Bent - I nearly quit England

Image: Bent: Considered retiring from England

Darren Bent said he considered quitting England following his omission from their World Cup squad.

Black Cats striker felt selection was 'token gesture'

Darren Bent has admitted he considered quitting international football following his omission from the England World Cup squad. The Sunderland striker was part of Fabio Capello's initial 30-man party and played the first half of a warm-up match against Japan in Austria. England scored just three goals in the whole tournament, with strikers Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey and Peter Crouch scoring just one goal between them. Bent, who scored 26 league goals for the Black Cats last season, stated that he was angry with the Italian coach's decision to exclude him, but vowed to carry on and heed the call should he be asked. "I felt that I was taken to Austria as a token gesture. It was as though he (Capello) decided he had to take me because of the goals I'd scored," Bent told The Journal. "He took me to the training camp, gave me 45 minutes and because I didn't score two goals, that was it. It hurt. I can't deny that was how I felt. "I had long conversations with my dad and my manager. I just felt I was only there to make up the numbers. "I thought 'should I just call it a day with England?' I contemplated it. But you can't burn your bridges like that."


Bent hopes England's poor showing at the World Cup, which ended with a 4-1 last 16 defeat to Germany, will give Capello an incentive to shake up his squad and recall the likes of himself. "A few people have said to me that I've jumped up the pecking order after what happened over there, but who knows?" Bent said. "People are saying that this is going to change and that is going to change, but how much can it? "All I can do is keep going, keep believing in myself and keep scoring goals. "I'm going to keep working hard, keep playing well for Sunderland and keep knocking on that door. That's all I can do."

Around Sky