Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bent Benefits from Fab's Twisted Logic; Cats Striker Misses His Cue -but Will Stillface Brazil

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bent Benefits from Fab's Twisted Logic; Cats Striker Misses His Cue -but Will Stillface Brazil

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter

TOTTENHAM............... 2 SUNDERLAND ............ 0 IF there is one thing Darren Bent has learned, it is never to second-guess England boss Fabio Capello.

A month ago, the Sunderland striker must have left Old Trafford convinced he had done enough to earn an England recall after scoring in front of the Italian against Manchester United - only to be overlooked when Capello named his squad for the final round of World Cup qualifiers.

Bent must have walked out of White Hart Lane on Saturday sure he had fluffed his latest audition in front of Capello after missing a penalty and failing to convert his chances against his old club Spurs.

However, this time Capello has included him in his 24-man squad for England's prestige friendly against Brazil in Doha this weekend, which will give Bent the chance to stake his claim for a place on the plane to next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The news will have put the smile back on Bent's face after he endured a miserable return to Spurs.

He was desperate to prove a point to Harry Redknapp, after his old boss stung him with his 'my missus could have scored that' jibe when Bent missed an open goal while playing for Spurs against Portsmouth in January. Bent may have failed to make Redknapp eat his words, but he did at least make Capello sit up and take notice.

Black Cats boss Steve Bruce was confident Capello would not let Bent's penalty miss overshadow the fact his pounds 10m record buy is the leading English top-flight marksman, netting eight goals in 12 games so far, and he was proved right.

He said: "Benty has done great for us.

"Of course, he missed the penalty, but lots of great players miss penalties.

"The England manager will know that any player can miss a penalty.

"Darren has been outstanding over the last three months and we d0 not have a lot of good English strikers to choose from.

"He is right up there with the top English goalscorers and, while there is still a long way to go, he must have a chance of going to the World Cup."

While the weekend finished on a positive note for Bent, Sunderland were still left counting the cost of their missed chances at Spurs as they went down to their fourth defeat on the road in five league games. …

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