Sunday, February 27, 2011

Newcastle United v Bolton Wanderers

It is a miracle of biblical proportions that this match finished 1-1.  Anyone who watched the action for any extended period of time would have expected a 5-5 goal-fest.  Johann Elmander was on the right wing again, a decision many people are questioning, but he ended up getting a Newcastle player sent off and actually had a pretty good match overall.

Once again though, all eyes were drawn to Daniel Sturridge.  This kid is an absolute beast.  Four goals in four for Bolton, and he does everything well.  Incredible skill on the ball, power, a good shot with both feet, creates chances for his teammates, and whenever he gets the ball I feel like the entire stadium comes to their feet, almost in expectation that something spectacular is going to happen.

I also have to mention young Marcos Alonso, who got another start at left-back.  Many Bolton supporters didn't like this, and wanted Gretar Steinsson, who was on the bench, to return to the starting XI.  Apparently, these Bolton supporters only watch the first 20 minutes of games.  Much like against Fulham last weekend, Alonso had a nervous opening period, highlighted (lowlighted actually) by a couple poor touches and a questionable challenge on Leon Best.  However, much like the Fulham match, Alonso grew in confidence as the game went on, and by the end was looking dangerous going forward and putting in some critical challenges at the back.

Owen Coyle has some decisions to make at the back, as Steinsson, a right-back, and JLloyd Samuel, a left-back, have both returned from injury recently, although I suspect it will be another week or two before either is fit enough to play 90 minutes.  Personally, I would return Steinsson to the starting line-up at right-back, but also keep Alonso at left-back.  As I wrote previously, he is getting better every match, certainly will be a class above our other fullbacks very soon, and will only continue to improve if he is on the pitch.

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