Sheringham: Blasé Bentley needs to knuckle down

Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Teddy Sheringham says complacency is the root cause of David Bentley's loss of form this season. Bentley has endured a nightmarish first year at Spurs since signing from Blackburn for £15 million last summer.

After a promising pre-season and early wonder-strike at Arsenal, the England midfielder has lost his place in manager Harry Redknapp’s first XI to Aaron Lennon, and hasn't started a league game since late January.

And to make matters worse, he also missed a penalty in the club’s League Cup final shoot-out defeat to Manchester United at Wembley in March. Sheringham, who played 278 games for the North Londoners over two stints at club, believes the 24-year-old needs to knuckle down if he wishes to succeed at White Hart Lane. “I don’t like seeing what’s happening to him at the moment because clearly he’s an outstanding talent," he exclusively told

"However, he’s not performing at the moment, if he was he’d be playing. He needs to focus on what his game's really about and get himself back in the Tottenham team and the England set-up.” Since moving to Spurs, Bentley has failed to find the form he showed at Blackburn, where he made 132 appearances, scoring 20 goals and laying on 27 assists.

In comparison, he managed just two goals and three assists in 34 outings in his first season at White Hart Lane.

But Sheringham has no doubts over Bentley’s talent, feeling his attitude may currently be what’s holding him back.

“He’s definitely got the talent to play at that level, but you’ve got to be focussed and 100 percent committed in everything you do and, looking at it from the outside, it seems like he’s taken his eye off the ball a bit," he said.

“Sometimes players think they’ve made it when they get to a certain position – it’s hard to get to the top but the real challenge is staying there and I think he may have got a bit complacent.”

Recent reports have linked Bentley with a move to either Aston Villa or Manchester City, and Redknapp may be tempted to cash-in on the midfielder in order to free up funds for reinforcements in other areas.

Teddy Sheringham is working with Wrigley's Extra, official chewing gum of the Premier League, to celebrate the tensions of added time. 

So far this season 56 goals have been scored in these minutes that matter, influencing final league positions. Find out more at

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