Whilst this new signing is by no means the only reason for Juande Ramos’ team’s struggling start to the season, he does seem to have shown that he may well be a very big waste of money!
David Bentley is not a player liked by many, whether it be because of his refusal to play for the England Under-21 team in favour of taking a holiday, or because he treated Blackburn Rovers with sheer contempt. He continually tried to leave the club that had put him back on the footballing map after he was seen as surplus to requirements at Arsenal, and does appear to be a player who engenders a great deal of hatred and anger. Could it be because he represents in many ways the uglier side of football?
Since arriving at White Hart Lane, the 24-year-old England international hasn’t shown much in the way of a return on the £17m investment the club has made, and he has also been reported as being a tad unhappy with his boss, after he was seen as not in good enough form to feature in Capello’s plans. Of course, that could well just be pure paper talk, but Bentley is a player who attracts more than his fair share of a bad press and, whilst it is a cliché, it is also in many ways true that there is no smoke without fire.
Think of the similar fee that the White Hart Lane outfit paid for Darren Bent, a player who was pilloried (wrongly in my view) for a mediocre start to his Tottenham career. The former Charlton man knuckled down and didn’t complain, and is one of the few successes of this current season. Bent has a different attitude to Bentley, who seems to see his career progression as an entirely different entity to the club he plays for. By this, I mean that he seems more like the kind of footballer who wants to move his way up the footballing ladder, rather than trying to take the club he is paid by up that ladder instead.
There are many players at the club who seem to be happy to take the money and not give back what they should to their employers. Players who just don’t really seem to have their heart in it, something does need to be done. After all, there is no doubting that the players in their squad are of top six calibre, and that is what makes the fall from grace so galling. There are some players in the current squad who I think will show what they are made of, but I honestly don’t see Bentley being one.
Anyone who thinks David Bentley wouldn’t take the first boat out of White Hart Lane is deluded, the preening wide-man has displayed his total lack of loyalty before, and he strikes me as an individual who wouldn’t think twice about orchestrating a move away from the club if their relegation battle turned into an actual drop to the Championship.
Whilst it is true that many players are wrongly dubbed troublemakers and layabouts seeking fame and fortune over hard work and determination, I do get the sense (I truly hope incorrectly) that the club’s number five will not be up for the fight that is ahead.