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?
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.