What are we meant to do with Mr David Bentley?
Tapestry Part III
What are we meant to do with Mr David Bentley?
Dear Mr Levy,
David Bentley is typical of this creed that blights us with each passing season. On paper he looks the part. England's new hope for the right-wing. Good looking, so he must be as good as David Beckham because no one with a face like that could possibly be shit. He's the 'it' player of the moment. And we need a big name signing, so let's just go out and sign a right-winger because we don't actually need one having Lennon there already, but who cares, it's too much of a bargain at £15M to turn down. Let's sign him and hope he can somehow fit in to whatever system the coach decides to play.
We are then treated to some tidy goals pre-season but a run of two points from eight games turns all our players into fragile pathetic apologetic losers.
Are they playing badly because they have no confidence?
Are they playing badly because they have no confidence in the manager?
Are they playing badly because they are a team of individuals that don't quite gel together as a unit?
Are they playing badly because they are prima donna millionaires who just can't be arsed?
If it was a confidence issue that progressively got worse with each passing game thanks to Ramos inability to fashion some form of consistency and style, then why did some of our players (most of them in fact) climb out of the depths of despair and reclaim some self-pride when Harry arrived? Bentley, momentarily, did so with That Goal©. You know the one. From the half way line. He flicked it and hit it. 40 odd yards out. Flew through the sky like a squirrel with a rocket up its bum, and come down over Almunia and into the goal. It was Beckhamesque. From the half line. It’s on youtube. If you haven't seen it.
Since that giddy high, we've had very little. Plenty of Hollywood flicks and showboats. Everything that ought to be a simple pass turns into 'OH GOSH, THE CAMERA IS ON ME, LET ME DO SOMETHING A £15M WOULD DO. LOOK MA, I'M ON TOP OF THE WORLD!' instead of just, well, passing the sodding thing to the player that wants the ball.
It's not quite Neo in the Matrix. More Kev on the Hackney Marshes.
Tragic decline, witnessing a player who was so proud to sign for us and ecstatic he made the move down south to disappear into mediocrity with the rest of the team but then fail to re-emerge, rejuvenated.
Personal problems were cited. Hmm.
Play football for a living. Check.
Train two or three times per week. Check.
Good looking. Check.
Ok, so I'm making assumptions that just because someone is a millionaire footballer, then all is well. Something is obviously deeply wrong. Was it the transfer fee? Was it the bad start? Was it the fact that Redknapp managed to get the best out of BAE and nurse Lennon back to his blistering best, but couldn't quite work his magic with Bentley?
Surely a quiet word would have done the trick.
"David, just do the simple things lad. Don't try and do the impossible with every touch. Play for the team"
It obviously didn't work even though Harry persisted with playing him. The he was dropped. And injured. And playing for the reserves. And now on the bench. And Harry is hinting that the lad might leave because he can't get into the team because Harry is happy with his current selection. Keane played on Saturday. Bentley didn't.
And there we have it. In modern day football there is no room for patience. You'd think that Bentley - regardless of the transfer fee - has qualities that any top side would want in their squad. And David himself must surely want to stay on because this was his boyhood dream club move, no? To leave when you've told everyone that personal problems have been the reason for your lack of form means you haven’t been able to give it 100% and thus owe the club and the fans. And as for the club, having forked out £15M, surely that warrants a little more time to see if the investment was worth it. Unless of course there is no reason to keep a player that can only play one position and won't play in that position much if Lennon is fit.
Once more Mr Levy, this illustrates the superfluous Tottenham transfer policy that has hindered us far too often. Yes, we are a club steeped in prestigious tradition when it comes to individual flair players. We've had an abundance of them. And talking of tradition we do love a big name signing. But 10, 15 years of very little league success (only two 5th spot finishes) proves that we don't always have to buy the obvious 'must have' players just to keep up appearances on the back pages.
Bentley was not required. And yet we bought him. And I can't help but think we bought him because we had lost Keane to Liverpool and needed a flashy pick-me-up. Either that or Ramos/Comolli had written off lickle Lennon altogether. Either way - shambolic management. Yes, we're rich. But we don't have to spunk it like Peter North in a harem.
The lad seems genuine enough. And maybe he's lack of form is because of that woeful start we made, followed by the form of Lennon. Which would point to the frailties of his character. Have we signed a fragile 'must be wrapped up in cotton wool' type of player who needs hugs and bedtime stories and must be covered with the duvet so that the booger-booger man under the bed doesn't come out at night and scare him?
Maybe we'll get more 'up for it' type of bullish gritty players with Redknapp rather than the glossy cover-boy powder-puffs. But I do hate to knee-jerk. I hope he stays. I hope he tells Harry he wants to fight for his place, even if it means more time on the bench. If he asks to leave, then so be it. So much for him being a Spurs fan. But if he goes because Harry wants the extra cash in the bank, then let this be the end to superfluous signings.
You say Daniel, that you don't know your football - hence the need for a DoF. I'm sure you know enough to question the validity of £15M+ signings for players that are not a nailed on necessity. Either you are too trustworthy of the people that work below you or your thinking at times sits with merchandising and club profile ethics.
Harry has got through the first stage of rebuilding, the foundation is set. Just make sure that we don't waste our money on a conservatory or an attic conversion when all that's needed is a few cracks in the wall to be plastered over.
Thank God we don't have cowboy builders.
Sorry, clearing throat.
Slight change of plans, as the creative juices are flowing. Extended the series by one. So up next:
Part IV - Jenas (which is written, but I wont publish until tomorrow morning)
Part V - Redknapp