Shock at Bent omission from squad
RIDICULOUS, mind-boggling, embarrassing. They were among the reactions from Ipswich Town players outraged at Darren Bent's omission from England's World Cup squad, with Theo Walcott chosen ahead of him.
RIDICULOUS, mind-boggling, embarrassing. They were among the reactions from Ipswich Town players outraged at Darren Bent's omission from England's World Cup squad, with Theo Walcott chosen ahead of him, writes Derek Davis.
While all agreed Walcott is an exciting prospect, the general consensus was he is unrealised potential and not ready for the World Cup stage
Matt Richards, who shared digs and grew up with Bent in the Academy, has played alongside him for Ipswich, England under-19s and under-21s. He spoke with his close friend yesterday morning before the squad was announced but he already knew he was not going.
Richards said: “As you can imagine Darren is very disappointed and I'm gutted for him.
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“I couldn't believe it when I found out and just don't understand why he is not going. For him not to even be on stand-by is puzzling.
“He has done enough to be in the squad. Only Thierry Henry and Ruud Van Nistelrooy have scored more than him in the Premiership, yet he doesn't figure - it is ridiculous.”
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Ipswich Town captain Jason De Vos was almost struck speechless when the EADT told him the England squad included Walcott but not Bent.
Once he composed himself, the Canadian, who was playing in the World Cup qualifiers last year, added: “I would say I'm surprised but after some of the decisions Eriksson has made over the years I shouldn't be really.
“He has chosen a lad who has never played in the Premiership, and two other strikers who are injured, and another who has hardly set the world alight with his goals for Liverpool.
“And he has left out Bent, who has scored more goals than Crouch, Owen and Walcott put together this season - it is mind-boggling.
“I'm an adopted Englishman, my son and daughter were born here, and I really want England to win the World Cup but my hopes have been dashed now.”
Darren Currie, whose uncle Tony played for England, was convinced Bent would be going to Germany. Speaking from Menorca, the Blues Player of the Year said: “Eriksson has said that selecting Aaron Lennon may have surprised a few people but he can explain that by saying Lennon is young, is quick and has had a very good season in the Premiership. Exactly like Darren Bent.
“To me, that shows that it is a case of getting in if your face fits.
“Benty has scored the third-highest amount of goals in the top flight. He has been Charlton's Player of the Year and will probably be talked about as a £8m to £10m transfer target during the summer. I just hope this doesn't damage Darren. He is a strong person but this will be devastating for him.”
Currie also questioned the selection of Owen Hargreaves and Rob Green.
“It is laughable, I'm actually embarrassed by that selection.”
Bent's omission means that Ipswich Town miss out on a potential £400,000 summer pay-out. The EADT first revealed that Town would get a bonus package of £200,000 for each of the first two competitive games played by Bent for England as part of his £3m move to Charlton.