Date: 31st January 2016 at 11:37am
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Many people on this site, myself included, have criticised Liam Trotter on a number of occasions. He’s been called out for not looking like a professional footballer, not being athletic, being clumsy on the ball, being poor in the air, not using his physicality, not knowing what to do on the ball and worst of all, not trying.

Most of us were pleased to see him re-unite with Douglas ‘I don’t sign players from my old clubs’ Freedman. He seemed to be too much of a passenger whenever he played for us, and despite that goal against Sheffield Wednesday, he’d given us little to cheer about. It would also clear a name of the wage bill.

At Forest he played quite regularly- starting a few and staring on the bench for a few. He didn’t set the world alight, and many Forest fans echoed our sentiments, while others felt that he was a solid Championship player. Despite the mixed reaction, it clearly looked to be a beneficial spell for the former Millwall man.

He returned to Bolton and has come straight into the team. He’s started to look like the player who was highly rated at Millwall and even attracted Premier League interest back in the day.

What is is that has changed though? He just looks like he’s trying more and is making conscious decisions. He’s getting involved in games, rather than just letting them pass him by.

He has the physical qualities to dominate a midfield and isn’t that bad on the ball. His mobility may still be something he needs to work on but he looks to get around the pitch much more than before.

Has it been a confidence thing? Was Dougie’s arm around his shoulder what he needed this whole time? Some are saying he’s only finally become match fit. That could be it too.

Whatever it is, he certainly looks like a proper player for us now, and meanwhile Darren Pratley’s looked a bit more like his old self (well, not his old, old self- I mean the Pratley of the early Neil Lennon era). They could form a nice little partnership in the centre of the park.


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