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Bentley Left Picking Splinters Out…

Bentley Left Picking Splinters Out…

An alternative from BomBom to my take on David Bentley being overlooked by England on Wednesday evening (again!) His full title was in fact "SHOCKER Bentley left picking splinters out as Dyer & Jenas get a game!" sadly this was too long to fit in!!!

Once again, this time in Estonia, Steve McClaren left David Bentley and Rovers fans disappointed by deciding not to blood the right midfielder, choosing instead to give former old boy Stuart Downing a run out, along with perennial squad members and perennial under achievers Kieron "Completely" Dyer and Jermaine Jenas another cap.

Whilst it is very little surprise to the majority of Rovers fans, who fully expected David to sit on the bench all night, it highlights McClaren stubborn streak whereas it seemed he was bowing to public and media opinion by including him in the squad, only to see him play absolutely no part in the friendly international against Brazil or against Estonia.

Dyer replaced Beckham on 68 minutes and, although I was unable to see the game, I would imagine that Dyer's (and Jenas and Downing's) biggest weakness on those flanks is the inability to consistently provide accurate, dangerous crosses from out wide. To be fair, Jenas is not a wide player and Downing is capable if not internationally capable.

With Peter Crouch also playing this evening, it gave them even more of a target to find and hit from out wide.

The first review and rating of the England lads I come across read like this.

"Kieron Dyer (for Beckham, 68): Slotted into midfield well and was positive down the flanks, but lacked final pass or finish - 6.

"Stewart Downing (for Cole, 75): Middlesbrough winger produced another competent showing and tested keeper Mart Poom with a right-foot drive - 6.

"Jermaine Jenas (for Owen, 88): Little chance to make an impact - 6

Downing was "competent???" Should England internationals be more than "competent?" Granted Jenas was given very little time to do anything other than warm up thoroughly. The biggest tell tale sign, for me and I am sure, other Rovers fans would be that the reviewer highlighted that there was no end product from Dyer, despite getting into good positions.

This is something that David Bentley is more than accomplished at and can do so as and when required, from deep or from the corner of the 18-yard box.

I have to say; I am more than disappointed with Bentley's lack of opportunity for England, even more so when McClaren continually turns to the same players on the bench to deliver.

If England are fortunate enough to qualify for Euro 2008, I sincerely hope he continues this determined approach as I can imagine, being a goal behind in a crucial group game and needing a spark from the bench, when he turns to his options, he will take the same thought process and put Dyer on. Why does he think that suddenly Dyer will turn into the second coming of Christ and elevate his game?? Personally, I would rather someone who CAN cross, who can deliver when needed and who would inject something into the game. The only question mark is whether Bentley IS indeed, international class?

So, with that in mind, can David Bentley do that for England??? Not even Bentley truly knows that answer but until he is given an opportunity to show what he is can do at that level, neither will McClaren know!

Simple answer, start selecting squads on playing form not on player names!!!

It may well do England a whole lot of good if this current team failed to qualify then finally, someone might just look up and realise that there are far too many players in that squad who are there on reputation and reputation alone. Until that time, England fans will just have to put up with an under performing Frank Lampard, an unfit Michael Owen and a bench load of long lost reputations!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday June 7 2007
Time: 10:39AM


This was actually written and submitted to me around the same time as the Bentley bit I wrote, but it wasn't until much later (after I had even written then published mine) that I even realised he had done this, it was not an attempted to hog the front page! As you can see we BOTH agreed that we felt it was more a “"publicity thing" that saw Stevie Mac include Bents in any case, my estimations of Stevie Mac rose a little with his inclusion (and the overdue recall of Becks) but these estimations were not raised for long!
Hughes Da Man
07/06/2007 10:41:00
Technically though Bents wasn't even left picking splinters was he, as he wasn't even named on the bench, not sure what the stands are like in Estonia though?!?! On the article though, I couldn't agree more with BomBom, if these players that Stevie Mac keeps looking to (from the bench) are still not doing it, it is DEFINITELY time for change. I am convinced that bents IS International quality and WILL deliver is Stevie Mac grows a pair, as it looked (for a brief, brief moment he had!)
Hughes Da Man
07/06/2007 10:42:00
I read somewhere that he wasn't even in Estonia - He'd been sent to team up with the Under 21s. I heard some pundits talking about the lack of product from Dyer, who then when onto say "when Lennon is back, he'll come in as the understudy. Only thing is his crossing - Most end up behind the goal. If he can sort this out, and also learn some real wingers skills then we'll have an automatic replacement." Er, HELLO!!! How about the most consistent English crosser in England already being ready!!!!. I just hope Bentley excells in this tournament and shows everyone what he can do, on a stage that hopefully McErikkson is watching.
Head Rover Heels
07/06/2007 11:04:00
McErickson??? NICE. Dont get me started on this. I am annoyed and McClaren is thick. Simple.
07/06/2007 11:11:00
Sooo many of the current England set-up are players that I HONESTLY can't understand WHY they are still in! Even my mother (bless her!) said people like Jenas, Dyer and Downing MUST have something on McEriksson (I like that one Head Rover Heels!) for them to constently be selected! This is something people have mentioned several times on here. I'm looking forward to the under-21's tournament, we have a good squad going, and SHOULD see a lot of two Rovers STARS out in Holland, not that McEriksson will watch much of it I guess!!!
Hughes Da Man
07/06/2007 11:25:00
I must admit.. the last 3 games for England I've seen Downing play he's looked a solid backup for Cole. He's a natural left-footer and his right foot is good too. I give him my approval (plus I'd never advocate playing Bents on the left). Jenas's appearance... don't get me started.. he was *****e as always. Dyer makes great runs always.. but I think in the whole game he completed 1 successful pass out of about 10 (I'd like to see the stats)... I just fail to see why McClaren didn't just give bents a run out. At 3-0 up and becks slightly injured bwhy not give the cap to someone who it would mean a lot to instead of players already established as poor squad players
07/06/2007 11:42:00
Dyer is a player that can play anywhere - but nowhere that well. I cannot believe that Jenas was even selected ahead of Carrick a guy who has been instrumental in a championship win!! It all adds up to the fact that Maclaren is a muppet, who is tactically weak. In all honesty Sven did a better job.
07/06/2007 12:12:00
Bents4eng - As soon as Becks picked up the injury I thought here we go bring on Bents, then I remembered he wasn't EVEN on the bench so he wasn't get a run out. Someone has suggested he wasn't even with the squad as he had gone off to link up with the under-21's?!?!
Hughes Da Man
07/06/2007 13:58:00
Wellsy - Totally agree. For all his faults Sven did do a better job, in fairness to the guy he did a pretty good one in fact, he just bottled it with important decisions, and more to the point important decisions at major Championships!
Hughes Da Man
07/06/2007 14:00:00
To give Jenas a game b4 Bents is scandalous, if he had played SWP or Lennon then fair enuff, they have played for England b4 and they are rite wingers so u could have understood, but Jenas, an average central midfielder ( in my opinion ) Bentley will never learn if he never gets a chance so its about time that England gets in a man that has the guts to try these players in full competive matches against better players, no offense to the U21 but u learn by playing against the established players with experience
07/06/2007 14:06:00
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