In this instalment of Tom Talks Tactics we look at the 4-2-3-1, but with a dash of enthusiasm as we approach the new season!
The 4-2-3-1 is the new 4-4-2, it`s a fairly standard formation, but one that is very likely to be used at some point by Neil Lennon this season. As we approach the opening fixture, it is now evident that Lennon has little or no money at his disposal, and so it seems that the current squad is more or less the one we will have when we take on Derby County at The Macron in August.
I`m sticking with Kellett at left back, though it seems Lennon is highly likely to start the season with Moxey as his first choice left back. Derik is having to fit in at right back, even though he is a centre back, with no current right backs in the squad he is our quickest centre back, and so perhaps the best makeshift right back. Ream and Wheater partner up in centre back positions, making for a reliable pairing. However, with Ream still away with the USA at the Gold Cup, he will have a lot of catching up to do when he eventually arrives back in Bolton, and could miss the start of the season if he is given time to catch a breath.
In the centre of midfield Bolton fans can be very excited about a Pratley-Vela combo. Pratley is looking brilliant heading into the season, and everyone is excited to see how Vela does in his natural position. I refuse to play him at right back even if he is our best option. He deserves to play in his best position, and he will have a bigger impact on the game from there.
The attacking three that sit in behind Gazza Madine make for a strong attacking line up, capable of scoring goals against any Championship side, IF we can keep them fit. Clough, Clayton and Mark Davies have never played together for Bolton due to injuries and the recent nature of Clough and Clayton`s ascendances, hopefully this means our attack will now reach new heights we`ve not yet seen since we`ve been in the Championship! Clough and Clayton have shown already they can score more than a handful of goals for us in a season, as well as create chances, throw in the creative ability of Mark Davies, as well as Pratley and Vela helping out, and there could be plenty for us fans to shout about over the coming year. These three will obviously have the help of Gary Madine, who over the coming seasons will unleash his goal scoring ability, and turn himself into a Bolton legend. I`m sure (ish) of it.
With a few weeks left until the season gets underway I`m still not sure if we`re going to surprise everybody with how well we do this season, or if its going to be a season to forget, so I`d rather be positive while I still can!