Current Player The strange case of James Henry

dickwalton1964

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He’s stopped scoring but that’s coincided with him easily playing his best football in an Oxford shirt. Robinson must be scratching his head trying to work out what’s happening. At any other time in his Oxford career I’d have said a non goal scoring Henry would struggle to hold down a place as his contribution was often patchy despite his obvious talent but his tendency to pop up with an often vital goal couldn’t be ignored.

Now he’s not getting the goals but playing at a level that makes him undroppable. He looks fitter than I’ve seen him previously and there’s a real hunger about his play. Whether it’s because he’s out of contract at end of season or the realisation that there’s better quality in the squad I don’t know but he’s performing at a fantastic level and fair play to him for that sort of reaction.

In a pulsating game today he was the best player on the pitch by a distance.
 

yellowbow

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I just think he’s a damn fine footballer and should always be in the team when fit. I think in the future when people look back on his time here he’ll go down as one of the most underrated players we’ve had. I’m not sure why that is, I know he’s got quite a laid back personality and doesn’t go in for badge kissing histrionics or fist pumping celebrations which probably doesn’t help, along with the ‘shush-gate’ incident when Pep was here. But his goals in the past have got us out of a hole and, as previously said, his performances this season have been consistently good. I just wonder how much more he’d be appreciated if he had Mackie’s personality.
 

Marked Ox

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I just think he’s a damn fine footballer and should always be in the team when fit. I think in the future when people look back on his time here he’ll go down as one of the most underrated players we’ve had. I’m not sure why that is, I know he’s got quite a laid back personality and doesn’t go in for badge kissing histrionics or fist pumping celebrations which probably doesn’t help, along with the ‘shush-gate’ incident when Pep was here. But his goals in the past have got us out of a hole and, as previously said, his performances this season have been consistently good. I just wonder how much more he’d be appreciated if he had Mackie’s personality.

I agree just a fine footballer. If he was pacier he'd still be playing at a higher level but his football intelligence makes up for that at this level. The goals will come again as well.

He is a vital part of our squad and I would be very happy if he were to sign a new contract (assuming one is offered).
 

River plate

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I agree just a fine footballer. If he was pacier he'd still be playing at a higher level but his football intelligence makes up for that at this level. The goals will come again as well.

He is a vital part of our squad and I would be very happy if he were to sign a new contract (assuming one is offered).
 

River plate

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Not always rated Henery no pace fantastic game today has to keep this standard up I think he knows this to get new contact age not in his side.
 

Foley

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He had a great first half of last season but faded.
Today he was outstanding in my view. He has a great understanding with Cadden. One of the first players on the team sheet when he plays like he is at the moment.
 

dickwalton1964

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I just think he’s a damn fine footballer and should always be in the team when fit. I think in the future when people look back on his time here he’ll go down as one of the most underrated players we’ve had. I’m not sure why that is, I know he’s got quite a laid back personality and doesn’t go in for badge kissing histrionics or fist pumping celebrations which probably doesn’t help, along with the ‘shush-gate’ incident when Pep was here. But his goals in the past have got us out of a hole and, as previously said, his performances this season have been consistently good. I just wonder how much more he’d be appreciated if he had Mackie’s personality.


That’s very true. Going back a long way I don’t think Trevor Hebberd’s contribution was ever properly appreciated by Oxford fans - for me he’s our greatest ever player in my 50 years but that’s another story - and I see a similar personality trait in Henry.

He comes in, does his job and leaves the pitch. My son has called him over to the touch line on countless occasions when the players are trouping off and he’s often given a polite acknowledgment but never yet come over ! I also recall an occasion after the Coventry away game last season when we met all the players as they were boarding the coach after the game (won 1-0) and he (along with Ruffles) was by far the humblest and politest of the players.

It’s funny how some players, like Mackie, can form that connection with fans whereas a player like Henry will always be respected but never perhaps properly appreciated because of a less demonstrative personality.
 
S

Shropshire U

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That’s very true. Going back a long way I don’t think Trevor Hebberd’s contribution was ever properly appreciated by Oxford fans - for me he’s our greatest ever player in my 50 years
Yes! Totally agree (as my icon / avatar might suggest). Jim Smith always rated Trevor Hebberd as his best ever player.
I can see the similarities with the James Henry situation. I rate Henry highly, but Hebberd had all Henry's qualities and more. In particular he had a fantastic engine and would often cover the pitch for 90 minutes.
 

SSU1965

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That’s very true. Going back a long way I don’t think Trevor Hebberd’s contribution was ever properly appreciated by Oxford fans - for me he’s our greatest ever player in my 50 years but that’s another story - and I see a similar personality trait in Henry.

He comes in, does his job and leaves the pitch. My son has called him over to the touch line on countless occasions when the players are trouping off and he’s often given a polite acknowledgment but never yet come over ! I also recall an occasion after the Coventry away game last season when we met all the players as they were boarding the coach after the game (won 1-0) and he (along with Ruffles) was by far the humblest and politest of the players.

It’s funny how some players, like Mackie, can form that connection with fans whereas a player like Henry will always be respected but never perhaps properly appreciated because of a less demonstrative personality.
Trevor Hebberd should have been awarded an international cap but of course overlooked playing for Oxford’ it was all Liverpool and Arsenal in the 80s
 

makv

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He had a great first half of last season but faded.
Today he was outstanding in my view. He has a great understanding with Cadden. One of the first players on the team sheet when he plays like he is at the moment.

Yesterday I thought he was technically brilliant and so tenacious. Every time he got the ball it seemed like something would happen.
 

Scotchegg

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He’s stopped scoring but that’s coincided with him easily playing his best football in an Oxford shirt. Robinson must be scratching his head trying to work out what’s happening. At any other time in his Oxford career I’d have said a non goal scoring Henry would struggle to hold down a place as his contribution was often patchy despite his obvious talent but his tendency to pop up with an often vital goal couldn’t be ignored.

Now he’s not getting the goals but playing at a level that makes him undroppable. He looks fitter than I’ve seen him previously and there’s a real hunger about his play. Whether it’s because he’s out of contract at end of season or the realisation that there’s better quality in the squad I don’t know but he’s performing at a fantastic level and fair play to him for that sort of reaction.

In a pulsating game today he was the best player on the pitch by a distance.

There's no doubting that Henry is a fantastic player, and someone who kept us alive at the end of 2 seasons ago, and the beginning of the last. He had a fairly average second half of last season by his standards but is right back to the top of his game at the moment.

The difference between him scoring as many as he did and now is, I think, due to him losing half a yard of pace. He would often come from a central position between the CB and full back and be through on goal, or get past the full back on the outside and shoot across the goal. Now he's unable to drift past players so easily so the space is harder to find.

He links up brilliantly with Cadden, but both need to know when to hit the box early with crosses and when to choose the overlap. In the first half yesterday we put in 4 great crosses and could have scored from 3 of them, but too often we faffed about and didn't get the ball in early enough. The second half was much better, and someone like Matty Taylor should score bucket loads with the service he'll get.

My only concern is that we are screaming out for pace at times, and will need something different than what we get from Henry and Forde (who I think is also looking a class player). It will be how we manager these roles that I think will define our season. Pace from the beginning at home with Henry and Forde coming on the shore things up? Tighter away and pace to bring on to do teams on the break? Either way, James Henry on the top of his game is a joy to watch and I'm sure his name will be underlined on Robinson's mystically training ground whiteboard!
 

HampshireYellow

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Let’s not rewrite history, he was awful at times in the second half of last season - after sometimes previously in his Oxford career being our best player in games and scoring lots and lots of vital, vital goals. Lets be intelligent and nuanced enough to recognise both.

He showcased his undoubted technical ability yesterday and looked very mobile and full of desire - curled some lovely balls in. I still don’t think he has enough pace to play out wide and he doesn’t always track back which makes Cadden’s life harder.

I’d love to see him playing centrally behind the striker, with a remit to drift out wide if he wants and go wherever he needs to really hurt teams. In this form he could be devastating and definitely do more than Woodburn is at the moment.
 

bazzer9461

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I agree just a fine footballer. If he was pacier he'd still be playing at a higher level but his football intelligence makes up for that at this level. The goals will come again as well.

He is a vital part of our squad and I would be very happy if he were to sign a new contract (assuming one is offered).
There was also a very fine graceful
Footballer of n midfield and his name was Trevor Brooking he wasn’t fast but very sublime and skilful. James Henry isn’t in the same class but for this division he is skilful enough and would prefer him to carry on as he’s doing.
If he had pace with what he is capable of yes he would be in one of the higher premiership teams.
 

bazzer9461

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Let’s not rewrite history, he was awful at times in the second half of last season - after sometimes previously in his Oxford career being our best player in games and scoring lots and lots of vital, vital goals. Lets be intelligent and nuanced enough to recognise both.

He showcased his undoubted technical ability yesterday and looked very mobile and full of desire - curled some lovely balls in. I still don’t think he has enough pace to play out wide and he doesn’t always track back which makes Cadden’s life harder.

I’d love to see him playing centrally behind the striker, with a remit to drift out wide if he wants and go wherever he needs to really hurt teams. In this form he could be devastating and definitely do more than Woodburn is at the moment.
Remember James Henry’s daughter was in hospital and possibly played a part in his lack of form in part and last season
 

HampshireYellow

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Remember James Henry’s daughter was in hospital and possibly played a part in his lack of form in part and last season

Yep, totally understandable and excusable. Really glad all seems better with him and hope he can continue to play well. I just don’t like the cycles on here for players where either they’re rubbish, never been good or really underrated gems who intelligent, brave posters have always secretly liked. Henry has had runs of games where he’s been 3-4 out of 10, and runs where he’s been 8-9.
 

witney50

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1 Jan 2018
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Let’s not rewrite history, he was awful at times in the second half of last season - after sometimes previously in his Oxford career being our best player in games and scoring lots and lots of vital, vital goals. Lets be intelligent and nuanced enough to recognise both.

He showcased his undoubted technical ability yesterday and looked very mobile and full of desire - curled some lovely balls in. I still don’t think he has enough pace to play out wide and he doesn’t always track back which makes Cadden’s life harder.

I’d love to see him playing centrally behind the striker, with a remit to drift out wide if he wants and go wherever he needs to really hurt teams. In this form he could be devastating and definitely do more than Woodburn is at the moment.
I think JHs form this year is down to an ever improving partnership with CC , he knows he has an outlet and overlap coming that will either open up the space for a threaded ball or draw a defender allowing him to move forward and put in a cross...I don't think this should be broken up and allow it to grow...Woodburn is also finding his league 1 feet and improving each game...Gorin and the center backs need to be more aware when JH links with CC going forward though.
 

Yellow River

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I think JHs form this year is down to an ever improving partnership with CC , he knows he has an outlet and overlap coming that will either open up the space for a threaded ball or draw a defender allowing him to move forward and put in a cross...I don't think this should be broken up and allow it to grow...Woodburn is also finding his league 1 feet and improving each game...Gorin and the center backs need to be more aware when JH links with CC going forward though.


Agree. Mousinho is very good at covering for other players that bomb forward, but often goes unnoticed as fans tend to follow the ball.
 
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