Blog: Legend Withe - I see some of myself in Benteke
Paul Brown blogs as Peter Withe talks about Christian Benteke.
8th Mar 2013
Blog: Legend Withe - I see some of myself in Benteke

Christian Benteke has been earning rave reviews this season, taking in a lot of praise since his move from Belgian club Genk in August.

Two spaceman from Planet Lynx have said he is "out of this world", Paul Lambert has already labelled him a "cult hero" while Tottenham star and fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen has called him as a "massive man-mountain".

Those comments are enough to fill the big man with plenty of confidence ahead of the final run-in.

But the biggest compliment came this week from a man who knows all about bossing defenders for the claret and blue.

Peter Withe, the last man to score twenty goals in the top-flight for Villa, has been singing Benteke's praises for several months now - and told the pre-match show that the powerful forward could well hold the key to the club's survival.

His remark that "I see a bit of myself in Christian" is surely flattery at its most divine, coming as it does from a striker who drove fear into the heart of opposition stoppers week after week after week in a five-year spell, which heralded ninety-two goals.

"I have been impressed with Christian for quite a while now. I watched him against Man City and he was so unlucky. That header reminded me of a centre-forward who played at Villa in the early 1980s!

"I have been raving about him. I see a bit of myself in him.

"I see him dominating in the air, he's superb in the air and he's full of enthusiasm.

"He was lacking at Arsenal. He didn't come to the forefront. But he won't do it every game. He's only young. But the quality is there and the potential is there.

"I believe he has won more headers than anyone else in the Premier League this season. That's some achievement.

"As a manager you'd be saying - win it, give it and then get in the box because I want you on the end of the cross. Getting the balls into wide positions and putting them in for Christian could prove fruitful.

"His header against Man City was magnificent - he did everything right, good spring, good connection but there was a certain Carlos Tevez on the line to clear it. I think he's a real asset for Villa."

If Benteke need reminding of the exploits of Withe, he need look no further than footage of that 1980-81 season where he bagged twenty glorious goals or the certain shinner strike in Rotterdam the following season to see off Bayern Munich in the European Cup.

Interestingly it's DVD recordings that Withe believes could prove fruitful for Villa as they head into their tense ten clashes between now and May.

Withe is a firm advocate of "positive energy" and thinks this could be transmitted to the team via a highlights reel of their best moments this term.

"If I was Paul Lambert, I'd make a DVD of all the positive moments from the season. Yes we're not in a great position but there have been good moments in games.

"They should put together everything they did well against Man Utd, Liverpool, Everton, Norwich, Swansea, West Brom, those kinds of games.

"Then you say 'this is how we can play, this is what we need to take into the last ten games, exactly what we've shown you.'

"You get inspiration from that. You see yourself scoring a goal and think 'I want to do that again.' It's the same with goals, tackles, saves. It would lift the spirits of everyone. "

First up, of course, is Reading, tomorrow afternoon.

Withe is very hopeful of a good result as he looks for Villa to show the away form they have displayed against the likes of the Reds, the Baggies and the Toffees.

He just wants the defence to make sure it doesn't come unstuck at the Madejski Stadium.

"Villa have been playing very well away from home. They have been scoring goals. Let's hope that continues but they keep the back door bolted at the other end.

"We can't play in the wrong areas and have a lapse like we did against Man City."

If Villa score in Berkshire, it will represent the club's 1,000 goal in the Premier League years.

But Withe is eager for a different scoring record to be broken very soon.

"People talk about the twenty league goals. I want it broken. It should have been broken long ago.

"Someone will have to break that record. Hopefully we stay in the Premier League this term and it happens next season. I'd love that."

reading, christian benteke, paul brown, blogs,
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