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Bolton Wanderers v Brentford: Five things we learned

Chris takes a look back at this weekend's victory and finds five talking points for your delight and delectation....

Gareth Copley

Well that was thoroughly enjoyable. Even the fifteen minute wobble didn't really feel like a wobble.

Well done Neil Lennon and your Bolton Wanderers staff.

So what can we take from the game? Let's have a look at my 'Five Things'

1) Tim Ream will NEVER be a full back

I heard a lot in the press and from Brentford fans all telling me what a bright young manager Mark Warburton is. Well after this display he has to be the thickest bright guy I've ever met.

To play the exciting Odubajo on the right flank against Ream is one thing, but to move Odebajo to full back after he spent 45 minutes tormenting the affable Wanderers' American defender was bordering on the insane.

I like Tim Ream and I think he has a place in our side, but let's be honest, he's never going to convince at full back. It should come as no surprises seeing that his best performances have been either in central defence or as a sitting midfielder.

I know Wanderers are stuck with a lack of options in that position, with Andy Kellett out on loan, Marc Tierney injured and Dean Moxey being Dean Moxey, but it wouldn't surprise me if left-back became one of the positions that Neil Lennon earmarks for his first Bolton Wanderers spending mission.

Emilio Izaguirre from Celtic perhaps?

What next for Ream then? I still think he could be moved back to the centre - Dorian Dervite has been playing well lately and deserves his place but I fancy Ream will end up in the centre before too long.

Ream was caught under the ball for Brentford's goal - former Arsenal and Barcelona man Jon Toral took advantage of Ream's positional error to slot well past Andy Lonergan. A 'natural' full back might not have made that error.

On the subject of fullbacks - the Cardiff City game will mean we are without Kevin McNaughton (and Joe Mason for that fact) - so Lennon has some tough decisions to make given our lack of options at right back especially.

2) The Resurgence of Chung-Yong Lee & What to do with Mark Davies?

I've often spoken on here about the decline of everyone's second favourite Korean (after this guy), but I'm also absolutely delighted to discuss his apparent resurrection.

Watching him on Saturday was like watching the LCY of old. Gone was the tentative and shy footballer that we have become accustomed to since his horrific leg-break injury of 2011 - in his place was a bright and exciting attacking influence who was constantly demanding the ball and moving play forward.

It was great to see. Long may it continue.

It raises an important question though as to what will Lennon now do with Mark Davies, the previous incumbent of the 'hole' position behind the strikers.

Davies did really well coming in from the left when he was introduced for Darren Pratley, and he took his goal really well too - perhaps that will be a longer-term solution should LCY continue to impress in the Davies role.

3) What to do with Darren Pratley

I'm a realist.

Darren Pratley has clearly been tasked by Neil Lennon to play in an unfamiliar position on the left hand side. I've been over this before but this is because Dougie Freedman didn't have the brains to balance out the midfield.

I don't doubt that Pratley has done the job to the best of his ability, and his workrate has never been in question.

The simple truth is that as far as midfielders go, and wide midfield in particular, Pratley is limited at best. The realistic approach is that as positive as Mark Davies was coming in from the left, we have to realise that the former Wolves midfielder is absolutely hopeless off the ball given that he appears to view tracking back as an option rather than a responsibility.

Did bug me thought that he didn't win a single header on Saturday despite being up against Frodo Baggins at right back.

4) Watch Neil Lennon - Trust Me

Player Cam was an innovation brought to these shores by Sky Sports in the late '90s. It involved a fixed camera focusing on a particular player for a certain amount of time giving a unique perspective on how that person played the game.

The fad peaked with the 2006 documentary film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait which was focused purely on Zinedine Zidane during the Spanish Liga Real Madrid vs. Villarreal match filmed in real time using 17 synchronized cameras. During the last minutes of the match, Zidane was sent off as a result of a brawl.

Now Player Cam has been off our screens for some time now, but I would LOVE to watch the Bolton Wanderers v Brentford game replayed with a focus solely on new Whites boss Neil Lennon.

His own performance was absolutely captivating. Constantly cajoling, encouraging, tweaking, bellowing, motivating and suffering, it was incredible.

I can't say I remember him as a player of real pace, but when Neil Danns scored the opener he pegged it down the sideline with the gusto of Usain Bolt. It was great.

At one point I even saw him take in a misplaced Jermaine Beckford pass and boot the hell out of his fancy Recaro dugout seat. I love the way he carries himself and I love the way that he lives and breathes every single minute on the field.

When things get dull or desperate - and they may - just watch Lennon - you won't regret it.

5) Like Wanderers of Old

I think I enjoyed Saturday's game more than any in recent memory.

The atmosphere, which is often (correctly) derided by some, was buzzing and this contributed to a superb team performance. It's a simple game complicated by idiots, and to see the fans responded to simple efforts such as aa team pressing the opposition was great to be part of.

I knew we were on to a good thing when Wanderers left a man up front at the first Brentford corner of the day. Brilliant to see.

It's up the team to give the fans something to cheer, and it'll be up to the fans to respond in kind. One relies on the other, and feeds both, pushing to greater ends. Long may it continue.