Former Aston Villa and Sheffield United midfielder, Lee Hendrie, has revealed that Kevin Blackwell is his pick as the worst manager he ever had in his career.
Hendrie, a former England international, was signed by Bryan Robson on a free-transfer in the summer of 2007. He signed a three-year deal at the time, and was seen as a player who could contribute heavily in the Championship.
However, his time in Sheffield was hampered by injury and after Robson departed just months into his tenure, things went sour for the former Aston Villa.
And reflecting on his time at United under Robson’s replacement, Kevin Blackwell, Hendrie admitted that he felt Blackwell had a ‘vendetta’ against him while at Bramall Lane.
“Worst manager – do I have to go there? – was Kevin Blackwell when I went to Sheffield United after leaving Aston Villa,” Hendrie told the Tubes and Ange Golf Life channel.
“Bryan Robson signed me, but then he was gone in months. It killed me a bit. Robbo had Kiddo (Brian Kidd) with him and had given me a pep-talk and I felt there was something special building there. But then Blackwell came in and….mate…I just can’t get my head around it.
“I felt like he couldn’t manage bigger players. He just wasn’t having us. It was like he was making a bee-line. I wanted to prove a point to the Sheff U fans ‘cos I felt they felt I was going for a paycheck, but it wasn’t the case.”
Not the First to Criticise Blackwell
Blackwell has come in for criticism before. Indeed, Hendrie has previously mentioned his time under Blackwell, while Jordan Stewart and Brian Howard have also questioned his management.
Carrying on further with his assessment of Blackwell, Hendrie suggested the former Warnock number two had it in for him a bit.
“It was disappointing. I did pick up injuries. But the one time I did come back from injury, and he was singing my praises. We went up to QPR and I wasn’t even on the bench. It was like he had a personal vendetta against me. So I left the ground, got a taxi back to Birmingham and got another fine. He was the manager who always stands out to me,” Hendrie added.
Hendrie made just 26 appearances for the Blades, scoring four goals. He eventually left for Derby County before drifting down the leagues and entering the world of punditry.