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Is it just me, or did Bentley play well?

Watching Tottenham in recent games I have taken a particular interest in David Bentley, Surely this player isn't as bad as seemingly every Spurs fan claims...

One thing that I noticed is that he works deceptively hard and despite accusations to the contrary he tracks back all the time and cover's a huge amount of ground, I would guess that yesterday he probably put in more miles than any other Spurs player..

I have to accept that the main reasons we bought him haven't been a success, his crossing and dead balls have been disappointing. but I have to ask if his problems are in part our own making? Bentley isn't a left sided player and although I would suggest that his wrong foot is certainly better than the average footballer, it isn't good enough to be comfortable playing on the left, particularly, when his game is all about delivery and not running at defenders.

Also it seems to me that despite lacking obvious success he has never hidden. His workrate for me was exceptional yesterday, but he was slated terribly for his performance, in several site ratings he was given a 3 out of 10 which was quite ridiculous from what I was watching. I saw a player who worked well, if not exceptionally and is if anything trying too hard to impress and in doing so is missing the main reasons for his being on the pitch in the first place...

It always saddens me that we as Spurs fans have so many players we love to hate and seem totally blind to what they actually do for the team. When we consider players like Jenas, Bent, Dawson, Ekotto, Zokora and now Bentley, are all players fans almost seem to enjoy hating. In truth all have their limitations, but who doesn't? Perhaps in the cases of some, the burden of a huge feel plays more on the minds of the fans than the players themselves.

I have written on several occasions that Bentley is being asked to play a completely different game to the one he played at Blackburn. When he was played on the right he had the attack minded Brett Emerton to support and overlap, allowing him to come inside, either in midfield or in support of the attack. I thought he was beginning to show his best form when we had Alan Hutton behind him and felt they were a potentially very strong pairing. At Spurs we are altering his position and personnel game on game, but expect him to be excellent, which is unrealistic. Perhaps in accepting he is doing a job for the team and putting them over his personal glory, we would see a different player and not see an £18 million price tag, every time a free kick goes astray...

I fully expect to be in a small minority over my feelings for Bentley and maybe it is just me that thinks he is doing far more than we are giving him credit for, but perhaps we as fans need to look at our own opinions and how we view our players, because I genuinely feel we are expecting too much from so many and completely miss what is staring us in the face...




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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 22 2008

Time: 9:51AM

 

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