Date: 22nd February 2011 at 2:04pm
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Bigging Up The FA Cup Run. Because Tony Kelly Won’t.

Evening all. Ricky Vaz Te is back in the UK. But this isn’t a site that usually dwells on former players.

Now, I’m a big fan of Marc Iles, not least because he answers quite a lot of my Tweets (@QuentinX kids. Follow it, you know you wanna). I am less of a fan of his employer, the former Bolton Evening News, not least because for the majority of the time Gary Megson was in charge, they defended him to the hilt, and it takes a lot to claw that back.

In my former incarnation, I was never the biggest fan of Tony Kelly’s column, which backed Megson more than the rest of the paper, if that was possible. Whilst understanding that he was employed by the club, Tony used to say that it didn’t do any good getting on the manager’s back. In the end, he was wrong. It did.

Still writing regularly in the paper, Tony has been swept along with the tide of goodwill for the past year or so and hasn’t said anything to cause much concern. He has, alongside David Lee, done good work with the Academy, currently lying third in their league, although they were dumped out of the Youth Cup at home to Crewe.

However, he has written today about not talking about the cup, saying that there are points to play for and that until the time has come to talk about the cup, he won’t talk about the cup. Whilst talking about the cup.

Again, I understand that he is employed by the club and is partly towing the club line about not talking about the cup. Well, I would, if SuperKevinDavies hadn’t been widely reported in the press today, talking about the cup.

‘I think we can start to dream a little bit now. It`s a great feeling to get through in the manner we did, so we`re really looking forward to the next round. It`s a decent tie for us because Birmingham are already in one final and might have one eye on the league. It`s a one-off game and I think we are playing well on our travels.’

Players at clubs the size of ours will naturally think about playing at Wembley, as it doesn’t happen very often. To play on what is the biggest national stage is the pinnacle of most players careers. So, with just one more game to get there, I dare say that many of us will be thinking and talking about getting there.

The players themselves are professionals and will be able to set their minds to the games at Newcastle and against Villa, whilst contemplating the possibility of playing at Wembley.

For once, it seems, a scouser won’t talk unnecessarily, when he actually can. Irony.

As for Marc Iles himself, it appears that some Far East newspapers believe that he holds more sway than he actually does.

‘A British newspaper asked Bolton Wanderers to rest Lee Chung-yung, to seek success in the FA Cup.’

Obviously, Lee played, proving that sometimes the sword is mightier than the pen. May I suggest Marc, that if you want St Owen to do as you say, next time you use, to quote Marsellus Wallace, a pair of pliers and a blow torch. I find that usually works.

The one thing that you, me and Tony Kelly can agree on is how well the defence has played recently, even though we have been quickly depleted by the injuries to Zat Knight and Sam Ricketts. Stuart Holden agrees:

‘Wheats and Gaz have really formed a great partnership and that`s three clean sheets on the trot now. That was something that was really hard to come by at the start of the season, but we have shored up that area now, we`re taking our chances and coming into some good form. It was a great opportunity for Marcos to come in because he`s been waiting all season to get a good run in the team, so hopefully now he can get some experience and show what a talent he is. Robbo being asked to play left or right, you know you`re going to get 110 per cent from him wherever he is. He did just as well at right back as he has done all season.’

Alonso himself is happy enough to be involved:

‘It was a great time to come in and play. I feel like I am getting better with each game. I want to keep working hard and winning games like this. I really enjoyed my performance. You know you are going to be in for a difficult afternoon against any player in this league. But I was pleased with how I played. We got another clean sheet and I want it to carry on this way against Newcastle on Saturday.’

There were a couple of teething problems on Sunday, Robinson’s positioning twice played Fulham onside, but, as a whole, they played well as a unit, Cahill and Wheater especially, and with a Newcastle forward line currently comprising a couple of kids and former Stockport County striker, Shefki Kuqi, they shouldn’t have too many problems at the weekend.

But that’s for the weekend, and as there are three more days before that, we will see you tomorrow.


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