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By ESPN Staff

Bent baffled by Sven snub

Charlton striker Darren Bent insists his complete omission from Sven-Goran Eriksson's England World Cup plans is 'quite hard to take and understand'.

The 22-year-old was not in either the provisional 23-man squad or the standby list despite finishing the season as the top-scoring Englishman in the Premiership with 18 goals.

Instead Eriksson has opted for Arsenal's 17-year-old forward Theo Walcott, who has yet to play a senior competitive game for the Gunners since joining them in January, with Tottenham's Jermain Defoe only on the secondary list.

Bent, who made his senior England debut in the March friendly against Uruguay, told his club's official website 'I got the phone call this morning, telling me I wasn't in the squad, and obviously it was very disappointing for me.

'I could perhaps have handled not being in the main squad, but not being on standby as well was quite hard to take and understand.

'It's difficult to take but maybe I've got to score more goals next season.'

The former Ipswich striker added: 'I don't really know what to feel right now. I wasn't taking anything for granted, but being the top English scorer in the Premiership I was very hopeful of being included.

'All I can do now is go on holiday, recharge my batteries and look forward to next season.'

Spurs boss Martin Jol was shocked at Defoe's absence from the 23-man list.

Jol said: 'I think it's amazing he's not in the squad but he's on standby and with the situation with Rooney and Owen I still believe he will be in there.'