Date: 27th April 2009 at 12:06pm
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The season`s almost over and Bolton look to have secured a position a little way above the relegation places. As the poll on the forums shows there are several candidates for player of the season. Sadly, there are others who have been something of a let down. Who`s your flop of the season?

Fabrice Muamba

Muamba has had one or two encouraging games, but for the most part he`s been awful. The England under-21 international has a major problem. The ball. He can`t control it, pass or shoot with it. It`s a significant flaw in a footballer.

In addition, he`s naïve (and that`s putting it politely) picking up fouls and yellow cards for tackling from behind. He`s drawn out of position easily and is careless in possession and despite being only 21 hasn`t got that much of an engine on him. He isn`t a holding player or a box-to-boxer. Just what is Fabrice Muamba for?

Johan Elmander

Elmander arrived from Toulouse for a club record £8.2 million. He`s also had good games and at times shown touches of genuine class. His movement, awareness and ability to lay the ball off quickly are all that you would expect of a seasoned international. However, he isn`t strong enough to do the lone striker role and the way he`s swatted like a fly by opposing centre-halves is starting to be embarrassing.

Is Elmander not equipped for the English game, or is he being hampered by Bolton`s one dimensional tactics? It`s hard to say.

Riga

Bolton fans, starved for someone who could do more than ‘put in a shift` in Megson parlance, welcomed the Dutchman, but he`s featured little and struggled with the physicality of the Premier League when he has. When playing in reserve games he`s shown glimpses of breath-taking skill and effortless pace. But he will need to do more if this non-event of a season is to be improved on next time round. Another who suffers because of Bolton`s rotten passing.

Andy O`Brien

O`Brien wasn`t exactly greeted with enthusiasm when Sammy Lee signed him, but he proved the doubters wrong with a string of solid performances. Then again, Gerald Cid, the player he replaced had the dubious distinction of making Titus Bramble look World class.

This season, the Irishman has reverted to the player everyone feared he would be, playing well at times, but looking nervous and error prone at others.

Vote for flop of the season in the latest Vital Bolton front page poll. Don`t forget to visit the forum and register your vote for player of the year.

 

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