Soapbox on England: book a holiday now Darren


Did anyone in the England camp actually want Darren Bent to go to South Africa? Do Rooney and Lampard have as much say as Fabio? Did Darren miss a sitter or just a half chance in a token appearance in which it was pre-ordained that he’d barely see the ball? Pete Sixsmith wonders …

I watched the first half of the England game today. I was hoping to see a sparkling performance from Darren which would ensure that he would be joining Lampard, Gerard, Cole and Terry on that flight to South Africa.

However, it was clear to me that the big boys in the team had made it clear that they did not want Darren playing with their ball. Did Wayne Rooney pass to him? Did Lampard play the ball to him? Did he get one decent pass in 45 minutes?

These are rhetorical questions, because we all know the answer. Take James out of the equation and the starting 10 came from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – the top 4, the elite, the Champions’ League boys. The only exception was Darren, stuck up in the North East with deeply unfashionable Sunderland.

Is it me being paranoid (don’t answer that!!) or are there vested interests at work here? The media feel the same way. The execrable Clive Tyldesley slammed Bent for missing a “free header” in the first half and continued to berate him and talk him down at every available opportunity.

His attitude towards Glen Johnson, who was abysmal throughout the 45 minutes I saw, was completely different. Johnson missed the Japanese player for the goal, was frequently caught out of position and gave the ball away with the regularity of a Mag spilling beer over his extended stomach. Not a word of criticism. In fact, he said that he expected Johnson and Walcott to push forward well, without any mention of the Liverpool player doing any defending.

Tyldesley comes from Lancashire (the Fylde by the sounds of him) and has worked in Liverpool. What a surprise!!

I switched off when the teams came on for the second half and didn’t even listen to it. I gather Joe Cole had a good second half, so the London based media will be happy with that as they were practically begging Capello to take him to South Africa. And what the London media want, the London media get.

It was a sloppy performance and did nothing to justify the increasingly bombastic TV adverts from Danish brewers Carlsberg, Japanese electronics firm Sony and various other multi nationals extolling the alleged strengths of the England team.

Capello has made his selections and I would imagine that media darlings Cole, Wright-Phillips, King and London based Upson will be on the trip, while a 25 goal a season striker sits it out with his new wife and step children. Still, he is in exalted company with Monty and SuperKev.

Viva Paraguay!!!!

8 thoughts on “Soapbox on England: book a holiday now Darren”

  1. Decisions, decisions, decisions. And I don’t mean whether to choose Bent or Heskey. It’s whether to watch the World Cup – starts 11 June on ITV1 or Americas Got Talent – starts 10 June on ITV2. Mr Capello, you just made my mind up. Hope there’s some good dog acts on!

  2. Just heard that Darren isn’t going. That comes as no surprise and in some ways I am rather pleased.
    First of all, I can continue to despise England and the England set up and justify it , and secondly it gives Bent a break and a good opportunity to prepare for next season.
    Viva Paraguay!!!!

  3. If I knew nothing of the situation, and watched the Japan game as a neutral, I wouldn’t take Bent either. But looking at the team performance, especially the second half, I don’t think I’d take any of the outfield players on show. The didn’t play one ball to Bent’s strengths in the first 45, then when he wasn’t there in the second, they tried to. Performances like that in the prem are what get managers sacked. Was there any point in playng heskey? Another typical, tumbling performance which told Capello nothing he didn’t already know, but he’ll still take the world’s least prolific target-man. Why no run-out for Johnson? At least he’d have got a cross or two in, unlike Lennon and the brainless Walcott….and Joe Cole as a second striker for a period? Oh, give over man, Fabio. Are you after Chris Hughton’s job?

  4. I lost faith with anything to do with the England team years ago, but remained interested. Now that interest has been replaced with feelings of contempts and disgust.

    Capello didn’t want to pick Bent al all, even for friendlies. His mind was made up. Darren simply embarrassed Capello into giving him a “chance” if that’s what 45 minutes and being subbed amounts to. Play for Sunderland and you can forget about playing for England. The Golden Boot didn’t help Kevin Phillips cause. If Gary Lineker had played for us he’d have retired with 6 caps. The England team doesn’t represent Sunderland in any respect at all. I’m shouting for Paraguay. I really don’t give a toss about the three Lions. Why should I? They don’t give a toss about us.

  5. It’ll be very interesting to see how England fare against the U.S. on June 12. They’ll be looking for an easy win but I don’t think they’ll get it.

  6. The England players will be slaughtered by the Press when they come home with their tails between their legs (possibly after the group stages)! Better off out of it Benty. Do what you’re paid to do for Sunderland and make yourself a first choice for the next Euro campaign.

  7. England are expecting too much of Bent in situations that don’t suit him. Rooney has not scored for eight games. Defoe isn’t scoring and Crouch because of his size seems to be handful. Rest assured the top coaches will know this and devise strategy to make Crouch ineffective. What will that leave England? Clearly now Bent won’t go, the lumbering Heskey and the gangly Crouch are in. England will not win the WC unless they have scoring options, they were poor against Japan & Mexico and the results are papering over the cracks. The service was terrible Carrick is out of sorts and Capello tried to persuade Scholes because he knows he is better than Carrick. Joe Cole should go, and they need Adam Johnson because he can cross a ball something A Cole and lennon seem either reluctant to are incapable of. He place a big bet on England to win the WC but I am no longer confident once again we are allowing the media to pick they team and it will end in tears

  8. Hi you have it spot on the top club players have kept a first class striker out just like K.K kept Philips out, I knew before he whent what would happen he was played out of the game because the rest of the squad want their Mates to go shame on them. Regards W.L.

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