Was Arsene wrong to let Upson and Bentley leave?

After watching the England game last night I started to think how is it that Upson and Bentley could get into the England team and not the Arsenal?

Fabio Capello seems to have rated them highly enough to start with them both in his first England team so was Arsene Wenger wrong to let them both leave the club and not giving them more playing time?

Matthew Upson : 1997-2003 – 35 League games

He joined Arsenal in May 1997 in a £2 million deal,Very injury prone at Arsenal and never really got a run of games under his belt. Saying that I do feel he should of been given more games ahead of Cygan and Stepanovos.

Sold to Birmingham £1m 2003
Verdict : Wenger was right in selling him at the time,But he has improved since leaving the club. I do feel he is a better player then Senderos and Djourou

David Bentley : 2001- 2006 – 8 games 1 goal
Bentley’s first and only goal for Arsenal came in a 4-1 win at home to Middlesbrough in January 2004,The goal was a outstanding lob and earned comparisons with Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp. After that Bentley was sent out on loan and never got a sniff of the first team.

Sold to Blackburn Rovers £1.5m 2006
Verdict : Wenger has not done many things wrong in his time at Arsenal but letting this player leave was a huge clanger.

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25 Responses to Was Arsene wrong to let Upson and Bentley leave?

  1. sig says:

    it comes down to attitude & Bentley’s disposition (as we’ve seen from his recent Arsenal slagging interviews) was not required…

    great player – his time at Arsenal would’ve come if he had been a little more patient

  2. derek says:

    Dont think either was a mistake, If they wanted to leave he had to let them
    go. Look who played in thier poitions at the time. Who that played for England last night would get in the Arsenal team? James no , Brown no , Upson no, Bridge no, Bentley no, Jenas no, Barry no, Hargreaves no, Crouch no, Young no.

    Arsene knows

  3. G_man says:

    Arsene knows….

    Beauty of football is opinion…..

    If Bentley was good enough at the time he left, Wenger would have played him…unfortunately there are very few humble and loyal players and had Bentley been patient he would be playing at the Emirates…he couldnt wait so he left. Personally I feel at best he would provide cover but I can’t see him fitting in the Arsenal system or displacing our first teamers in a full strength team…

    Same goes for Upson

  4. aj says:

    It’s dumb to say that Arsene dropped a clanger with Bentley. We all know that the problem was with Bentley’s attitude. No manager on this planet would have responded to a teenager’s demands to have Bergkamp or Pires dropped to make a space for him. I still feel that Bentley’s attitude will get him into more trouble throughout his career e.g. his refusal to play for the England U-21s.

    Remember, Bentley said himself that he did not like the regime at Arsenal and thought about giving up football. He wanted an environment that was more relaxed and less focused on success (i.e. less professional and more of a laugh).

    In that context, he was never going to fit at Arsenal, so Wenger was absolutely right to let him go. It’s a pity, because with a better attitude, he could have become an Arsenal great.

  5. clockendjim says:

    There are some players you just cannot keep happy Diarra, Anelka etc. At the time Bentley was in this same mood and like the others had not matured enough to see the sense in hanging on and trying harder at a great club like Arsenal – a la Flamini.
    It does seem that if Arsene Wenger comes up against this attitude, he does not have the man management skills to deal with the situation and the player inevitably leaves. Having said that, I cannot imagine the likes of Ferguson, Mourinho, Benitez etc being any different.
    It is very sad because Bentley would be an even better player today surrounded by the present Arsenal squad instead of the Blackburn Bashers.
    Whereas although I think Upson just shades Senderos, he is not in the class of Toure or Gallas, so he still would not be playing regularly at The E£mirates (this was a typing error, but I thought it looked good so have left it in).
    Anyway with Wenger some you lose but overall most you gain

  6. Mark says:

    The key here is, when the players asked to leave, where they good enough to get into the first team?

    In both cases it was no.

    I am sure Wenger would have been happy for them to stay and fight for their place, but they didnt want to.

    I seem to remember Wenger saying he put a clause in Bentley’s Contract at Blackburn that they have first option on him, similar to that with Sidwell while at Reading.

  7. Andes says:

    The key is – there is only 11 spot in a starting lineup. Arsenal simply has too many talented players, and u can’t play them all.

    Had Upson and Bentley, and many other talented youngsters we let go, stayed, they may be still warming the bench. England international or not, would he really be able to force into Arsenal starting xI ahead of Hleb, Rosicky?

  8. coca-gooner says:

    this is jst stupid and should not even be dicussed.
    what drop pires or bergkamp for bentley?
    drop keown for upson those years ago?

    get some hush and smoke it before you even consider another such stupid one.
    long live the goon family

  9. Goonoo says:

    Definitely not mistakes. Bentley’s doing superbly but wouldn’t get in our current first team. Upson’s had all sorts of injury problems since leaving us too. Incidentally, was interesting that two of the England First XI last night came through our youth team (Cole, Bentley). I think I’m right in saying that only West Ham (Ferdinand, J Cole) could match that last night.

  10. arsim says:

    at this time they are very good but 2 years before? Arsene cant keep 100 players and he cant wait with years for them

  11. Thom says:

    Is Bentley better than Hleb or Rosicky ? Emphatically not. He would be at best a reserve choice behind them. As a result of regular football at Blackburn, he has certainly improved since he left us, but to what standard ? He’s a solid Premiership player. A stand-out talent in an average, mid-table side without much flair. Not good enough for Arsenal frankly. That’s quite apart from the obvious attitude problem (he’d clearly rather be a big fish in a small pond). Theo, Diaby, Vela and Lansbury all have the potential to be world class performers and first team regulars. I’d much rather see them given the chance than Bentley.

    Upson is, and always was a decent player. But would you play him ahead of Toure and Gallas ? Obviously not. He might have been worth hanging onto for a bit longer, but realistically you can’t keep players like that if they’re not playing in their mid-20s. Better to have young players in the squad hungry for every chance. I reckon at least one of Senderos, Djourou or Nordveit will come through.

    Arsene knows. Obviously…

  12. Goonerbeall says:

    Here we go again! Now every English thinks that because Bentley and Upson have been played in the 1st Capello team it makes Wenger a bad judge of quality. Bentley was and still isna very good and talented player but was not it when he left. He was definitelyt not better than Pires or even Ljungberg. Playing consistently has improved him but I would still not play him before Hleb.

    He was probably destined to leave as he would never have got to play for Arsenal as often as he has done for Blackburn. Reason being that his absence is not felt while Hleb is totally missed when he does’nt play for us. That is the sad truth.

  13. Clockend rider says:

    Upson left 5 years ago. He has done nothing in the intervening period and only played for England because Terry was unfit. Are you suggesting that we kept him for 5 years on large salary on the offchance he might become better than Toure or Senderos? Or that he would compete in todays team with Gallas?
    Bentley effectively left 3 season ago when he went out on a season loan to Norwich where he achieved the heady heights of being invisible among a team of stupefying averageness. At Arsenal he was a star in the reserves and frequently scored astonishing goals with both left and right feet. However he had no pace whatsoever and an alarming propensity to simply stop when he lost the ball rather than track back. Are you suggesting that he would have got into the team ahead of Pires or Ljungberg or that he compares to Hleb or Rosicky now?
    Question answered. Lets move on.

  14. Prashant says:

    Bentley suffers from the same delusion as most Englishmen do – they think that being highly rated is good enough to get into the first team without biding their time. He is doing well for Blackburn – but can you see him getting ahead of Rosicky or Hleb ? Me neither.

    Yes we had 3 players trained up from youth by Arsenal. But it was even more interesting that in the U21, we had 2 players for England and 2 players for Ireland. More than any other big 3. It angers me that we get slated all the time by biased media for not fielding enough Englishmen.

  15. Quartz says:

    UPSON was ok but nothing special and gave ball away too often when he was with us.

    BENTLEY decided to leave of his own accord!!! It was not Wenger’s decision. No blame can be attached to Wenger.

  16. Wishbone says:

    Bentely Sidwell Upson Pennant

    If they were french they would have got more playing time

    FACT!

  17. Neal says:

    Injuries would have meant that Upson would have become first choice six months after he left. I can understand why he did, but he is certainly good enough!

    Bentley was bored at Arsenal. He wasn’t uber-professional enough so it was probably right to let him go. He, too, is good enough for Arsenal though.

  18. Goofle says:

    Being not good enough was the reason they left Arsenal.

    It is much easier to get into the England squad than the Arsenal squad.

  19. Slick says:

    Upson knew he only had to wait six months until Tony Adams retired and his time would come. He chose to go to Birmingham instead of compete with the aging Martin Keown. What a clown.

    Bentley had to compete with Pires, Ljunberg, van Persie and Reyes. Then the club sign this guy named Hleb and the level of competition was too fierce for her so she wimped out. However things change quickly in football. Less than a year later, Pires and Reyes were gone while van Persie became a striker and “Mr. Glass” managed one goal all season.

    So the question should be “Were they right to leave” instead of “Was Wenger right to let them leave”. If they’d rather play for mediocre teams instead of fight for the right to play in a classy team challenging for trophies then they don’t need to be here. What are Blackburn, West Ham, or even England for that matter, challenging for?

  20. Dysan says:

    da position is prove everthing ,in fact i do like Bentley’s style.
    Just hope one day,we can work together.

  21. Denis says:

    Sorry guys – Young would get into the Arsenal team. Wenger will say so too. He has the right mental attitude and is a team player. He was not bought because his price tag was incorrect. He may be worth what was paid in another year.

    The ex-Arsenal English players were all impatient. One or two were incorrigible and were a liability. Their technical competency is visible, that’s why they were at Wengers Arsenal.

    The Professor is a master of looking for ‘rounded’ footballers and I will never doubt his choices.

  22. Mark says:

    i remember that first bentley goal.. it happened right in front of me and i couldnt believe my eyes.. at that moment i thought we had found a gem in bentley, and i couldn’t believe my ears later when i heard he had been loaned out.. i’ll always be a bentley fan, though it was obvious that he had an ego clash with wenger.. but if you’re trying to judge wenger’s moves, i guess it comes down to two words..

    Arsene Knows

  23. atek says:

    If bentley still at arsenal, can he be in the 1st team? Can he fight his place with superb fab, flam, hleb and rosicky? Moreover.. can he match arsenal benched warmer player like diaby? If he still at arsenal now.. i guarenteed that he will not be as good as he is at blackburn. Why? It is simple. When you are good.. you will look like you are the best among some regular players. But when we put him among the best..we dont even noticed that he is that good. A lot of example out there. Do forlan good when he was at MU? He hv scored a lot after leaving MU. Do Diouf good enough when he was at Liv? But he is good at Bolton now.. Penant is in the 1st team at birmingham…played very well.. is he now at liv??

  24. puppdogsandicecream says:

    The only person who should/would be thinking about whether Arsene Wenger made a mistake with Bentley…is David Bentley. Think of the player he could have become if he’d allowed himself to learn from the talent that surrounded him at Arsenal! Some of the fellow commenters say he would never have gotten playing time in the first team had he stayed, but we don’t know that for sure. I’m of the impression that he would have benefitted from more time with the club- and Arsene would have given him that opportunity- if he had the right mindset. There’s not much you can do with a player who isn’t ready to commit to the program. He can have a casual and fun life at Blackburn. He could have been a winner at Arsenal.

    Don’t blame Arsene. He gave Bentley his chance.

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