If you have watched any of Ireland's European Cup 2012 matches, you might have noticed a bloke called Keith Andrews recklessly charging around the pitch, watching the other side score goals and trying to separate their knees from their ligaments in response. Well, if you enjoy that sort of thing, good news!
In the last year or so, Bolton's midfield has transformed from an unquestioned strength to an undeniable weakness. Going into last season, we had veteran guile (Nigel Reo-Coker), Defensive steel (Fabrice Muamba), Creativity (Stuart Holden & Mark Davies), goal scoring (Darren Pratley & Tuncay Sanli) and pace on the wings (Chung-Yong Lee, Martin Petrov & Chris Eagles). Now, it is an entirely different story.
Reo-Coker is gone. Muamba has his health, thankfully, but his future in football is very questionable. Mark Davies took a step forward this season, but Holden has played one competitive match in the last 16 months. Pratley may be valuable this coming season, as he is a proven Championship goalscorer. Tuncay has gone back to Germany. Lee has played two competitive matches in the last 13 months. Only Petrov and Eagles are known quantities heading into the next season.
And now Owen Coyle is about to sign Keith Andrews. There was a two minute period several seasons ago when he was thought to be a good player. After a couple years in the Premier League we know he is little more than a hatchet man. Maybe we need this type of player to get promoted.
It just makes me a little sad. We used to have holding midfielders like Ivan Campo, Fernando Hierro, Gary Speed, and Jay-Jay Okocha, and now we are looking to sign a guy that West Bromwich Albion flat out released.
Maybe he will turn out to be a good signing. Owen Coyle has been promoted recently, and I haven't followed the second tier of English football in twelve years, he (hopefully) knows more than I do about what it takes to succeed.