I’ve had itchy keyboard fingers (so to speak) for ages now – with no football that interests me thanks to the international break I’ve been resisting the urge to write about nothing for the sake of occupying my mind. So typical, that just when the end is within sight and we resume action at the weekend an absolute gem (although undoubtedly blown out of all proportion) of a story has popped up in The Sun today.
It involves Julian Bennett – currently on loan gaining match fitness at Crystal Palace – and Dutch legend Edgar Davids. Apparently in a training game Benno had a snipe at the midfielder for giving the ball away, which prompted an epic hissy fit from the veteran culminating in him grabbing hold of the Reds defender and shouting “I’m the boss around here!”
Anyone who has played football at any vague level of competitiveness will know that it’s perfectly normal – nay – expected for teammates to spur one another on, be it by praise for a good performance or a grumble for something below par. That goes for on the training ground or on the pitch – indeed, you would think after costing Palace a goal with a wayward pass the other week Davids would be keen to stay sharp on this (that said, the ‘incident’ supposedly happened a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps Benno was more prophetic than building on criticism for that game).
That said, it’s probably not the scandal the Sun make it out to be – Bennett criticised him, he reacted – I imagine on training grounds up and down the country these things happen without comment, perhaps the fact it was such a high profile player that makes the story deemed worthy of publishing. Certainly it shows that Benno still retains his fierce desire to win, even in training. Whether or not Davids would really utter the words “I’m the boss around here” when he’s on a pay-as-you-play I leave open to speculation!
Speaking of Julian, I’ve half-heartedly kept tabs on his time at Palace and he seems to be making a good impression on the whole. His opportunities in the side are limited largely due to his lack of fitness/match practice but he is getting run outs and doing okay, which is great to hear. Hopefully as his match fitness builds he’ll be able to get more regular and consistent appearances in for the Eagles.
Best of luck to him regardless, be it on the training ground or on the pitch – it’s good to see him back in action after such a horrendous injury. I’ve got a lot of time for Jules and still hope to see him back in a Forest shirt when he’s fully fit (check out his website to see what he’s been up to whilst out of action – and not least to relive that bloody awesome goal he scored against Yeovil on the day we secured promotion back to the Championship).
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