Date:Wednesday August 22 2007
It is a debate that has rumbled on for a long time, and I know it will be seen as digging up the past and maybe even not moving on but something has been bugging me ALL week!!!
This thing that has been bugging me is not only the fact that David Bentley was omitted from the Senior England Squad last week, but the fact that if he was omitted for the reasons he was supposed to have been, how come England see fit to recall Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor at Under-21 level?
The fact that Bentley pulled out so near to the European Under-21 Championships in the way that he did has seen him branded with all manor of names. However, Agbonlahor, if people remember ALSO missed the Championships. I can't remember the full details but I seem to remember that Agbonlahor could not be contacted by anyone at the FA, as he had gone away. Martin O'Neil later took the blame, but MANY people believed that this had been a subtle ploy to get him out of playing in that summer's tournament.
The reasoning behind each missing the European Under-21 Championships, and the timing of them doing so does differ but they are similar. However, it appears to be one rule for one (Agbonlahor), and one for another (Bentley) in terms of punishment of the players. Basically, as has been suggested Bents WOULD have been better off faking an injury or doing as Agbonlahor had, gone away and forgotten his phone!
If Steve McClaren has genuinely left Bentley out of the current squad as punishment for his late withdrawal (although personally I see this as a convenient coincidence) then fair enough. However, even if that is the case McClaren had still cut off his nose to spite his face!!! Why had Agbonlahor not been punished in a similar way for the Under-21's, surely the same rules must apply to both, even if the circumstances of both missing the Championships were slightly different, with Bents' very late withdrawal leaving England a man light.
People will say this is paranoid ramblings of a conspiracy theorist, but we all know Rovers get a VERY raw deal at the best of times don't we guys so you can't help but think we are being cut another bum deal here (or maybe I am the lone paranoid conspiracy theorist here!!!)
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Date:Wednesday August 22 2007
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