Football

The rise and fall of David Bentley

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Twenty-nine years of age with no club to his name, the Peterborough-born winger must wonder how his career deteriorated very, very quickly. 

David Bentley the English footballer renowned for his ability as a winger who can also play in central midfield and as a second striker. 

A product of Arsenal academy, he was regarded as one for the future and was given a chance by Arsene Wenger at the tender age of 16.

The boy had class and he showed it with his first goal for the club which was a chip shot from the edge of the box over goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who was plying his trade for Middlesbrough at the time.

With his chances being limited due to the strength of Arsenal squad at the time he searched for first team opportunities elsewhere. 

Two seasons later and an impressive loan stint at Blackburn Rovers earned him a permanent move to the Lancashire side in 2006.

He continued making a name for himself, scoring a hat-trick in his first game on a permanent basis for Blackburn against Manchester United.  

He carried on with the fine form ending the season Bentley with seven goals and 13 assists for Blackburn - a phenomenal return at that.

His form didn't go unnoticed as he was voted the club's player of the year. On the international stage, following an impressive 2006–07 season for Blackburn, Bentley was called up for the England match against Albania.

He got his first cap and started and finished the match garnering positive reviews whilst receiving man of the match award for his performance.  

The following season he replicated the same fine form for club and country, cementing his place as one England's regular. He finished the season with eight goals and 13 assists for Blackburn. 

By 2008, he was being tracked by many clubs but it was Tottenham who eventually were the ones who got their man for a fee of £17million, which at the time must have looked like a bargain.

Bentley was on top of the world, he was being touted as the next David Beckham and he just signed for a club with ambitions to the well in the league and Europe- what could go wrong? 

He scored his first competitive goal for Spurs in the UEFA Cup match against Wisła Kraków on 18 September 2008. Who could forget the spectacular goal against his boyhood club Arsenal with a 43-yard dipping volley he became an immediate fan favourite.

After a great start to the club he suffered managerial issues with him and Harry Redknapp as he fell down the pecking order and just couldn't displace Aaron Lennon.

From a neutral point of view it wasn't all the player's fault, the Tottenham side under Redknapp was a direct side, the manager preferred pace and speed rather than a player with glitz and a bag of skills.

This is why Lennon was a firm favourite to occupy the right flank. Controversy also stained his time at White Hart Lane, in 2009 he was arrested for drink driving an incident which he had to give a grovelling apology in the club website he was fined heavily and it restricted him to minimal matches in the 09/10 season.

Later on that season his actions along with other players in the celebration of clinching a place in the top four would all but derail the relationship with him and the manager to a point of no return.

As Redknapp was giving a post match interview he was drenched with water, while Redknapp is always seen as jovial, as a players’ manager and able to enjoy a joke, he lost his sense of humour and seemingly never forgave Bentley for his part in the stunt.

Bentley paid a heavy price for dancing in front of the cameras next to his soaking boss, he was sent to the reserves and the next two season found himself juggling minutes at West Ham United, Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers. 

Just turning 29, it is maybe too late to resurrect his career at the top level, there's not a definite reason as to his downfall.

Maybe he just fell out of love with the game as this has happened to many notable stars in the past decade or so.

The man touted as the next Beckham will one day wonder if he could just have achieved more in his turbulent career. 

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
David Bentley
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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