Rolls-Royce mechanical check needed on Bentley
A recent report in the EFT Chronicle:
'Off the production line into the public, the Bentley David model has been called into question due to a recent concern. Rolls Royce have said they were not aware of any issues regarding the model, released from a North London source to Lancashire on a permanent basis for services in relation to Blackburn Rovers Football Club, and are currently looking into calls for concern regarding a recent statement the model is not performing nationally due to fatigue.
'Experts say this could be due to a lack of understanding by the model as to its expected availability once it is called into service. One loanee, Stuart Pearce, has expressed his annoyance the model will not perform due to tiredness. Having received it on loan from Blackburn boss Mark Hughes, Pearce informed EFT Hughes spoke to him to say the model may seem run down and could require a break from a needy journey to Holland, and as such the club would prefer the model was not utilised at all. Mr Pearce declined to waive the loan and was incensed to consequently find the model was reluctant to perform none the less.
'Steve McClaren, Pearce's line manager, had taken the model on his travels to Wembley and Tallinn in Estonia but did not need to use it owing to having other senior models at hand. Pearce said: "I had an inkling when Mark Hughes spoke to me on Wednesday and said he wanted to pull the [model] out, but I said 'no' as I didn't find that acceptable.
"From my point of view to say I am disappointed is a massive understatement."
I am beginning to understand David Bentley more the more I hear from him. While his performances for the U21s' and Blackburn have been good, he appears to have a huge soft spot for the national senior side. Don't they all? Yet the likes of Scott Carson, David Nugent (who came on against Andorra and scored), Nigel Reo-Coker, Matt Derbyshire, practically any player in professional football who qualify want to play for England. But the glory is not being in the side, it is making a telling contribution game in, game out. Charlton's Luke Young spoke of the fear of being on the bench, much less on the pitch coming off at half time, when the England fans booed and jeered at the seniors against Andorra. Is Bentley prepared to handle situations like that? If being in the senior squad is all that counts, my answer is no.
He was ready and available to play for the seniors against Brazil and Estonia, was on the bench and didn't feature, mainly because David Beckham had two good games, a better one in Tallinn, and was replaced by Kieron Dyer. What if McClaren prefers experienced players? It is not the playability that counts alone, maturity and thinking on and off the ball, how you apply the ball in given situations, may all count when selecting the first XI. Perhaps Bentley is content to be on the bench, as certain players are picked regularly anyway and Beckham has returned, however debatable that particular point is.
Yet to turn around after coming back from the qualifier and saying you "owe a lot to the Blackburn fans too and they are paying the money to watch me week-in and week-out" is poor mitigation. What does he think the England supporters of the U21s' are doing? He continues:
"I've never come off a 60-game season and then gone straight into another one, I was alien to it. I love playing for England, I love my country; every time I step out on the pitch I give my all for anyone I play for. If you look at my under-21s career I have never not given my all for it. I had three decisions; the club could have pulled me out, I could have pulled myself out or I could have faked an injury.
"Sometimes I get labelled with this arrogant (tag), that I just sort of toss it off now and again. It wasn't a rash decision, I asked senior players at England 'what do you feel like come October or November?' They said 'you hit a brick wall'. They also said 'if you want to be firing and you want to make a push for the European Championships next year then I really think you have got to think long and hard'."
So, what are the implications from Bentley's decision? He said he could have withdrawn from the U21s' squad, Hughes could have done it for him or he could have feigned an injury. It is the last option that would have been preferable for UEFA will only allow an exchange of players for that reason and none other. The deadline for squad names has passed so Pearce is now one player short. I would look for Bentley to conspire with Pearce to fake the injury and allow the exchange. Then again, Bentley said he is an honest lad. Pearce has stated:
"....I spoke with David and he said to me on the back of a long season - and possible burn-out next season - that he would like to pull himself out of the tournament. I tried to say to him and explain the situation, 'Where does that leave you next summer if you get in the full squad and have a full season? 'Do you say then you would be fatigued for the next season?"
My count says Blackburn had 53 games last season unless pre-season friendlies are included too and I'm not sure how long Bentley missed games due to suspension, though I sense he was suspended for the Arsenal game at home and the Man Utd game away. If the senior players said they hit a brick wall in October and November, they need to better their stamina. Talk like that has no room at the top clubs in the EPL, otherwise someone else comes in to take that space. Bentley believes not playing in the U21s' European championship will leave him in better shape to be available for the senior tournament, does he not consider that having recommended he plays in the tournament, McClaren could simply overlook him as he cannot evaluate Bentley's performance? Where does that leave the other U21 players, do they now refrain from the tournament because they want to be in good shape for consideration for Euro 2008?
I think Bentley's omission from the U21 squad will have an adverse reaction rather than a positive one. He requested it in order to be in good physical condition for consideration for Euro 2008 selection but in not partaking in the tournament has left McClaren nothing to evaluate his performance on. The Germany friendly is on August 22nd, the qualifiers thereafter are on 8th and 12th September, a month into the new season. With the league games potentially suspended on the weekends prior to due to the international matches (maybe not for the Germany friendly), that is about three or four league matches to evaluate on. Aaron Lennon should return by then and with Kieron Dyer second to Beckham, Bentley stands little chance of that which he has sacrificed to achieve. Particularly if he feels prone to a mechancial breakdown.