Date:Thursday February 8 2007
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.
Date:Thursday February 8 2007
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