'Different' Daz to face Danes

BY foxsports • February 6, 2011

Despite Bent finishing third behind Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney in last season's top scorers' chart, his 24 goals for Sunderland were not enough to earn him a place in Capello's 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa. The Londoner, who will be 27 on Sunday, has carried on that form this season, scoring 13 times so far in all competitions, in addition to breaking his England duck in the Euro 2012 qualifying win over Switzerland in September. But after netting twice in his first three games for Villa, Capello has already detected a subtle difference in Bent's game which has elevated him to a higher level. "Bent was not as good before the World Cup as he is at this moment," said the England coach. "He was not the same player. "I went to see Aston Villa twice. It is completely different. "Before he was only playing for the box. Now, he is a player who can play for the team. "At Sunderland before, it was important for them to go straight for the goal. I told him he had to change. He had to work a lot, press a lot. "He has probably changed something in his mind, not only in his style." Black Cats chief Steve Bruce might not be too impressed with the description, although in defending his own decision to leave Bent at home while players who has a far inferior scoring record went to the World Cup leaves Capello on unsafe ground anyway. However, fitness permitting, Bent will partner Wayne Rooney against the dangerous Danes. "Every time I have picked him he has always been injured," said Capello of a player who has been prevented from playing on four of the nine occasions he has previously been selected by the Italian. "But I want to see him with Rooney because everyone knows he is terrible for defenders in the box. He takes up good positions, he gets the ball. He scores." Much the same sentiments can be said about Rooney following his brace against Aston Villa last week. It ended more than 10 months in the doldrums for the Manchester United forward, who Capello insists is still one of the best strikers in the game. "Rooney played well every time I went to see him recently," said Capello. "He didn't score but he made many so many assists for Dimitar Berbatov. "However, when I spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson, he said it was important for Rooney to score goals because then the performance gets better. "It reminds me of when I brought Leonardo to Milan from Paris St Germain. "He arrived in December. Until June he missed everything; the ball went just wide of the goal, he hit the post, the keeper made great saves. He scored three goals. The season after he scored 14 times. You have to understand what happens in the mind of the player. "This season for Manchester United, Berbatov and Nani have been scoring the goals. I hope the next part of the season will be about Rooney." After experimenting with a number of younger players for the France defeat in November, it was always Capello's intention to revert to more experienced members of his squad this week. The Italian views the outing - England's first visit to the Parken Stadium since they suffered a 4-1 hammering in August 2005 - as vital preparation for next month's Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales in Cardiff. However, one youngster will be retained by right, with 19-year-old Jack Wilshere set to fill the problematic midfield holding role. "He has always been good at short passes and winning back the ball. Now he is playing with confidence," said Capello. "He is a really important player for Arsenal and I hope he will be for us too." It means Wilshere has an opportunity to scramble above Gareth Barry and Michael Carrick in the England pecking order, although Capello is not sure comparisons with Claude Makelele are exactly accurate. "Makelele was faster and could play with both feet but Wilshere is better. "He is really intelligent on the pitch and his movement, with and without the ball, has improved a lot."


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