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The curious demise of David Bentley, what’s next for England’s forgotten man?

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David Bentley… remember the name?

It’s been a while since we’ve seen his slick hairstyle adorn our TV screens. Way too long.

So what has happened to the man who, at one time, many believed could provide the lack of creativity the English national team had been suffering from?

Well, this past season he has been playing for Russian side FC Rostov on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in a bid to get regular soccer… before getting injured and finishing the season with ex-club Blackburn Rovers on loan.

Today it was announced his contract is up at Spurs and he is looking for potential new clubs. Plenty of EPL sides are said to be interested in the former Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers and Spurs midfielder.

But just how did his career nosedive from one of England’s greatest up and coming talents, to playing for a side that finished fourth from bottom in the Russian Premier League?

There have been plenty of factors that have led to him slipping away to South East Russia and then the Championship, to get away from it all for a season. Injuries have stalled his progress since moving to Tottenham, even after more loan moves away from White Hart Lane with West Ham and Birmingham, Bentley suffered massive knock-backs that further curtailed his career.

His attitude has also been questioned by plenty of managers in the past, Harry Redknapp being one of them. With Bentley excited that Spurs had clinched a spot in next seasons Champions League, he soaked Redknapp with a bucket of water during the post-match press conference.

His days at Spurs were numbered after that.

Bentley also faced drink-driving charges in 2009 after crashing his Porsche and a spate of other smaller incidents made sure his spiral on the pitch was mirrored off it.

As we mentioned before, Bentley’s talent is unquestionable and he has played seven times for England. But he fell out of favor with the England setup after refusing to play for the U-21 side in the 2007 European Championships. He was booed by England fans when he made his full debut soon after.

Despite all those controversial moments, Bentley is still only 28. He has plenty of season ahead of him to flourish and regain some of the accolades thrown his way when he first burst on the scene.

But time is running out.

However I will leave you with a little reminder of what Bentley can do. Just watch this first goal in the video below. Wouldn’t this man be useful to any EPL club outside the top four? I think so

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
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Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.