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Is Benni a "Big Game" Player?!?!

Is Benni a

Clint has raised the question as to whether or not Blackburn Rovers forward Benni McCarthy is a "big game" player?

BEFORE you jump to conclusions (or indeed jump down his throat!) take a look at what Clint had to say...

I know Benni McCarthy has scored 12/13 Premiership goals and some crackers but just how many have been against the "bigger" clubs? I'm beginning to believe that he's not a big game player, unfairly maybe, but the thought has just come into my head.

Let's look at Benni's record - (This is written before the Watford game) He's scored 13 goals in 30 League matches, not a bad strike rate at almost a goal every other game. Half of these, well 6 have come against teams in the top eight/nine, teams vying for Europe (2 vs. Liverpool, 2 vs. Bolton, 1 vs. Everton and 1 vs. Reading - two of these were penalties vs. Bolton) the rest have come against "lower teams". In the FA Cup he has 3 goals in 5 ties (1 vs. Arsenal, 1 vs. Everton - Top teams), UEFA Cup 3 goals in 8 ties (2 vs. Salzburg, 1 vs. Basel).

So in terms of goals against the top nine he has six goals 17 games (we still have Tottenham Hotspur and Reading to play again), the top four alone two in eight… (although he wasn't available to feature in all eight, certain he missed Arsenal home and away, through injury and suspension?)

Clint adds:

A very good strike rate that's not in doubt for his first season in England and I'm not doubting his contribution to the team but only really Liverpool I would consider one of the top teams (the top team he's scored again in the league). Now I know he did score against the Gunners in the cup but I feel he's not doing it against teams like Manchester Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal in the league. Now the team has played well against these three teams in the league this year without winning, my question is, is Benni a big game player??

I think he goes missing at times when we need him to score in important matches, like the Bayer Leverkusen game when Rovers were all over them and just didn't score - 2nd leg. But I do believe that a player with his ability and scoring record he should be more of a threat against the big boys, after all that's why he was brought in!


So is Benni a big game player? Have we been disappointed by his contribution against the bigger sides? You know what you have to do…

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Date:Thursday April 19 2007
Time: 1:05AM

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You would think a player of benni's quality and experience of the BIGGEST of big games would be just that (a big game player) but I do see Clint's point. When you look at things against the bigger sides League and Cup he has gone missing at times, so not quite sure where I stand on it. BUT I also see it this way how many players really come to the party against the big boys though?!?! That is why they generally are big boys. You can't just look at the goals and contribution of Benni; you have to look at it in detail as Clint has so from the big game point of view it is a disappointing return on an otherwise tremendous first season in England. Some players take ALONG time to adapt to the Premiership, but he hasn't really. I feel next season will see him even better so this big game mentality will almost certainly be there.
Hughes Da Man
19/04/2007 01:10:00
I think we are being a little harsh. The big game players are always the workhorses of which Benni not renowned for being. But look at the Liverpool game for evidence of what he can do... one chance... on goal... thats why he is there.
19/04/2007 08:55:00
It does seem harsh and Benni has done a great job but if you stop and think about it and it maybe isn't as harsh as it seems?!?! He's adapted BRILLIANTLY to the Premiership, IF he goes missng at times next season against these teams then I think we really can be questioning this big game mentality, although I can understand why we would now as I say the real test will be next season.
Hughes Da Man
19/04/2007 09:42:00
im not puttin Benni into a witch-hunt by any means lads, i just think that sometimes and only sometimes he can go missing, I dont know if it that the bigger claubs have better defenders and mark him better than the rest or he just dosnt play well against these supposed better players, im not wording this right I know but I hope someone else kinda know's wot im on about
19/04/2007 13:15:00
I'm pretty sure I get you Clint and can see (as I've said) what you mean. Let's see how he stands up to these challenges next season.
Hughes Da Man
19/04/2007 13:58:00
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