Back when we signed Lonergan from Leeds I was rather puzzled as to why we’ve signed a player that wouldn’t get into his previous teams starting eleven, must be back-up. Back-up he has been for the majority of the time however for me, he doesn’t have the hunger or talent to step in when needed.
As we take a look back to last season it’s worth noting that Andy had the best chance of his Wanderers career to cement his place behind our back four – a chance he didn’t take. He came into the team on the back of a Bogdan injury however before that it looked like he was going to get his chance anyway, after a series of small errors leading to goals saw the Hungarian’s place threatened. Lonergan came into the team against Wigan as we approached Christmas and looked shaky from the off, I was at the game and he didn’t want to come from crosses, when he did come for them he punched rather than catches and the confidence wasn’t there.
As the games continued to flow for Bolton Wanderers in a busy Christmas period it didn’t look like Adam Bogdan was going to return yet that wasn’t due to excellent performances from his replacement and the nervousness continued to show. It’s hard to look back the fact that it was Lonergan stood between the sticks for the 5 goals conceded vs Leicester City (with three goals being preventable by a stopper) and the embarrassment of Reading, when Lonergan picked the ball from the back of the net (this time four of the finishes seemingly preventable by the keeper).
The above may sound like an attack on our reserve goalkeeper and that’s down to me thinking that he isn’t right as a number two, he doesn’t seem to have the patience to wait in the wings before coming in and being able to perform straight away.
Next year looks like he’ll have some competition for the seat on the bench as Fitzsimmons (one of our new recruits) will be looking to make his way into the match day squad with Freedman already being aware of the young goalkeepers talents. It’s difficult for Lonergan, as at his age he should be playing week in week out which makes me wonder why he’s not looking elsewhere but if he does stay at the club, I’d expect him to put in some better performances when called upon.