More then being out of form, to me he just looks past his past. Today was a match full of reserve graders, battlers and very inexperienced young players. Benji was the stand out player in both teams on past form and history. However all I saw was a player shuffling the ball along with out much spark or inspiration. He looked at the same level as most others on the field, not causing havoc or putting things on a string. He didn’t stand out in a reserve grade standard match. Sometimes soccer strikers when they get past their mid 20s they lose that yard of pace which made them dynamite. All of a sudden they go from being a world class player, to a player that struggles in a mid table team.
I don’t want to be to harsh on him because whatever happens he has been loyal and a club legend. Afterall he did captain the team to a very gallant win today against the odds. He has given all us fans some great memories and been a one man marketing machine for a number of years.
However im just weighting things up and the magic is pretty much gone and won’t return. He has lost his best asset and you look at other aspects of his game that are hot and cold, never improving. His kicking game has always been more miss then hit. You could say his passing game has become more miss then hit. His defence over the years hasn’t been a huge strong point. His pace and step were his big asset, his off the cuff brilliance…
With Sironen, Moses and Brooks on the books, Benji will be 30 in 18 months. Unless we offer him rolling 12 month deals based on his form (which a player of his reputation is unlikely to accept) I think it would be best to part ways. I think rather then this being a form slump, I think simply teams have worked out his game and he doesn’t have the magic in the bag to get himself out of jail any longer.