post UNTIL i read “other hard working and committed players” There are too many players in the senior team on PAST ENDEAVOURS and REPUTATION it is unreal. Dyer, Jenas, Wes Brown, Phil Neville and Alan Smith were all in the last England squad and they have done WHAT for their respective clubs this season? very little, yet every England squad announced, the clique gets in they train, get a sub appearance, go back to the clubs, sit ont he bench, some get injured, next England squad, same players in!!!! Its total horses**t.

    the under 21 lads, i agree with but then again, none of the u21 lads got called up for the senior squad either!

    Of course Bents id going to think about himself and his career, you would if you were in his shoes, you numpty!

  • BomBom, When I said more commited player, I was talking about other u21 players who have actually put in hard work over season.
    Instead of Bentley who only recently got the call ups in the first place. When it comes to the u21, in the majority the respect how hard it was to get the damn cap in the first place. It’s not the talent, it’s the commitment and dedication and appriciation of the England shirt and the responsibilities that come with representing your country. What’s best for Bentley is the major talk on some blackburn forums. What’s best for England never comes into the mind.

  • If you look through comments on this forum more closely I think you may well find that not all of them are just supporting what is best for Rovers, they don’t all forget what is best for England as you say -Kha0z-.

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