Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Carling Cup - Southampton vs Bolton

Bolton are through to the third round of the league cup after beating League One side Southampton 1-0. Ivan Klasnic (pictured) scored the goal for Bolton, who were not really recognizable from the team that beat West Ham on Saturday. Owen Coyle made nine changes, keeping only captain Kevin Davies and Zat Knight in the starting XI.

There were two notable debuts for the Wanderers. 21-year-old Hungarian goalkeeper Adam Bogdan has been with the club for several years made his first senior appearance in place of Jussi Jaaskelainen, who received a well-deserved rest after his heroics at Upton Park. But the player everyone who supports Bolton wanted to see was Marcos Alonso, the 18-year-old product of real Madrid's academy who made his Wanderers debut at left back.

The consensus seems to be that Alonso is an attack-minded fullback, and that it will take some time for him to acclimatize to his new country, as well as adapt to the Premier League style of play. Many thought he lacked positional sense against the Saints, but that may be more due to youthful exuberance than anything else. Bolton's current left back, Paul Robinson, is a hard worker, but very limited technically as well as athletically, and quite honestly, he is a red card waiting to happen who is lucky when a match passes without him conceding a penalty. My best estimate is that Alonso will win the starting job by Christmas. His presence and attacking flare will give Wanderers a whole new dimension on the left wing, and make it much more difficult for clubs to focus on Martin Petrov, as they have the last two weeks.

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