Date: 2nd March 2011 at 3:03pm
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Jamaican legend pops his head up in friendly. Apparently.

Afternoon to you and yours. It’s Thursday tomorrow, and my lie in’s start. Except for the whole still looking at houses and having to drive to London thing. So, although I’ll be getting up at middday, that will be after four hours sleep. And not four hours sleep in a Charlie Sheen, been on it all night and then crashed into bed with a couple of hookers four hours sleep. The finish work at 7am kind of sleep.

So that’s just a head’s up that tomorrow’s input will be brought to you late on, sponsored by Pro Plus and Red Bull.

For today, Ricardo Gardner has played a game of football. And not a knock about with the kids like Riga Mustapha was having. An actual game of football. Against a real team and everything.

In a ‘behind closed doors’ outing against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde, Ricky, Joey OB, Jlloyd and Gretar Steinsson all enjoyed a run out. No news on who scored. At least, not where I’ve been looking.

Ricky is due a testimonial at the end of the season, but whether he stays at the club remains to be seen. He made noises at the beginning of the season about wanting to impress the manager, then fell victim to his injury proneness again. At 32, if and when he returns, he will effectively be third, or even fourth, choice left back and third choice left winger. Whilst it would be good to see him back in a Bolton shirt, I fear for his future at the club. There are so many players in front of him, and, as good as he is, the older you get, the more injury prone you become. I predict a leading out of the team at the last home game, a la Per Frandsen, before being let go. Which will be a shame.

When Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the field at Villa Park on Saturday, he will be making his 499th appearance for the club, putting him alongside Roy Hartle in appearances and taking him ninth in the club’s all time appearance. Even if he only plays all the remaining league games this season, he will overtake Nat Lofthouse and Paul Jones to claim seventh place. While it will take another couple of seasons to catch up first Roy Greaves and then Eddie Hopkinson, considering the couple of long term injuries he has suffered and the fact that the Premier League play less four less games per season than the top division used to, this is no mean feat.

Whether or not he will retain his place next season is a discussion, and a headache, for another day. But Jussi has been speaking about the quarter final and his chances of playing.

‘Ideally I`d like to play every game, but the manager makes the team choices. At the end of the day it`s about results, and we got two great ones in the cup. Going into the quarter-final now, Birmingham away, ideally I`d want to play but I`m not going to moan too much when the manager makes decisions. I`m very happy.’

Both Jussi and Adam Bogdan have played in the cup, but you would expect Bogdan to keep his place, at least for the quarter final. Win that and you would expect Jussi to play at Wembley. This is no reflection on Bogdan, but you need your first choice to play in the biggest games, and that is what Jussi is.

But that is for the future. We have to get past Birmingham first. And before that we have to play Villa. It’s all Brum-tastic at the moment.

Time constraints have left me unable to relate my tale of Ivan Klasnic eating babies. Maybe tomorrow. Until then, get off my lawn.

 

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