Premier League

Bent Double?

England were terrible on Sunday. Events seemed to conspire against most if not all of the players desperately trying to secure a ticket to South Africa.

Even the scoreboard saw it fit to make a mockery of proceedings.

As former and much maligned Spurs, now Sunderland striker Darren Bent vacated the field for the arrival of Joe Cole, the scoreboard of the Austrian UPC Arena, presumably thanks to the slip of a finger – or some ingenious typist, confirmed that it was actually ‘D. Brent’ who had exited. It turned out to be a bad day at The Office all round. England, for the second time in a week, were more than lucky to come out as victors.

But no serious harm done. England will still be buoyed by an albeit less than convincing victory and Darren could even cash in on the satirical typo.

Ricky Gervais has never indicated a desire reprise the character, so who better than D. Brent himself to fulfill in the role? After all, the striker is more than used to making casual ill-advised outbursts on his Twitter page and the like. It’s a perfect recast: fact.

Helpfully, his weekend performance should open up his summer for filming.

It’s perhaps a shame that, despite his quite astounding form this season, Bent has never really had the time nor the assertiveness to make an indelible mark on the national team.

The striker has scored 24 times in 38 appearances for Sunderland this season – a total only surpassed by title contenders Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney (a feat made even more remarkable by his chagrining record for Spurs) – and has even scored 9 times while playing for his country at under-21 level.

Unfortunately, Darren has yet to get off the mark for the senior team in 6 rather forgettable appearances.

There is a sound argument to suggest that he was the victim of circumstance on Sunday, but, with competition in the forward areas so strong, nothing short of a hat-trick would’ve convinced critics that his merits are worthy of a World Cup place. Obviously, without his beloved red beach ball, that sequence of events never looked like entering the realm of reality.


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