Christian Benteke admits to a little bit of extra practise
Last season Christian Benteke was next to invincible in the second-half of the last season. If there was one man who is responsible for Villa being in the Premiership this season, it’s him. Without Benteke’s goals, Paul Lambert’s reign as manager might have been over before it started.
This season, life hasn’t been so rosy for the Belgian striker. It’s started off fine, as he put Arsenal to the sword in the opening game and he continued to score until injury seemed to upset Benteke’s flow. Indeed, once Benteke returned, he appeared to have completely lost his mojo altogether, with the amount of games he went goalless reaching into double-figures. It was hard to completely blame the striker for his abject form though, as he was being increasingly used as an out-and-out target man for Guzan and his defender’s hoofs up field. Benteke with his touch and vision, certainly has more potential than being used in such a limited fashion.
In the Villa official website’s interview with the Belgian striker last week, it was good to see Benteke talk about his quest for self-improvement, when he discussed the extra-time he’d been putting in after normal training to practice penalties.
You may recall Media Muppets picking up on ex-Villan Dwight Yorke giving Benteke a bit of stick for missing a couple of penalties this season. The one against Arsenal, he headed in the rebound, while his miss against Everton came when he was perhaps caught a little cold, with it coming six-minutes into his return back from injury. Regardless of the mitigating circumstances we’re making for him here, Benteke is obviously keen to make sure he doesn’t miss again.
“I want to say thanks to Brad Guzan because after each training session I practice taking penalties against him,” Benteke told, the Villa media team. “When I took the one against West Brom I put the scenario in my head as if I was training and I tried to do the same. I had worked on that one with Guzan but I also practise other types of penalties. I’m not going to say what the next one will be like. We’ll see when the moment arrives!”
Obviously, when it comes to penalties, confidence is perhaps the main quality to have. To be honest, Benteke is a player who when he does step up from the spot, as a supporter, you feel pretty sure he’s going to score.
“Sometimes players have to take responsibility and I felt confident enough to do it. I will always take a penalty,” he added.
“Sometimes I might make a mistake, but the more I take the better I will get. It’s the same in open play. If I miss a chance I don’t think about giving the ball away to avoid missing again. I just think about putting things right.”
Last season, most of Benteke’s 19 goals came from this point in the season onwards. It’s essential to where Villa finish this time round, he gets close to repeating such a haul. We wish him luck. UTV.