Tottenham Hotspur outcast David Bentley has admitted that he loves receiving abuse from opposition fans and thinks punters have the right to have a go at players.
Bentley, on loan at Blackburn Rovers, was on the receiving end of plenty of four-letter abuse and wolf-whistles from Millwall at the Den during Rovers' 0-0 FA Cup quarter-final game on Sunday.
But the glamorous winger enjoyed the stick and is looking forward to more of the same in Wednesday's replay.
He told The Sun: "That’s what football should be about. There should be more of it.
“Every ground you go to should be like that. The fans fully involved. And the language is part of it.
“At times we get a bit politically correct in this society. Fans should be allowed to drink, enjoy themselves and abuse the players.
“The players should take it. Football’s like a pantomime.
“It’s the way it should be. It makes it more exciting.
“Football, especially now, can seem a bit boring. People are paying big money to go to games. I see no problem with what they say. As long as you stay away from racist and homophobic stuff, it’s fine.”
Seemingly the orchestrator of the pantomime on Sunday, Bentley even threw in his own cheeky gestures and mimes to wind up the Millwall crowd even further.
He added: “That wasn’t the worst I’ve had. I was seeing what more they could dig up for me.
“We have gone too far away from it. It’s nice to come to places and get this sort of treatment.
“I’ve played at Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham, take your pick. So I get abused pretty much everywhere. I played at Arsenal in the last round for Blackburn.
“I only came on for 20 minutes and the crowd were all over me. I enjoy it. It’s why I play.”
Arsenal graduate Bentley, 28, joined Spurs back in 2008 for a fee around the £15 million mark with hopes of becoming an England regular after getting a taste for the Three Lions earlier in his career.
But he has failed to push on his career - instead being shipped out on loan to a host of clubs while still under contract at White Hart Lane, which runs out this summer.
But the flamboyant winger insists he is only looking at the short-term for now and that is helping Blackburn Rovers try and reach the FA Cup final.
Bentley added: “I’ve played at Wembley a few times and win, lose or draw it’s a good day out. I only think short-term now. I spent too much time thinking long-term.
“I’m older and wiser. I’m out of contract with Tottenham in the summer and will evaluate what I do then.
“The Millwall game wasn’t pretty but I had to adapt and battle and I really enjoyed it as much as I would have done had we won 3-0 with fancy-dan football.”
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