Date: 11th February 2008 at 10:20am
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Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Bentley will come up against Arsene Wenger tonight (and his former Arsenal side) but Wenger insists that he is proud of what Bentley has achieved.

Bentley finally left Arsenal in 2006 in search of regular first team football to sign for Rovers after loan spells with Norwich City and Rovers. Wenger didn’t want him to leave at the time when he did but he had fierce competition ahead if him at that time so he appreciated his desire for first team football and reluctantly agreed to this in order to be fair to Bents.

Wenger is quoted on Sky Sports as saying: “Bentley is having a good development in his career and I am very happy for him.

“I let him go at a moment where I could have said ‘no, you stay here’ – but I was also conscious there were big players in front of him and he was not experienced enough.

“You have to consider is it fair to them not to let them go, even if it hurts you later

Wenger knew that the day would come (as it often has) when people would ask why he let Bents go, but as he had already explained (and continued to explain) it was in the best interests of Bents for this, and this is what he wanted and he wanted to be fair, however, he has said that he would be playing for Arsenal now if he was still with them but either way he remains proud of what Bents has so far gone on to achieve.

He added: “I knew there would be some stage where people said ‘why did you let him go?’ but when I make that kind of decision, I am then happy someone asks me that question because it means he has been a success elsewhere.

“It is sometimes difficult to let a player go when you know it is just a question of timing. But at the end of the day, you cannot keep everybody and it can come back to haunt you because Bentley is a great player now.

“He would play here now, whether he would be a regular or not, I don’t know, but he has the quality.

“David always had the belief he was a good player and he will show it, not because he was bearing a grudge or anything against the club. He is convinced of his own ideas and has great belief in himself at that level

We will be hoping (along with Bents himself) that he can come back to haunt Arsenal tonight, however, I personally think that neither party holds any grudge against the other whatsoever.



19 Replies to “Wenger’s Praise For Bentley”

  • Mornin’ Rovers, that time of the season again. Since the reverse fixture our season’s have been different, your form’s been a bit indifferent, I kept telling my Rovers supporting pal that injuries and suspension would make an impact on your season, Hughes has done a great job so far and it’s about time the purse strings were loosened so he can sign a couple of players. Us, well thankfully we’ve been plugging away quite nicely. Hughes has come out with some very positive comments about Arsenal today and I hope that tonight the respect between both teams is still there. Please please follow the script and let us win so we have a nice cushion at the top 😀 Btw, MGP, do any/many of you feel he shoulda been sold over the summer?

  • sasman, are you seriously trying to suggest that Bentley is better than Hleb?? Bentley would be no more than a squad player at Arsenal & he knew that. He joined Blackburn because he knew he was pretty much guranteed first team football & not just a squad placing.

  • When he was with you guys, yes he would not of even made the bench, but now, he is a complete different player, and he would slot into the Arsenal team

  • Dw your right….no point bothering to argue. Anyways, good luck with tonights game, hopefully its a clean one, we cant afford to lose any more players lol

  • i thought hleb played more on the left and in the middle for arsenal and that walcott ant eboue were playing right side for arsenal? in my mind he isnt better than hleb but definitely better than eboue as a RM and walcott too

  • Hleb is our right winger, Rosicky is the left one. Bentley may be better than Eboue and Walcott but he would not sit on the bench.

  • saisho – I am of the opinion we should have cashed in on MGP over the summer. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing! It is also nice to see nice comments being made about each others team by both managers prior to the game. No ‘Dark Arts’ (by Sparky), or ‘Thugs’ (by Wenger). However, I am sure it will be the usual rough (Blackburn) and tumble (Arsenal) game that it usually is.

  • i’m at the immigrants stadium tonight… new song for David…

    David Bentley’s English
    He has an England Cap
    When he saw Dave Beckham’s shirt
    He said i’m having that!

  • Goofle… why wouldn’t he be playing for Arsenal? perhaps because he is English and over the age of 21?… Even Wenger acknoewledges what a talent Hughesy has made of him… do you want some water to wash down the taste of the sour grapes?

  • Wenger says that about all of his ex players. Even a ***** bag at Burnley was classed as a good player. Bentley is good. He can play at the level of Blackburn well and England but put him in an Arsenal, Man Utd or Che;sea shirt and that is the proof of talent. Any half decent player can look good at Blackburn when they are the only one getting the ball. You think its a coincidence that MGP has been poor since he is not the star?

  • “any half decent player can look good at blackburn” and you wonder why people think arsenal fans are conceited *****ers!

  • David Bentley’s a good player, no sour grapes there (especially when it’s Arsene who grew those grapes). But he’s nowhere near Hleb. Realistically had he stayed at Arsenal, he could only have displaced Walcott in RM. He wasn’t even in the long CM queue (a position he preferred at the time, where there’s a certain Dennis Bergkamp…) and wouldn’t be now had he stayed. LM, likewise, he’s nowhere Rosicky either. I don’t see how he could have been more than a squad player. So it was good for him to leave and secure first-team football elsewhere.

  • Goofle – I like Arsenal, and like the fans (I think we have a pretty decent relationship with you lot on Vital Football) but dude I think your WELL out of order with your last comment!!!

  • Goofle what an ignorant thing to say… you are a disgrace to your fans. Does the same thing apply to Bentley when he plays for England as well??? to**er.

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