Writer: Mikey Gamst
Date:Tuesday September 11 2007
England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce has backed David Bentley to go on and have a successful international career despite being booed by his home fans on his debut.
The Blackburn player was jeered by a large number of England supporters after coming on at Wembley in Saturday's 3-0 win over Israel, but Pearce feels the incident will be just a one-off.
The supporters (except MikeyGamst) were venting their feelings at Bentley for his decision to walk out of England's Under-21 squad for the European Championships this summer, which left Pearce a man down.
'They probably made a little point of dissatisfaction but I'm sure come the next game when he gets on the pitch, that will be put behind him,' said Pearce, speaking to skysports, regarding the former Arsenal player.
He added: 'I fully expect England supporters to be right behind him and I've got my fingers crossed he will go on and have a good international career because I think he's a good player and I think he has got the tools to be an international player.
Pearce drew comparisons with the start to John Barnes' international career, which saw him being booed by his own supporters, but the Liverpool star went on to gain Pearce's and others respect by his desire to continue to deliver on the pitch.
'I was playing behind and he reacted like I expect John Barnes to: give me the ball,' explained Pearce.
'And you walk off the pitch as a team-mate of his, disapproving of any singling out of individuals but knowing full well the respect gained for John Barnes.
'If you didn't have it before you gained a bit more respect afterwards because he wouldn't go hiding, he'd say 'give me the ball, I want to play'.
'Coming off the pitch, that's what stood out that night for me, not the booing, John Barnes standing up saying 'give me the football'.'
Its time to put this to bed. Bentley will not win world wide approval for his decision but he, his manager and his peers know he made the right decision regardless of whether it was a popular one or not.
Now lets see his ability do the talking.
Date:Tuesday September 11 2007
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