Position: Centre forward
From: Peterborough United - on loan - September 2005
Record: Played: 2(0) Scored: 0
To: Peterborough United - end of loan - October 2005
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: Trevor Benjamin
There's one fundamental truth about Trevor Benjamin. That is, he's Trevor Benjamin. Sorry, two fundamental truths. The other is
that he's quite emphatically not Thierry Henry, even if you squint really hard. Even if you've absolutely no idea who Thierry Henry
Pretty obviously, neither of these facts are the exclusive property of club scouts, obsessive anoraks, or Trevor Benjamin's mum. He's made
a very decent career - a career involving a seven figure transfer fee, albeit that the succession of loans during his spell at
Leicester tells its own story - out of being a great big bear of a striker, short on subtlety but long on physical presence. To put it bluntly,
you don't buy Trevor Benjamin if you want to play "total football". You buy Trevor Benjamin if you want to play skittles with defenders.
All of which makes this a slightly curious, if ultimately inconsequential, episode. Much like the bloke who orders a pint of Guinness
and then takes it back because it's flat and it tastes bitter, we borrowed Benjamin from Peterborough Reserves...and then, after one and a half
games, decided that he wasn't really what we wanted after all. Hmmm.
It wasn't quite so unreasonable, perhaps. Injuries to both Marlon King and Darius Henderson, coupled with the failure of any of the second-string
strikers (Hameur Bouazza in particular) to put forward a convincing case for inclusion, had left us in desperate need. When you're desperate,
you can't be choosy, and we clearly took our pick of whatever was available. And when he did arrive, Benjamin was very obviously short on
match practice: he might never have been an object of beauty, but the lack of fitness made him especially graceless during his debut at Crewe,
repeatedly demonstrating the ability to hang in the air like a housebrick. He was hauled off halfway through the next game, at Coventry, and
never saw action again.
Which was a little odd. While there was no suggestion that he'd be a long-term answer - more of a mumbled excuse - that ninety minutes at Crewe
did at least offer hints of an ability to disrupt and confuse, if only by virtue of being a) bloody large and b) in the penalty area. As we
spent a sunny afternoon watching a feeble attack, led by another loanee in the shape of Gabriel Agbonlahor, being kept at arm's length by an
unflustered Leeds defence, you couldn't help but feel that the addition of Trevor Benjamin might at least result in one of the strikers being vaguely
near the goal rather than hiding in midfield. Instead, he stayed on the bench...and, as a forward, you know that your time's up when you're
an unused sub in a nil-nil home draw. He didn't even make the bench two weeks later.
A strange little story, then. Not an important one, really - while it's fair to question whether we should've put ourselves in the position of having
only two out-and-out strikers in the first team squad, the fact that I'm writing this as we gain a much-needed win at Ipswich suggests that no
lasting damage has been done - but worthy of raised eyebrows, at least momentarily. He won't be back, Trev. Somehow, you hope that the bloke
who books him for his next gig has paid a little more attention to his back catalogue.