I write about in-form Bolton Wanderers midfielder, Chung Yong Lee
In Darren Prately`s post match interview, following Bolton`s 1-0 victory over Millwall, Darren Pratley said that former FC Seoul winger Chung Yong Lee is ‘probably Bolton`s best player.`
I most certainly agree with that.
Lee has been amazing to watch as a Bolton fan. He arrived at the club around five years ago, a 20 year old, little unsure of himself but took the Premier League by storm, leaving full backs in the dust of his exquisite skill and rapid pace.
Few people look back on Gary Megson`s time at the Reebok Stadium with any positives to take from the later to be Sheffield Wednesday manager`s tenure at the club. However, signing Chung Yong lee for 2.2 million was a terrific coup for the club.
I spoke to a fellow Bolton fan following the Millwall game. He described Lee as ‘a credit to Bolton and Korea`. As someone who follows the Korean National team with fair interest, I know that he is a very very big part of their plans and will most certainly be off in January to play in the Asia Cup.
This gap will need to be filled by someone, and it`ll certainly be a big gap.
Following Gary Megson`s tenure came Owen Coyle`s. Lee did well for much of the former Burnley boss` time, too. However, the incident happened which robbed Lee, not only of the season he was physically injured for but also the following two and a bit seasons during which the Korean failed to rediscover the form that earned him all his plaudits.
Many thought that Lee would just drift away into mediocrity- a career playing average football in the second tier of English football. However, there was another incident. This time, a positive one.
Dougie Freedman, Coyle`s successor, was relieved of his duties after branding his team as ‘not good enough` and his replacement was Neil Lennon. Lennon had only managed one team before Bolton and that team was Celtic, where he enjoyed much success and beat the likes of Barcelona.
Lennon gave and continues to give Lee confidence. Chung Yong Lee is thriving again. People are saying that Lee`s renewed form is because he`s playing in a more central role, though I don`t believe that`s the reason behind it. He had featured in a similar role under Freedman and for his national team with very limited success. He was at his best in the Premier League playing on the wing.
The difference in form between now and then is not due to he position in which he is playing- it`s the freedom and confidence he is given by the best manager in the Championship.
Lee is back at his best, but as a more matured player. A big part of his game now is splitting defences with diligently crafted and perfectly weighted passes- a prime example of this is seen in Max Clayton`s goal against Wigan. He has also added to his game more skills- such as that thing he does when he runs one way then the other- brilliant!
Neil Lennon has made brilliant players of Darren Pratley and Neil Danns, too. However, the biggest gift he`s given to Bolton is most certainly our Chungy back, and long may this form continue.
Message from Boltongav:
Just wanted to say have a great Christmas and a happy new year to one and all at Vital Bolton. Much has changed since I last wrote on here mainly for the good and I suppose nobody has even noticed my absence. Anyway heres to a great 2015 for the Super Whites and all of you!!