Defining moment - David Bentley
17 November 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Continuing our new, occasional series, we’ll feature a player’s defining moment in a Spurs shirt. Next up, David Bentley and that goal at Arsenal in 2008...
"39 yards…39 yards!" beamed David Bentley, emotions still on another planet.
Speaking ‘the morning after the night before’ he was, of course, describing his wonder goal in the 4-4 draw against Arsenal on 29 October, 2008. It was a goal befitting of the occasion - one of the best-ever goals in one of the best-ever derbies.
Let’s start with the goal. The ball was bouncing around in central midfield, Jermaine Jenas managed to chest it down to David who flicked it up and volleyed over Manuel Almunia from a distance later confirmed as 39 yards. That was 1-0, 13 minutes on the clock.
The fact the goal wasn’t the start, middle and end of the story says everything about that night. Arsenal scored from set-pieces either side of the break and when Emmanuel Adebayor made it 3-1 after 63 minutes, it looked all over. Darren Bent reduced arrears soon after but a minute later Adebayor released Robin Van Persie for 4-2.
Then the grandstand finish. The clock showed 88.30 when Jermaine Jenas curled home a cracker to make it 4-3, the fourth official then showed four minutes added time and with the clock on 93.15, Luka Modric's volley hit the post and Aaron Lennon was there to tap in for 4-4. Pandemonium!
We spoke to ‘Bents’ at the Emirates and then again at Spurs Lodge the next morning - when he came into training wearing Superman boxer shorts over his jeans, a nudge to a post-match comment on Sky Sports when he said he ‘felt like Superman’. You can watch that in the Tweet above.
In the moments immediately after, he declared it ‘the best night of my career’. “I'm an emotional wreck at the moment,” he stated. “I went mad. I get so emotional. That's why we all play football.”
He also explained that legendary former striker Clive Allen, then coach, had pointed out that goalkeeper Almunia edged quite a way off his line during the run of play. “That was still in my head early in the game,” added David. “The ball sat up and I caught it perfectly.”
David went on to play 62 times for us between 2008-10 and after a number of loan spells, was released in 2013. He retired in 2014, but that goal will never be forgotten.