Goodbye David Bentley
Goodbye David Bentley. You'll always be remembered for that magical magical moment when you set your foot on fire and jumped in a pool. And the star jumps outside the training ground. And kicking a ball into a skip. Hitting the post. A lamp post. With a Porsche. Oh yeah, almost forgot, and that goal against Arsenal.
I remember being abroad (at least I think I was) when we signed him. £16M or so to not-exactly-fill-the-gap left by Robbie Keane's departure to Liverpool. For all the form and hype that arrived with the player, he never settled or found an identity in a Spurs shirt.
There might have been a patch of form somewhere in amongst it (2010 when Spurs were pushing with all their might to make it into the top four) but for the most part he was the wrong player at the wrong time. A winger that doesn't beat players with pace but was meant to beat them with his passing range, except that THFC was like kryptonite to his super skills. Every attempted pass or touch was drowned without remorse thanks to the unnecessary necessity for him to add some glitz and gloss on the deliver. It was more casting couch flop than brightly lit star of Hollywood. Every single time he stood in the spot light he shifted back into the shadows.
That goal in the 4-4 was only ever matched with drenching Harry Redknapp in water post-Eastland's victory. There was a missed penalty in the Carling Cup final against Manchester United, a limp effort, one that I stood watching from my seat at Wembley knowing he'd miss before he took it. Loans to West Ham and FC Rostov failed to ignite. They were doomed escapisms, one cut short by injury and the other, well, I have not a clue how he got on in Russia. That loan move in itself was a head-scratcher, again highlighting how far his fall from grace was. He always appeared to be a player more comfortable in a studded jacket with his non-footballing activities than one where he had to wear studded boots.
For someone that promised so much, for someone that looked or gave the impression he wanted it so much, he made less impact than a flea jumping in a puddle. It happens. It does and has gone wrong for many players that make a big move and then make little progress. I think this ilk of signing is one that Daniel Levy possibly tries hard to avoid. Players of the moment. Although I'm pretty sure I wasn't completely appeased by this capture when it happened although I'm sure I didn't want (or expect it) to fail so spectacularly with its low key plummet to near obscurity.
If there was more going on, if the player couldn't cope or just wasn't built to handle pressure and expectation, then it's pretty much been a costly experience for us and one that has made him a far richer individual for all his lack of endeavour (or the inability to sustain endeavour in the first place).
Good luck David. Whatever it is you do next. You still sort of look like David Beckham. You'll always have that. And those underpants.
Gallas also gone. A much maligned individual (again, probably for his Arsenal roots and somewhat flaky personality when there and at Chelsea) that was kept on for one season longer than he should have been but at times did (don't pretend) perform outstandingly well, with the stand out performance in the 3-2 win at the Emirates and consistent displays during his first couple of seasons with us. Although most prefer to highlight his off days than his good ones. Did a job for us. Towards the end, faded, as expected and should not have played half the games he did. Those old tired legs to blame and his mind distracted, probably too busy trying to work out which way his legs were going to move.
Bostock released, not a real shock. Seems like we've had him at Spurs for years and years. Well, six to be exact. Again, another player consumed by expectation thanks to the hype that surrounded his arrival. Was quite obviously never half as good as his cameo appearances as a 16 year for Crystal Palace suggested. Much like many other kids that came and go, we are only really taking note of Bostock's departure because of that initial hype. Much ado about nothing in-between.