clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Answer to Bolton Wanderers' Prayers?

Guest writer Alex Parkinson muses on where we go from here....

Chris Brunskill

Guest writer Alex Parkinson has written on Wanderers' struggles this season. You can follow Alex on Twitter here:

It's no secret that Bolton Wanderers are struggling to score goals. With only 32 in our 27 games so far, it isn't a surprise to see us languishing only four points above the Championship relegation zone in a season that many chumps (including me) tipped us for automatic promotion.

Whilst there has been a drought of goals from the entire team, it is the complete ineptitude of our strike force that has caused the greatest concern so far.

Our strikers have been forced to be the lone man up top in a 4-3-2-1; a system that on paper should suit our shaky defense and haphazard midfield players, but completely stifles our forwards by giving them very little to work with.

David Ngog, technically gifted but crippled by stagefright according to a recent quote by Kevin McNaughton, has now left for South Wales so he's out the question.

Jermaine Beckford can finish but requires all the work to be done by his teammates; a Klasnic for the Freedman era.

Craig Davies has at least the physical stature to play up on his own, but sadly that is about it.

And Lukas Jutkiewicz, from what I hear, is a beautifully horrifying combination of our other striker's flaws.

Perfect, thanks Doug.

Let's be honest; there is a good chance we won't be able to sign anyone else who isn't a left back. And none of the above appear to be able to play with each other or offer something different to the others. So, to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes:


Eagles. Yes, Chris Eagles. What, you mean the winger Chris Eagles? Yes, that one.

Right, hear me out on this one.

We've all been sorely disappointed in CE7's performances since we narrowly missed out on the playoffs. In a team that has often had to ignore flair in favour of a more defensive approach, Eagles' appearances in the starting eleven have been sporadic and disappointing.

He is weak in the tackle, unwilling to track back, and overelaborate in his crossing. I'm selling him to you, aren't I?

Two things we do know about the lad is that he is technically gifted for this level, and that he can finish.

He scored 12 goals from the flanks last season, including a couple of beautiful free kicks. So why not give him a chance up front?

I genuinely think that allowing him to focus his game on a much smaller area of the field will unshackle the player we all know he can be. His skill, pace over a short distance and eye for a shot would complement the battering ram approach of say, a Mr Craig Davies.

And say there was a game where we needed to take a more defensive approach; Eagles could easily fit back into a midfield five when we aren't in possession.

See, now you like my train of thought. In the game against QPR, we prayed for an additional presence up top, whilst maintaining stability throughout the side. I reckon I've just found the answer to our prayers.

I haven't gone crazy, I'm pretty certain about that.

I'm also certain that we need to try anything to get out of this mess, and when there is a player with such potential just wasting the prime of his career on the bench, it seems daft not to roll the dice and take a chance.