Ghost of Michael Ricketts slain…
Morning all, and let`s get straight on with the main news of the day. And that, of course, is that even though he is currently not featuring in the Bolton first team, Sam “Not Mike” Ricketts won his thirty eighth cap for Wales last night in Montenegro.
Ahhh……..I see that you didn`t fall for that one. But the name Ricketts does loom large in the history of Bolton Wanderers. Actually, it loomed large until last night when, midway through the second half, Gary “Gaz” Cahill replaced the unfortunate Michael Dawson to finally make his England debut and become the first Bolton player since Fat Boy, and only the second since Freddie Hill in 1963, to play for the national team. Actually, some would say that he was the first since Freddie Hill as there is some controversy as to whether what Lard Arse did could be construed as “playing”.
Now, let me say straight off that, even though there is a general delight that Cahill got on, the injury to Dawson looks nasty and, although its full extent won`t be known until today at the earliest, there was a lot of wincing going on in X Towers when the replay was shown. No one likes to see a player suffer a serious injury, unless you have a heart of stone or that player is Robbie Savage (no, the other one) and it would have been nice to see Cahill start the game rather than come on in those circumstances. As he did however, it gives us a chance to see how he would acquit himself at international level, whether he plays for Bolton or not, Mr Evening Standard.
Straight from the off he had a chance from a whipped in free kick that the Bulgarian keeper flapped at, just missing a header into an empty net. He came forward for every set piece, even cracking off a shot that was immediately deflected. In defence, with Bulgaria building up a head of steam on his arrival, he was competent, blocking a goalbound shot and clearing a couple of other balls. Once, and only once, his concentration lapsed, playing a ball across the defence that was almost intercepted. All in all, he seemed to play well alongside Jagielka. (Interesting note fact fans. Cahill was brought in on a short term loan by Sheffield United as Jagielka`s replacement.)
Now I`m no doctor, but Dawson doesn`t look like he will be playing in Switzerland on Tuesday, which leaves Capello with a choice of Cahill, Upson or Lescott. The form says Cahill, but as form now apparently has nothing to do with being picked for the England team, that`s out as an argument. The Bolton player was brought on with England in the lead, so it may be that Capello was just hoping not to receive another ear bashing from St Owen by giving Gaz a run out.
However, we believe that not playing Cahill would be a mistake. Upson is so out of form he should really be sent back to Boleyn Park so they can work on some sort of defence, as the one that have at the moment isn`t working. Lescott may be a “class act” when in form, as Mr Ice said a couple of days ago on these pages, but he is currently being played out of position by Citeh, who still aren`t exactly firing on all cylinders. Although Bolton conceded early last Sunday with a ball played across the centre and Cahill played Jerome onside for Birmingham`s second goal, he has otherwise been steadiness personified
This will mean, therefore, that Lescott is a shoo-in for Tuesday.
The papers seemed to suggest that Cahill was, well, OK.
A replacement for Dawson just before the hour, he came into the team and was solid enough. The Currant
The Nazi gave Gaz 6/10
The Mirror also gave Gaz a 6/10, saying he “made an immediate impact with a block“.
The Tory say that Cahill literally “sprinted on for his debut“. Either rubbing salt into Dawson`s wound or making sure he was on before the Italian realized he wasn`t Upson.
Cahill, however, now has a chance and I hope he takes it because he is a good quick aggressive defender. The Guardian’s Barney Ronay is a fan.
England’s central defenders are Jagielka and Cahill. And why not – I think they’re both very decent players and only lack experience and a sense of swaggeringly self-important celebrity. And continues to be so?.
Jagielka and Cahill had a refreshing look about them, a bit more athleticism there. I think Mr Ronay should get a room?.
(Guardian readers gave Cahill 6.1/10)
He looked assured, composed, in fact everything we have come to expect having watched him for just over two years at the Reebok. Marc Iles gives the local view.
It may have passed everyone by, but another Bolton player played in the game. However, as Bulgaria seemed to think that there was only one wing, there wasn`t really a lot to see of The Crocked Bulgarian, so the game neither detracted from nor enhanced his reputation.
There isn`t really a great deal else around this morning. I do have to tell you though, that I got an email yesterday from one of my so called “friends”, who had googled the name “Quinton x” and found that someone had called me the same name as a male appendage. He heartily agreed with the writer. I have to say I`m distraught. The standards of literacy these days. People can`t even copy names down correctly.
So while I boo hoo hoo into my cornflakes, you have yourselves a good Saturday.