Abdessalam Benjelloun – Enigma
Would someone inform me please. Is Hibs’ Moroccan striker Abdessalam Benjelloun worth persisting with?
We know he can play when he’s fit and when he appears to want to. Now I wasn’t at Saturday’s game against Inverness Caledonian Thistle so I’m commenting on hearsay. The general consensus appears to be that he’s unfit and many refer to his ‘attitude problem’.
Obviously he can’t be absolutely match-fit, that’s accepted and appreciated, but by people’s comments his new leaner look of yore has disappeared. Around about the time of the Cup Final last March he looked lean and on-fire. His relationship with John Collins at that time seemed to be a very sound one too. One might suggest that he bought into Collins’ diet and fitness ideas wholesale and that it was benefiting his still inexperienced career.
So what happened? Did he lose faith in Collins, was there a cooling in the relationship? One would have hoped that in spite of what some now think of Collins’ abilities, Benji might come to the conclusion that some of his ideas and tuition were clearly having a beneficial effect on his career?
So to last Saturday then. John Collins has left and we have an old, and it should be said loved and respected Hibee in Mixu Paatelainen coming back to hopefully breathe new life into the team. Immediately Benji is given the opportunity that many have been demanding for some time. Another chance to kick-start his career under a new broom. What happens? Well Benji is clearly not up to the standard of fitness required for first team duties but we’ve already covered the potential reason for that in accepting his lack of match fitness so let’s move on. By many accounts Benji’s attitude on the field was poor during the game. Some state a lack of effort and also a few histrionics when he didn’t get the pass. I’ve variously heard his attitude described as ‘stinking’, ‘honking’ and a lot worse.
Now as stated, I wasn’t at Easter Road to witness his display. I’m therefore not passing comment as such but rather asking a question or two. What is it with this guy? Does he just not care? Are the fans overreacting towards him? Is he destined to be another of those young enigmas that the game is thoroughly littered with?