Heartache for hitman Bent as Capello wields the axe
By Michael Leape.
Just minutes before Capello announces his definitive World Cup squad, sources are already reporting that Sunderland striker Darren Bent is all set to miss out on this summer’s tournament in South Africa.
Reporters in and around the England camp have revealed that Bent has already been told he has failed to make the final 23. Despite his first half showing against Japan being adequate if not exhilarating, it appears that he has been unable to convince manger Capello of his international credentials.
Bent has clearly been a striker in form domestically. He managed to bag himself an impressive 24 goal haul this season despite spearheading the front line of a team that maintained its mid-table status for a successive term. The £16m summer acquisition from Champions league new comers Tottenham Hotspur has maintained a consistent ability to hit the back of the net.
His international opportunities have been limited though, with only a laborious performance against World Cup favourites Brazil and his first half against Japan his only recent forays at this standard. Unfortunately for Bent, neither were particularly memorable in the eyes of Capello, who has seen fit to omit the striker from his squad.
However, the Italian himself stated upon beginning his tenure as England chief, that players would be picked primarily on form and not reputation. If these principals are to be adhered to, one must certainly question what Emile Heskey has done, with a goal drought for both club and country which stretches back to February, to warrant an inclusion, that Bent has not.
If one of the fundamental functions of a front man is to put the ball the ball in the net, then clearly based on form alone, Bent should have been a no-brainer for Capello when compared to the often baron Heskey. Bent’s exclusion also signals good news for Spurs man Jermaine Defoe who can finally relax with regard to his place on the plane.
One down, six to go. In the words of Sir Alex Ferguson: “Its squeaky bum time!”.
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