David Bentley’s career at Tottenham started at a difficult time for the club. In the summer of 2008, Spurs lost both of their top strikers, Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov. Juande Ramos’ team had a poor opening to the new season and by October, the manager, was dismissed, having gained only ’2 points from 8 matches’. While things improved after Harry Redknapp’s appointment, it was still a long, hard season and it was only in the spring time that Spurs were assured of their Premier League survival. David Bentley, made an immediate impression in Redknapp’s team, scoring the opening goal in a 4 – 4 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates with a dipping volley from over forty yards. In that first season Bentley started 29 League and Cup matches with another 6 appearances as a substitute but he scored only two goals. In the Carling Cup Final he came on as a late substitute but put his penalty wide as Spurs lost out to Manchester United at Wembley.
At the start of the season Bentley and Aaron Lennon were in competition for the right side of midfield but by the spring of 2009, however, it was Lennon who claimed the right wing role and Bentley was reduced to a place on the substitutes’ bench. It was a similar situation the following year with Lennon first choice and only the occasional opportunity for Bentley. A lengthy absence through injury to Lennon gave Bentley another opportunity in the team as it made an assault on a successful top four finish. He made 24 appearances with 19 starts and scored 4 goals.
Many people’s lasting memory of David Bentley at Tottenham, however, will be of him kicking a ball from a rooftop in to a skip below or of him dancing in his pants after being one of a number of players who poured a bucket of water over Harry Redknapp as he was being interviewed following the team’s win at Manchester City which secured Spurs’ Champions League qualification.
Since that day in May, 2010, Bentley has made only 3 appearances for Tottenham. In January, 2011 he joined Birmingham City on loan, the following summer it was off to West Ham United but he played only 5 games before being struck down by injury.
The arrival of Andre Villas-Boas presented Bentley with a chance to revive his Tottenham career but after being involved in the preseason matches, in September he went out on loan to Russian side, FC Rostov, where he played 7 games. While in Russia, Bentley spoke of his future in an article in the Daily Mail,
“I don’t know what the future holds. Football can change so fast. I respect Villas-Boas for taking the Spurs job. He had a tough time at Chelsea and Harry was always a difficult act to follow. But I think it might happen for them this year, whether I am part of that, I don’t know.”
Bentley’s club career suffered at Tottenham as did his England chances. He has won seven caps, six before coming to White Hart Lane. His last England game was a friendly in august, 2008, he was in the next squad but hasn’t been selected since.
With every passing transfer period, there is an expectation that Bentley will leave Tottenham. Last week, there was speculation that he might be re-united with Harry Redknapp at Queen’s Park Rangers. The Deadline Day rumours suggested that the Loftus Road club were trying to conclude deals for Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend (on loan). In the end, Jenas completed a permanent move while Townsend went on loan to the end of the season.
A tweet on the BBC Sport Transfer News summed up perfectly the views of Tottenham supporters,
David Bentley is 28 years old and is currently back with Spurs. He has been listed in the Tottenham squad which was lodged with the Premier League at the beginning of February but he question many ask is, “Why is he still at Tottenham?”
What Did Happen to the Other DB
He continued playing, is still eager to represent his country and after over 100 appearances for LA Galaxy and two loan periods with AC Milan, he’s just joined Paris St-Germain, donating his five month salary to a children’s charity in Paris, to make ‘Brand Beckham” front page news.
Read: “I am A Russian International Striker” Here
Over To You!
Why have so many international players at Tottenham been sidelined in recent years?