Attention: Please take a moment to consider our terms and conditions before posting.

Ben Reeves on his regret over delay in signing for Charlton Athletic,

Comments

  • You only need to look at YouTube and see his best moments to appreciate Ben Reeves is a class act.

    The former MK Dons man may be slight in stature compared to some but he has a big heart and a huge desire to do well at Charlton Athletic.

    The tragedy so far in SE7 is that Charlton fans haven’t really seen what he can do on a consistent basis.

    He wants nothing more than to put the right - given the opportunity.

    By his own admission, his career with the Addicks hasn’t really ignited and he would like nothing better than to fan the flames for a League One promotion push and show the Charlton public just what he is capable of over the next three months.

    You only have to sit down with the 26-year-old to understand how passionate he is about the game and the club he eventually joined last summer.

    Despite having an indifferent first part to his time at The Valley, he loves the place, craves success for the club and would like to place on record his one regret – that he didn’t join Charlton the moment he discovered their interest and after meeting manager Karl Robinson at the start of last summer.

    He was a player in demand, a name in the game at Championship and League One level. So few can blame him for wanting to weigh up his options when others come calling, in the same way any of us would consider alternative job offers.

    Reeves maintains there were things he wasn’t always in control of.

    Such is the lot of the modern-day footballer.

    He now looks back on that spell, between leaving MK Dons and joining Charlton, as “horrible." He didn't sign for Charlton until August 3.

    But then hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    “The main thing for me was to get my head down and just do the work on my own," he says.

    “And when I had the phonecalls, I just dealt with them, then.

    “It was nice to have that interest in me [from other clubs including those from the Championship) but the main thing for me is I just wanted to play and be somewhere and enjoy my football.

    “I knew Charlton were interested at the start.

    “So I came here right at the end of last season [for a meeting].

    “If I could go back [in time], I would have made sure I signed then, made sure it was all sorted out at that time.”

    Only it wasn’t and things dragged on, Reeves admitting: “It’s horrible to look back now and think about that.”

    It is quite an admission from an honest person.

    Not doing a pre-season had a detrimental effect on his start for Robinson’s side. He knows that, and recognises it contributed to the calf injury he picked up in an early game.

    From then on, it has been a struggle to find continuity and consistency.

    “This season I’ve missed out on a lot of games and it’s been very stop-start for me, playing catch up with the rest of the boys and not being as fit as them [at the start],” says the Northern Ireland international.

    “I know you can do all the training you can on your own but coming straight back in, especially with the first game of the season when I came here, everyone had obviously been through the hardest stuff [in training].

    “I had to recover from that, then go straight back into games again when maybe I wasn’t quite ready. That was no fault of anyone’s here [at the club]. If anything it’s my fault.

    “That’s been my problem this season. I’ve been getting back in, and then breaking down again. That’s whether the breaking down is a muscle injury, or it’s in the second game that I’m playing and I’ve not got anything in me to give.”

    Reeves has flair. His finishing is sublime for a midfield player. His extravagant, impish skills on the ball can be a joy. He can feint, swerve and check his stride as well as an impala fending off a lion attack.

    Had he been born pre-decimalisation the expression to ‘turn on a sixpence’ might have been conjured up for him.

    Unfortunately for Reeves, those opponents less gifted are prone to be over zealous when trying to get the ball off him. When in full flow he might as well be running around with the word target scribbled across his back.

    He has undoubtedly been affected by his indifferent form but has the character and determination to overcome his difficulties but his aim is to show the Charlton fans what he is capable of.

    “Hopefully I’m starting to do that now,” he says. “I’ve had a difficult four months here, with coming back in, then going back out again, because of injuries or lack of minutes.

    “Probably the games I have come back in [after injury], the first games have been the away games, I seem to have played well in those.

    “And then the next game, it’s either the Tuesday and it’s three days after and I’ve got to recover, or my first in a certain amount of weeks.

    “My first game back [recently] was Doncaster, then I got rested for Bradford, then I came back in for MK Dons, so I had a good week there to recover, and again this week [ahead of Shrewsbury Town].

    “Hopefully this is me now until the end of the season and I can show the Charlton fans the real me and what I can do. The players believe in what I do and the manager as well. Hopefully I can show the fans now, too.”

    Reeves has been used to being a first-team regular during his career but this season has seen a change in that, with niggly injuries blighting his time at The Valley: “The team have been playing well this season but I can’t demand a space. The only way I can do that is by playing well and I know that sometimes I haven’t done that consistently.

    “That’s probably down to maybe the pre-season factor. Even after training, I don’t go and do extra shooting, I go and do extra running. To make sure I’m fitter.

    “When you are playing catch-up that’s the way it is sometimes.

    “The most important thing now is to stay fit and play as well as I can.

    “This is the crunch time of the season so if I can show what I can do now for the rest of the season, that’s the most important time.”

    Reeves says he wants to stay next season and is a big fan of the set-up at Charlton and adds: “I really like it here.

    "Everything is great. The training ground, the rest of the boys as well.

    “The way we play. The Valley is brilliant, I think and the atmosphere. I don’t know whether there’s better in the league to be honest, it’s brilliant.

    “I noticed that last year when I played against Charlton [twice for MK Dons]. We played them in the FA Cup and in the league and both times they were brilliant [the fans]. That’s pretty much the reason I wanted to come here.

    “That’s what’s been frustrating for me, not showing them [my true form]. Sometimes playing well in the away games and then not being able to do the same in the home games.

    “I’ve been indifferent in my performances. Hopefully now I can improve.

    “I haven’t really hit anywhere near the heights I can hit – yet.”

    Reeves has scored some special goals in his career – and wants to add to his collection: “I had a spell at the start of the season [when scoring] but unfortunately they came in cup games. I just want another spell now.

    “I almost got a couple last weekend [MK Dons] and if I’m honest, normally I would score them and I think I should score them.”
  • Reeves is happy with the squad rotation and thinks it’s great that Robinson has players to interchange, to keep opponents guessing, while mixing up their own play too.

    And he has seen a difference in his boss since working with him at MK Dons.

    “He’s a great coach, he does so much work,” he adds. “Work on the opposition as well, and on how we are going to play against the opposition.

    “I think he’s got even better, since joining here.

    “I’ve noticed slight changes from Milton Keynes. Just little details and attention to detail and the way we play. He’s changed the way he plays a little bit, maybe he’s adapted a little to the players we have here as they are a little bit different to those we had there.

    “I think he’s got even better and it stands us in good stead.”

    Did he want to rejoin Robinson specifically?

    “It was never my intention,” he explains. “But I just knew that if I wanted to enjoy my football and play good football, and for a good team, an ambitious team, with an ambitious manager, this was the right place to come.”

    Reeves learned his trade at Southampton FC, having been born and raised in Dorset.

    He remembers a “crunch time” when he was around the age of 15 when he had a good month which earned him a scholarship.

    He was determined to become a professional and learned a lot from the likes of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Crystal Palace’s Danny Butterfield at St Mary’s.

    “Lallana was probably the best player I’ve ever trained with, by miles,” he smiles. “I learned a lot from watching him play and watching him train every day.

    “There were so many players with a good knowledge of football.”

    Good managers too.

    There was Alan Pardew, Nigel Adkins – the man who gave Reeves his Premier League debut – and none other than Mauricio Pochettino.

    “I was only there for about a month with him,” he says of the current Tottenham chief.

    One thing stands out about the Argentine. “The amount of pressing that he used to do and emphasise,” says Reeves. “Win the ball back, similar to what we do here. As soon we lose it, swarm around it straight away. And if you don’t get it, then you get your shape. That’s what I remember about him.”

    Reeves’ time on the field in the Premier League was limited to three substitute appearances.

    The first was against Everton at Goodison Park in September 2012 – a 3-1 defeat.

    Others followed at St Mary’s, against Norwich City and Spurs.

    “We drew one and lost two so they probably weren’t the best games for me to be involved in but they were a great experience for me,” he says.

    Loan spells at Dagenham & Redbridge and Southend United were crucial to his development.

    At Dagenham he realised what was required if he was going to make it in the game. “I had to work even harder as we were in a relegation dogfight and it was so hard to play at your best level in games like that,” he reflects.

    Southend was another learning curve which he enjoyed before he was released by Saints and ended up training on his own – something he has since repeated, of course – before joining MK Dons and Robinson.

    “I didn’t play for the first couple of months, Luke Chadwick was in my position but I had got my fitness up, played in a couple of cup games, then got in the team and stayed there,” he says of his four-year stint at Stadium MK.

    He was player of the year in his first season, and played in the Championship too under Robinson, although that coincided with an injury-hit spell for him.

    In his time in Buckinghamshire, he enjoyed starring in a thrilling win against Manchester United – but suffered the heartbreak of relegation too.

    “It’s why I’m so desperate to get back there [the Championship, with Charlton],” he says.

    “Everything is there for us to be good in the Championship. It’s just a matter of getting there and progressing from then on.”

    Firstly, he just wants to prove himself on a ground he loves playing at - The Valley.

    “I have played well in spells but nowhere near what I expect of myself, nor what other people expect of me as well,” he reflects. “So hopefully I can kick on now and do that for the last three months.”

    Reeves’ tip for youngsters wanting a career in the game is to work hard and believe in your ability.

    Despite his setbacks this term, he still has bundles of work ethic and a mesmerising quality on the ball.

    He just wants to demonstrate to the North Stand Upper and the rest just why Charlton recruited him.

    You get the impression he feels he owes the fans a good display at home.

    Those who know the person, not just the player, will be rooting for him to do just that.

    Because, like many of his Charlton team-mates, Ben Reeves is a good man, who happens to have a gift.

    There are flaws, naturally, which is why currently he is playing in the third tier, a division neither he nor the club’s fans are truly comfortable in.

    Which is why an injury-free run for him, could be to the benefit of both parties, as the Championship beckons.

    As they say, class is permanent, form is temporary.

    Now is the time for the midfielder to marry the two
  • Good interview... Now get out there and do it on the pitch.




















    No not like the dodgy advertising campaign ffs.
  • edited February 26
    He's definitely a very skillful player. And he's shown what he can do in flashes this season. But he's in a poor run of form.

    That said, and I said this in my Player Ratings, I don't understand why he gets so much stick and Marshall seems to be given an easy pass given how poor he's been. Marshall works very hard, but Reeves does his doggies as well, and as with Clarke before I think Reeves playing on the right having to cover Solly has hurt him a lot this season.

    There is definitely a good player in there, and he has the potential to be a difference maker. If there was one player I'd want to hit for for the run in it'd be him (or Zyro). But like Marshall he looks nervy and a bit like he has the yips and he's trying too hard and doing nothing. He is at his best when he finds pockets of space, gets the ball on the half turn, looks to release if, then moves to get it back.
  • Neither Reeves nor Marshall are a patch on Holmes
  • Like he says, he hasn't got anything in him to give. Something doesn't seem right to me.

    “That’s been my problem this season. I’ve been getting back in, and then breaking down again. That’s whether the breaking down is a muscle injury, or it’s in the second game that I’m playing and I’ve not got anything in me to give.”
  • Southbank said:

    Neither Reeves nor Marshall are a patch on Holmes
    Harsh comparison because Holmes was so good.

    But the truth is neither have been good. If they were to rediscover their form from last season we would be a lot stronger
  • fuck me Robinson has got better? How shit was he before?

    I'm guessing it was because of Robinson he didnt sign earlier and in the end we were his only option left.
  • Sponsored links:


  • Clearly he didn't keep himself and his fitness up to scratch while he was playing both ends off against the middle in the vain hope of the most lucrative deal. I don't blame him for seeking the best deal but he had sole responsibility for his physical condition through the summer. He warrants not one jot of sympathy for his piss poor condition and performances over the subsequent 6 months. "matters not all under his control" tough luck sucker, the one thing you could control - your condition - you slacked off and it turns out you can't catch up. I'm sure his salary will have been keeping him comfortable throughout his inactivity thus far. A bit part player at a mid-table 3rd division club going nowhere, it's solely down to him to improve that harsh reality. He'd be better advised to keep his head down and work harder rather than bleating "poor me". If regime change takes place he'll be on a (not so) short list to follow his fat scouse fanboy out of SE7 smartish, barely a footnote in the last year.
    ...or make me eat my words...
  • You could draw a map of the world on his forehead
  • May we pass on our regret that he couldn't of delayed it further... oh about 10 years!
  • edited March 1
    Very very injury prone, unfortunately always has been and I suspect always will be.
    Hope he proves me wrong.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Roland Out!