David Bentley

David Bentley
David Bentley
David Bentley.jpg
Bentley playing for Tottenham Hotspur
Personal information
Full name David Michael Bentley
Date of birth 27 August 1984 (1984-08-27) (age 27)
Place of birth Peterborough, England
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current club West Ham United
(on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Number 8
Youth career
0000–1997 Wormley
1997–2002 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2006 Arsenal 1 (0)
2004–2005 Norwich City (loan) 26 (2)
2005–2006 Blackburn Rovers (loan) 14 (0)
2006–2008 Blackburn Rovers 88 (13)
2008– Tottenham Hotspur 42 (3)
2011 Birmingham City (loan) 13 (0)
2011– West Ham United (loan) 5 (0)
National team
2005–2007 England U21 8 (4)
2007 England B 1 (0)
2007– England 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:16, 12 October 2011 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

David Michael Bentley (born 27 August 1984) is an English footballer who plays for West Ham United as a winger, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.

Bentley started his career with Arsenal, and despite being earmarked as one for the future, saw his playing opportunities limited by a strong senior squad. He spent two seasons on loan with Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers, and sealed a permanent transfer to Rovers in January 2006. Bentley produced strong performances for his new club, and soon featured regularly for the England under-21 team. He made his senior international debut against Israel in September 2007. In July 2008, Bentley joined Tottenham Hotspur. He spent time on loan to Birmingham City in 2011.


Club career


Born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire,[2] Bentley started his youth career at Wormley Football Club in Wormley, Hertfordshire, before moving to Arsenal at the age of 13 as a forward, occasionally playing in the hole.[3] However, as seasons went by he found himself being used primarily in midfield, usually as a wide midfielder.[3] He was only 16 when Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger asked him to join in training with the senior squad.[4] By January 2003, he was handed his senior debut, coming on as a substitute for Kolo Touré in the 77th minute of a 2–0 FA Cup Third Round win over Oxford United.[2] Bentley's first goal for Arsenal, an audacious lob in a 4–1 FA Cup win over Middlesbrough in January 2004, earned comparisons with Arsenal veteran Dennis Bergkamp.[2] He played once in the league for Arsenal, starting against Portsmouth in May 2004.[5]

Bentley spent the whole of the next league season on loan to Norwich City, playing 26 league games and scoring two goals against Newcastle and Southampton.[6] His season at Carrow Road was interrupted by an injury sustained in January. He returned to the side in April 2005, coming off the bench against Manchester United and playing a key role in Norwich's 2–0 win.[7] Despite a late run of form, the Canaries were relegated from the Premier League on the last day of the season. Bentley returned to Arsenal in the summer of 2005, but submitted a transfer request, citing his desire for first team football.[2] In subsequent interviews, he also revealed that he was having "personal problems" at that point in his career and had lost his enjoyment for football—problems which he overcame later in his Blackburn Rovers career.[8] He later admitted he had been addicted to gambling in the early stages of his career, reaching a peak of placing 100 bets a day. He got over his problems in 2005.[9]

Desiring a permanent move, Bentley was linked with a number of clubs including Wolverhampton Wanderers, before being dispatched on a further season's loan to Blackburn Rovers in August 2005.

Blackburn Rovers

In January 2006, Blackburn announced they had signed Bentley on a permanent basis from Arsenal.[10] In his first match after permanently signing for Blackburn, he scored his first senior hat trick in a 4–3 victory against Manchester United, becoming the first player in the history of the Premier League to score three goals in one game against United.[10] Bentley went on to feature regularly for Blackburn in the 2005–06 season, and helped the club finish sixth in league standings and qualify for the 2006–07 UEFA Cup.[6][11]

Bentley taking a corner for Blackburn

The 2006–07 season saw Bentley become more of a regular goalscorer for Rovers, including some stunning strikes in the Premiership.[12][13] In Europe, a 25 yard volley against Salzburg in the UEFA Cup helped secure Rovers' passage into the group stage,[14] where he also scored a last minute winner against Wisła Kraków.[15] Bentley's club performances attracted much transfer speculation. However, on 27 February 2007, despite being linked to a move to Manchester United, he agreed to a new contract that would keep him with Blackburn until 2011.[16][17] Commenting on the new deal, Rovers manager Mark Hughes described Bentley as "a great talent with a big future" while Chairman John Williams added that he "is widely regarded as one of the best young footballers in the country."[17] Bentley ended the season with seven goals and 13 assists for Blackburn, the latter statistic also highlighting his creative importance to the team.[6] The young midfielder was later voted by Rovers fans as the club's Player of the Year.[18]

Bentley recorded similar statistics in the following campaign, scoring eight goals and providing 13 assists.[6] Blackburn finished seventh in the Premier League, but did not qualify for European competition. Bentley's consistent performances for his club, however, ensured that he played in a series of post-season friendlies for England. But that was to be the Englishman's final season with the Lancashire club. Not long after the departure of manager Mark Hughes to Manchester City, Bentley reiterated his desire to join a bigger club, and Blackburn placed a valuation of the player at around £18 million.

Tottenham Hotspur

Bentley with West Ham United, September 2011
Bentley playing for Spurs in the North London derby in October 2009

On 31 July 2008, Tottenham Hotspur announced their signing of Bentley from Blackburn Rovers for £15 million, and up to an additional £2 million payable upon future performances.[19] Bentley made his competitive debut on 16 August 2008 away at Middlesbrough where Spurs lost 2–1.[20] He scored his first competitive goal for Spurs in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup first round tie against Wisła Kraków on 18 September 2008. He then scored his first league goal for Tottenham against his old club Arsenal with a 43-yard dipping volley in a 4–4 draw on 29 October 2008.[21] Bentley's form would suffer at Tottenham, however, and after falling down the pecking order for both club and country, it was reported on 17 June 2009 that he was in talks to move to Aston Villa.[22] Subsequently, it was revealed by Bentley and Aston Villa that this was untrue.[23]

The form of Aaron Lennon meant that Bentley has mostly been used as a substitute for the start 2009–10 season, although he did score a free kick in Tottenham's 9–1 victory over Wigan Athletic, with the ball then going in off the back of Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.[24] He also scored the second goal from a free kick in a 2–0 home win over Fulham on 26 January 2010.[25] In June, Bentley confirmed that, unless told otherwise, he would stay at White Hart Lane.

Birmingham City (loan)

On 12 January 2011, Bentley joined Birmingham City on loan for the remainder of the season.[26] He went straight into the starting eleven for the Second City derby against Aston Villa and was named man of the match.[27] Bentley scored his first goal for Birmingham in a 3–2 win against Coventry City in the fourth round of the 2010–11 FA Cup. Described in the Birmingham Mail's season review as having "flattered to deceive", he failed to establish himself in the first team, and returned to Tottenham at the end of the season.[28]

West Ham United (loan)

On 31 August 2011, Bentley signed a season-long loan deal with Championship side West Ham United.[29] He made his debut on 10 September 2011 in a 4-3 home win against Portsmouth.[30] In October 2011, he was ruled out for six months following a knee operation and has subsequently returned to Tottenham for treatment.[31]

International career

Bentley has played for the England under-15 and under-16 teams, captained the England under-18 team and played for the England under-21 team.[2][10] He recorded eight caps and four goals with the Under-21 team,[32] He was the first Englishman to score at the new Wembley Stadium in a game against the Italy under-21 team on 24 March 2007.[33]

In May 2007, following an impressive 2006–07 season for Blackburn, Bentley was called up for the England B international at Turf Moor for a match against Albania. After naming him as a starter, England manager Steve McClaren said Bentley had the potential to become England's "new David Beckham".[34] In that match, Bentley provided the cross for Stewart Downing's first goal and was involved in the buildup to Downing's second in the 3–1 victory for England.[35] He received the Man of the Match award for his performance.[35] The next day, he was named in McClaren's 26-man full England squad for the friendly match against Brazil and the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia.[8]

In June 2007, Bentley was called up to the England under-21 squad for the European under-21 Championships in the Netherlands. However, he pulled out of the squad citing fatigue, and England under-21 manager Stuart Pearce questioned the midfielder's commitment to the national squad.[36] This withdrawal led to Bentley being excluded in the senior England squad for the friendly against Germany,[37] but he was selected for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia. He made his senior debut when he came on as a substitute for Shaun Wright-Phillips against Israel, but was jeered by some of the fans due to his previous refusal to play for the under-21 squad.[38]

Bentley started for England for the first time in the friendly against Switzerland on 6 February 2008,[39] but has fallen down the pecking order with Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott being preferred since his debut. He missed out on the 2010 World Cup when the elder David Beckham was bookies favourite to be picked ahead of him.

Style of play

Most commonly Bentley plays as a right-winger, but he can also play as a midfielder or a second-striker. When he was at Arsenal, Bentley was slated to play in the second striker role, but[2] after joining Blackburn he found himself deployed more frequently on the right side of midfield due to his ability to cross the ball.[citation needed] He is a set-piece specialist and regularly takes charge or corner and free-kick duties for his team. He is known for his technique, composure and creativity on the ball and is often talked about as a should-be midfielder, but his ability to deliver from wide positions means he is often used out of position as a winger, despite lacking the pace of some of his Premier League counter-parts.


Tottenham Hotspur
  • FA Premiership Goal of the Month: October 2008

Club career statistics

As of 20 May 2011.[6]
Club Season League Cup[40] Europe Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Arsenal 2002–03 0 0 - 1 0 - 0 0 0 1 0 -
2003–04 1 0 - 6 1 - 1 0 - 8 1 -
Norwich City (loan) 2004–05 26 2 4 2 0 - 0 0 0 28 2 4
Blackburn Rovers 2005–06 29 3 1 6 2 - 0 0 0 35 5 1
2006–07 36 4 11 7 0 0 8 3 2 51 7 13
2007–08 37 6 11 4 1 1 5 1 1 46 8 13
Tottenham 2008–09 25 1 2 5 0 0 5 1 1 35 2 3
2009–10 15 2 2 9 2 4 0 0 0 24 4 6
2010–11 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0
Birmingham City (loan) 2010–11 13 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 15 1 0
West Ham United (loan) 2011–12 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Career totals 184 18 31 42 6 5 19 5 4 245 29 40


  1. ^ "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. http://www.premierleague.com/page/PlayerProfile/0,,12306~23362,00.html. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f David Bentley profile, soccernet.espn.go.com, accessed 27 May 2007.
  3. ^ a b Player Profle, premierleague.com, accessed 9 June 2007.
  4. ^ Bernstein, Joe, "Bentley ready for road test", thefa.com, 1 April 2004, accessed 27 May 2007.
  5. ^ "Portsmouth 1–1 Arsenal". BBC Sport. 4 May 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/3663945.stm. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e David Bentley history, soccernet.espn.go.com, accessed 27 May 2007.
  7. ^ Lacey, David, "Ferguson struck dumb by Tweety Pies with talons", football.guardian.co.uk, 11 April 2005, accessed 27 May 2007.
  8. ^ a b Bentley thanks Rovers for England call-up, soccernet.espn.go.com, 26 May 2007, accessed 27 May 2007.
  9. ^ Bentley admits he was placing 100 bets a day, guardian.co.uk, 10 April 2008, accessed 10 April 2008.
  10. ^ a b c Player Biography, globesports.com, accessed 27 May 2007.
  11. ^ Premiership Table – 2005/06, soccernet.espn.go.com, accessed 27 May 2007.
  12. ^ Blackburn 2–1 Wigan, soccernet.espn.go.com, 1 October 2006, accessed 27 May 2007.
  13. ^ Reading v Blackburn Rovers, 1–2 Sat 16 Dec 2006, premierleague.com, 16 December 2006, accessed 27 May 2007.
  14. ^ Parkes, Ian, "Rovers in top gear thanks to Bentley's Rolls-Royce performance", football.guardian.co.uk, 29 September 2006, accessed 27 May 2007.
  15. ^ Gaunt, Ken, "Racism claims mar Blackburn's hard-won victory", football.guardian.co.uk, 20 October 2006, accessed 27 May 2007.
  16. ^ Bentley pledges long-term future to Rovers, rovers.premiumtv.co.uk, 27 February 2007, accessed 27 May 2007.
  17. ^ a b Bentley signs new Blackburn deal, news.bbc.co.uk, 27 February 2007, accessed 27 May 2007.
  18. ^ Bents takes top billing at awards dinner, rovers.premiumtv.co.uk, accessed 28 May 2007.
  19. ^ Bentley transfer details announced, ukpress.google.com, 31 July 2008, accessed 31 July 2008.
  20. ^ Lyon, Sam, Middlesbrough 2–1 Tottenham, news.bbc.co.uk, 16 August 2008, accessed 25 August 2008.
  21. ^ McNulty, Phil, "Arsenal 4–4 Tottenham", news.bbc.co.uk, 29 October 2008, accessed 30 October 2008
  22. ^ Bailey, Richard, "Bentley in talks with Villa", skysports.com, 16 June 2009, accessed 17 June 2009.
  23. ^ Aston Villa not drawn by David Bentley paper talk, birminghammail.net, 16 June 2009, accessed 6 July 2009.
  24. ^ /Tottenham Hotspur 9 Wigan Athletic 1, premierleague.com, 22 November 2009, accessed 28 November 2009.
  25. ^ Jackson, Jamie, David Bentley gives Spurs something to smile about against Fulham, guardian.co.uk, 27 January 2010, accessed 27 October 2011.
  26. ^ "Blues bag Bentley", bcfc.com, 12 January 2011, accessed 12 January 2011.
  27. ^ Ball, Elliot, "Bentley boosted by Blues bow", Sky Sports, 16 January 2011, accessed 17 January 2011.
  28. ^ Tattum, Colin, "Colin Tattum reviews Birmingham City's season and asks: How did it go so wrong?", Birmingham Mail, 26 May 2011, accessed 26 May 2011.
  29. ^ Bentley signs, whufc.com, 31 August 2011, accessed 27 October 2011.
  30. ^ West Ham 4 - 3, news.bbc.co.uk, 11 September 2011, accessed 27 October 2011.
  31. ^ "West Ham midfielder David Bentley out for six months". BBC Sport. 12 October 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_ham_utd/9613965.stm. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  32. ^ England U21s Team, thefa.com, accessed 27 May 2007.
  33. ^ Mawhinney, Stuart, "Thriller at Wembley", thefa.com, 24 March 2007, accessed 27 May 2007.
  34. ^ Neild, Andy, "McClaren: Bentley can be our Beckham", lancashiretelegraph.co.uk, 25 May 2007, accessed 27 May 2007.
  35. ^ a b Bentley stars on England duty, rovers.premiumtv.co.uk, accessed 28 May 2007.
  36. ^ Bentley responds to U21 criticism, news.bbc.co.uk, 9 June 2007, accessed 14 June 2007.
  37. ^ Bentley defends England pull-out, news.bbc.co.uk, 17 August 2007, accessed 17 August 2007.
  38. ^ England debutant Bentley shrugs off boos, soccernet.espn.go.com, 10 September 2007, accessed 12 September 2007.
  39. ^ Bentley excels on England duty, rovers.premiumtv.co.uk, 6 February 2008, accessed 7 February 2008.
  40. ^ Includes FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield.

External links

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