A look at our defensive options
We are now 18 games into a 46 game season, leaving us with just 28 league games to go. And so, I thought it would be a good time to look at a brief overview of our squad.
In goal: Our goalkeeping options are as good as any other team in this division with three senior players who could easily hold their own as a first team goalkeeper in this league. Andy Lonergan has featured most recently, due to an injury to Adam Bogdan. I wonder whether it’s worth holding onto both of them, come next season- I think just one of Lonergan/Bogdan with Kenny and Fitzsimons as back up would still be quite competitive. Overall, though we look solid in goal- 7.5/10
FullbacksIn recent weeks, Josh Vela has featured at right back while Tim Ream has operated on the left. In other words, a central midfielder has featured at right back while a central defender has operated on the left. To be fair, they have both worked hard in trying to acquit themselves in foreign positions, but neither of them look very comfortable. Amongst our ranks include DF’s signings, right back Kevin McNaughton and left back Dean Moxey. I’ve always been quite happy with what I’ve seen from McNaughton, though I know that many of you will disagree with me when I say that he’s a solid presence at the back. Moxey has found it very difficult to endear himself to the Bolton faithful, because- well basically- he’s been poor since signing from Crystal Palace. I thought his goal against Charlton was going to turn everything around for the former Exeter man, but he finds himself out of the squad. We also have Marc Tierney who is out injured and young right back Oscar Threlkeld, who did quite well towards the tail end of last season, but has looked uneasy when playing for the first team this season. Wing back, Andy Kellett (whom I interviewed the other week) and Hayden White are out on loan to Plymouth Argyle and Bury respectively and look to be decent prospects for the future. I expect Neil to look to strengthen with new fullbacks in January, as those we do have are out of favour- 5/10.
Centre backsWhile we haven’t had a natural full back playing for a while, our defence hasn’t looked to bad thanks to the steady presences of Matt Mills and Dorian Dervite. Both are very comfortable on the ball, while characteristically good in the air. They look to be forming an excellent partnership together, and the mentorship of assistant manager, and former centre back, Johan Mjallby will no doubt be of greater help. Both Mills and Dervite bring great Championship experience with them added to by David Wheater and Tim Ream. Wheater started the season strongly before being succumbed to injury, and the American Ream has (as above mentioned) featured primarily as a left back. This is a position in which we currently look pretty strong though- 6.5/10.
What do you think of my verdicts? Leave your thoughts below.