David Bentley

David Bentley: Talentspotter

David Bentley speaks to FourFourTwo about his career prospects back in August 2003, when he was a young upstart at Arsenal.

Born
Peterborough, 7/8/84

Position
Midfield/attack

Club supported
Manchester United (but don't tell Arsenal that).

Clubs played for
Sunday league clubs and then I came straight to Arsenal.

International honours
England Under-15s, U16s, U17s, U18s, U19s, U20s. Hopefully next year it'll be the U21s, we'll see what happens.

Strengths
Vision, passing ability, taking players on.

Weaknesses
I'm working on my upper body strength. I've got a couple of months where the boss has told me to go to the gym to get ready for next season.

Who do you play like?
In the club they say I play like Dennis Bergkamp and the fans seem to think that as well. I'm not too sure.

Career highlights
Making my debut for Arsenal against Oxford in the FA Cup on January 5 2003

Career lowlights
Being in and around the England set-up and not getting games I should have – especially the European Championships three years ago.

Best goal you've scored
Probably one for England against France at Sunderland when I cut in from the left wing, went past a couple of players and bent it into the top corner.

Toughest opponent
John Terry.

Best player you've played with
Dennis Bergkamp.

Player you most admire
Eric Cantona and now Dennis because I'm working with him day in, day out and trying to learn from him. Also, Patrick Vieira, and [Gennaro] Gattuso at AC Milan.

Closest friend at the club
Ray Parlour.

Best advice given
The boss telling me when to play the ball, when not to play the ball.

Hobbies
Going to the cinema.

The Matrix or Lord of the Rings?
I really like both of them but I'd probably go for The Matrix.

Most expensive thing you've bought
My car. It's a Golf.

How many languages do you speak?
Just the one.

If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
Rob a bank.

Most embarrassing moment
Nothing off the pitch, and probably missing a penalty on it, I would say.

Emma Bunton or Britney?
Emma.

Music
The Bee Gees – brilliant. Saturday Night Fever is my favourite soundtrack. But any kind of music, I love it all.

Beckham or Zidane?
Zidane

Can Arsenal win the Premier League next season?
Definitely. I see no reason why as long as we get the commitment right and everyone's pulling together.

If you weren't a footballer, what would you be doing?
I'd be doing absolutely nothing.

In five years' time I'll be...
Hopefully playing for Arsenal and England.

Interview: Paolo Hewitt. From the August 2003 issue of FourFourTwo.


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