Football FanCast guest columnist Pete Harris hopes that David Bentley is given the chance to shine in Lennon’s absence.
After an encouraging start to the season with a solid 19 points from 9 games Tottenham found themselves misfiring at home to Stoke on Saturday. The absence of Defoe’s predatory instincts in front of goal was there for all to see as Spurs missed numerous opportunities to put themselves ahead. Despite all the dominance of the home team it was Stoke who struck an unlikely winner late in the game to secure the points.
Spurs were not aided by Aaron Lennon’s surprise decision to down tools after 80 minutes when he limped off the field of play at 0-0 leaving his teammates to search for a winning goal with just 10 men. It had been pretty much one way traffic up until this point with Spurs throwing everything but the proverbial against a resolute Stoke defence.
You would have to assume that a player in such discomfort and unable to complete the full 90 minutes on Saturday would surely be unavailable for selection in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. Cue, David Bentley’s long awaited return to work in a Spurs shirt.
Bentley should be chomping at the bit to resurrect his Spurs career, re-establish his England credentials…or at the very least put himself back in the shop window for a move away in January. There are obviously now question marks over his commitment and appetite to compete for a starting role again but I for one would like to see him stay and not only fight for his place in the team but be given the opportunity to keep it should he perform!
A contentious statement I know given the exceptional form of Aaron Lennon so far this season but I think Bentley gives us another option particularly when Spurs look to play a more direct style with Crouch or Pav up front. David has the ability to put the ball onto the head of a striker 9 times out of ten, a very potent weapon with 3 meter Peter on the field – while Lennon’s mazy runs still flatter to deceive a lot of the time. It is maybe a little unfair to expect Lennon to maintain such blistering form for the whole season that has seen him cement his place in Fabio Capello’s World Cup plans. However I feel that Lennon’s performances have just started to dip of late and when a players form starts to dip there’s nothing better than a timely reminder that there are others in the squad offering competition for places.
In the absence of Lennon I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see Harry opt for Robbie Keane or Kyle Naughton on the right hand side of midfield against Everton on Tuesday. Both would do an adequate job I’m sure, but neither would offer Lennon what I believe might be a timely reminder that there are still others in this Spurs squad willing and able to compete for his place – in what has so far been a very promising Spurs side.