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Heartache for hitman Bent as Capello wields the axe

Sports News - May 30, 2010

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!”.



  1. blindside

    June 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Would it not be prudent to wait and see?

  2. Catcher

    June 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I am going to be bigger than some and say i feel sorry for him even though he conducted himself poorly after leaving Spurs. Some may say he got his just deserts, but not me. Anyone who has got that close to making the squad i genuinely feel sorry for.

  3. RALLY

    June 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    What a pity for such a talented young player. Heskey should get the boot & not Bent

  4. Billy

    June 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Could have scored but there were no beachballs to deflect off of!!

  5. Jay

    June 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Even if Heskey has to go (I don’t buy into the whole “team plays better with him” argument, but that’s irrelevant), why is Bent also behind Defoe???

    He’s a better proven goalscorer, is just as quick if not quicker, has more of a physical/ariel presence, and to top it all off is in far better form than Defoe too!!

  6. Fife

    June 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Jay – Defoe is going instead of Bent because he has proven he can perform on a big stage.

    Bent is mid-table striker without the ability to handle the stress of a world cup……end of story.

  7. Nostalgicred

    June 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    You gotta listen to the man. Fabio’s brought us thus far. He knows what he’s doing. Check out Fabio’s song, it says it all!!!!

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