Bent attacks Spurs for 'worst two years'

Sunderland's new signing felt unwanted by Redknapp during time at Tottenham

If Tottenham Hotspur believed the closure of Darren Bent's infamous Twitter account meant they had heard the last of their departed forward, they were mistaken as they came under renewed verbal assault from Sunderland's new record signing.

The pent-up frustration of an unfulfilled spell at White Hart Lane came bubbling to the surface as the forward was unveiled at the Wearside club's training ground yesterday. His frank assessment: "The worst two years of my career." Bent, who said he has been inundated with messages of support from Tottenham fans unhappy at his departure in a deal that could eventually rise to £16.5m, clearly has little time for manager Harry Redknapp, or his predecessor, Juande Ramos. "Even last year when I was their top scorer I never actually felt wanted," the England international said. "There's nothing worse as a striker than seeing your club linked with every other striker, but I've left all that behind.

"I didn't feel he [Redknapp] wanted me. It's massive to have the support of your manager and that's not been the case for the last two years. There's a lot of politics going on at Spurs and my career stood still. I scored lots of goals but it was the hardest two years of my life and it's a weight off my shoulders to be here.

"I never felt I'd stay in the team even when I was scoring goals but what's done is done, they have their issues and I have mine. The amount of positive messages I've had from Tottenham fans saying I was being treated like rubbish is amazing."

Martin Jol brought Bent to White Hart Lane for a club record £16.5m in 2007, but within weeks the Dutchman had been replaced by Ramos, whose arrival marked the beginning of the end for the former Charlton forward's time in North London. "Martin Jol was probably the last manager to publicly praise me at Spurs," he added. "After he went it was always going to be different. I never really felt a part of it at Tottenham."

Bent's feeling of ostracism grew despite an impressive record of 25 goals in 43 starts in two staccato campaigns. His league tally of 12 last season topped Spurs' goal charts to secure his place as the Premier League's most prolific Englishman behind Steven Gerrard.

Matters reached a nadir in January after a glaring miss in the 1-1 draw against Portsmouth, when an exasperated Redknapp went public in his criticism of the 25-year-old, with a particularly cutting observation that it was a chance his wife Sandra would have expected to score from. Bent said: "No-one goes out to deliberately miss but when you do and your manager comes out and supports you rather than criticises you, it's a big help."

Frustrations boiled over last month when he earned a hefty club fine for aiming a furious expletive-laden Twitter tirade at Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, for allegedly for holding up his move to Wearside.

His new manager Steve Bruce, a self-confessed technophobe, is relieved the new arrival's Twittering days are over.

Bent, who will make his debut in Saturday's friendly at Hearts, added: "Steve was a big factor in me signing, this is a fantastic place. There have been so many positive messages from Sunderland fans. When I first heard about the club being in for me, I had 2,000 friend requests from Sunderland supporters in three days on Twitter. It was insane. Sunderland have the potential to go beyond Spurs."

News
Howard Marks has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he has announced
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
Rowan Atkinson at the wheel of his McLaren F1 GTR sports car
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us