Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday March 10 2006
Not words that I expect to say, but in some respects Lee Hendrie has impressed me this season!
First of all you have to put to one side the fact he seems to have far too many off field problems that do reflect badly on Aston Villa, especially the recent court case leading to 60 hours community service for assault.
But then look at the comments that have come from Hendrie with reference to playing this year. He has said on several occasions that he loves it at Villa and wants to stay, but that at 28-years of age, all he wants to be doing is playing football, and if that means he has to move, then he will do that.
What makes that impressive, especially the latest hint that he might have to leave? The fact that he would be due a testimonial next season at Villa for 10 years service if he just 'hangs around'. But no, he wants to play football, and you have to give him some credit for that.
Hendrie has always annoyed me. Not because he isn't a talented player, quite the reverse, I think he could have been one of a very few 'major' players for Villa, but he always seem to stop someway short of his potential. He gives us glimpses of the player who broke into the England set up many moons ago, but far too often we get the headless chicken player who try as he might, can't get involved or affect a game.
Hendrie has made ten appearances for the Claret and Blue, including just 6 starts. Part of the reason was getting sent off in a pre-season game for the second year in a row, plus a few injuries.
One report today claimed that he was booed by part of the Villa faithful in the Holte End when he warmed up during the Portsmouth game. He was an unused sub as Steven Davis continues to keep him out of the team. If he was booed, and I must say I didn't hear it, I can only assume it was due to the recent court case.
Hendrie said: 'Maybe I'm going to have to review my situation in the summer and see where I stand. It's not good for my career. I'm 29 in the summer and I've got to move forward. I can't afford for it to reach February before I made my first Premiership start at Villa Park again. I asked to go on loan before, but I think I've got to get something permanent sorted. I think I've done well when I've come on and then I've found myself on the bench again.'
He added: 'I've said all along I'd love to finish my career here and it would be an honour to do that. But I've got to the age now where I've got to start thinking about myself - I can't be going through seasons nicking the odd appearance.'
Shame, but I think the best thing for both parties is if he is moved on in the summer, he will always remain a 'could have been' as far as I'm concerned. More Hendire performances than true Hendrie ones.
Have your say in our poll. Should Hendrie be sold?
Date:Friday March 10 2006
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