Sunday, September 25, 2011

Someone needs to play there...

When I lived in Hawaii, I often visited Kapiolani Park on Saturday afternoons to join in the myriad kick-arounds that were taking place.  The hardest part of these informal matches was finding four (more often 3) people willing to play as a defender.  The title of this post was the usual refrain in eventually convincing someone to step to the back of the attacking queue.  Bolton Wanderers have a bit of the same about them at the moment.  Owen Coyle's philosophy allows for central defenders and (especially) fullbacks to bomb forward at any and all times.  The holding midfiedler is also given a rather long leash in his forays into the offensive end of the pitch.

Bolton are shipping goals at the moment, and more attention really needs to be paid to the defensive end.  I have stated several times that I think Paul Robinson is a big part of the problem and needs to be dropped.  Beyond him though, I don't believe it is a personnel problem, but a formation problem.

When Wanderers have been at their best under Coyle they have featured a central midfield of Fabrice Muamba and Stuart Holden.  Muamba is a destroyer, an incredibly fit and powerful athlete who breaks up play all over the field.  Holden, while quick and good in a tackle, is blessed with an amazing sense of positioning.  He is always exactly where he needs to be.  Now that Holden is back from injury, I believe Coyle will return to this central pairing.  I still don't think we will beat Chelsea next week, but after that, when our season really begins, I think Bolton supporters will be reminded how lucky we are to have Holden and Muamba at our disposal.

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