Date: 31st January 2016 at 10:10pm
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Okay, well I’ll start off by saying that one of the main reasons I’m writing this article is 1) I’m one off my monthly quota and 2) because I literally just came up with this headline and I think it’s brilliant.

Neil Danns is someone who has figured regularly throughout Neil Lennon’s time at Bolton. He has already played 24 times in all competitions this season. However, since the return of Liam Trotter he seems to have lost his place in the side.

Or so I thought, I literally just found out that he’s picked up a slight injury, but I shall persevere with this article but I’m so proud of the headline.

When he first signed for us, he won plaudits as a hard working attacking midfielder. He wasn’t the most creative player we’d ever had, although his work rate and constant movement could cause problems for defences. He also chipped in with a handful of crucial goals. When he was playing in this attacking role, which primarily saw him play as a winger, we didn’t need creativity from him: we had the likes of Chung Yong Lee, Andre Moritz and Chris Eagles providing that. We just needed someone to make runs and put pressure on defences and he did an excellent job at that.

During the latter stages of the Dougie Freedman era, Danns started to look less effective, and upon his arrival Neil Lennon moved him into a deeper, more central role. He began alongside Jay Spearing, with Pratley actually playing out wide on the left. However, Spearing was quickly replaced by Pratley alongside Danns. The two formed a very strong partnership as their high energy playing styles complimented each other: when one was forward, the other would always drop back and cover: things were looking good.

However, this season we haven’t seen the best of Danns by any means. In fact, his performance levels began to drop dramatically towards the end of last season as well. He certainly is a player whose form correlates very strongly with the team’s form. This could means that he is a crucial member of the team, or that he can only play well when alongside other in form players. However I think it’s a bit of both- think of it as positive feedback and the only thing we need to work out is the catalyst for the improvement in form: either he, r the team needs to start playing well and the rest will hopefully follow.

We just need a bit of luck I think, and eventually something’s got to give.

 

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