Date: 15th February 2011 at 5:53pm
Written by:

No!! Come back!! Don’t run away!!!

I’m knackered, I’ll have to tell you. Three hours sleep after my weekly commute up north means sluggishness and general dontgiveastuffness. However, like the trooper I am, I’ll carry on.

It may have been me, but the majority of the papers ran with the ‘what’s happening at Everton’ story, rather than the ‘Bolton are back in the European hunt’ angle we all know they should have. Everton aren’t going down. They’re Everton, they never go down, as we all know to our cost. Somewhere along the line they’ll stumble over forty points, they always do.

What is happening at Bolton is far more exciting. A natural English goalscorer who the fans of his parent club are already bemoaning loaning out, especially after last night. A formidable looking central midfield duo and, with Zat Knight’s now enforced absence, a defence made up of two players who could be the answer to England’s central defence problem once John Terry, no longer guaranteed first team football at his club, and Rio Ferdinand, no longer guaranteed to get onto a football pitch ever again, finally hang up their boots, with Rio wrenching his back again in the process.

Hey, my idea’s on David Wheater will take a lot more than one game to change, but he did a lot to set me right on Sunday. I’m a big man and I’ll take it when I’m wrong. He now has at least seven to ten days until they can assess Zat’s injury, which will take in the game tomorrow night, on (ahem!) Saturday and the away game at Newcastle. Worst case scenario is six weeks for Zat, but if Wheater can step up, it may be longer. He didn’t do his cause any harm against Everton and will expect to stay in the team tomorrow.

As for the midfield, this was bolstered today with the news that Mark Davies has signed a one year extension to his contract, meaning that he will be with the club until 2015. All that, and praise from Lee Dixon. What a weekend for the young lad.

Amazingly, ‘Mavies’ (last time ever I’m using that) has made fifty six appearances for the club, although more than half have been as a sub. The way that he has performed recently suggests a great partnership with Holden is in the offing. This will have to be offset by a bit less meandering by Holden, who would now be the more defensively minded partner, but it doesn’t appear to have done them any harm so far.

This won’t do Fabrice Muamba any good, but as he has been lumbering around for half the season playing like someone who has also walked into the beam that put Zat Knight into a two month long daze, this is no bad thing. Mark Davies has taken the opportunity to show the ability that Chris Evans (no, the other one. no, not the actor, the other other one) saw when he crept into Wolves one night, stuck Mark in a bag marked ‘SWAG’, left an envelope with an ‘undisclosed sum’ in it and chuckled in a Dick Dastardly stylee all the way back up the M6.

And people ask what Gary Megson did for us.*

If you disregard the Johan Elmander on the wing option, the team suddenly has a more settled look than at anytime since we asked Nobby what the score was. Just in time to ask him again next weekend. Before that, there is the small matter of knocking the pie eaters out of the cup. Early reports suggest that Wigan will still be a one horse hole that you wouldn’t send your worst enemy to and that they’ll be pressganging some toothless wonders into the ground with promises of cheap liquor and three minutes with a pig.

Wigan are still exactly where they should be and Bobby Martinez will be sending out the kids again. This means that with half our normal side out we should do enough, but I said that a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t been to The Cottage since I shared a wall with Nicholas Gleaves whilst looking out over the Thames in 2008. Not that he will remember. Actors are like that. It made Mrs X very jealous though. I fully expect to be making another visit there on Saturday. No word yet on Mr Gleaves.

We will return with a preview of tomorrow’s game, tomorrow.

* I would just like to point out that this is an ironic statement and is in no way to be taken seriously.

And now, some contractually obligated matters.

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