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Liam Feeney Could Be Bolton's Surprise Package

Dan reckons Feeney may surprise a few this season. Please, before you thrown objects in his general direction, listen to what he has to say!

Tom Dulat

When Dougie Freedman and Bolton Wanderers secured the signature of Liam Feeney, after the winger was released by Millwall, the news was met with many uninspired humphs of acknowledgment.

And that's quite understandable, Feeney is hardly the most thrilling of names nor one that screams certain promotion, nor one which will strike fear into the minds of opposition players and keep managers awake at night, wondering how to deal with him.

I'll admit, when we signed Feeney, I was slightly disappointed too.

At the time we were getting heavily linked with the much more exciting and skillful Chris Burke, and after Feeney's loan spell was cruelly cut short after just four games earlier on in the season, he made no impact else where for the rest of the term. He spent a loan spell with our dearest, chicken loving mates from down the road, and the unanimous feedback from down there was that he was dreadful in the six games he played.

But, as time passes, opinions change and I believe Liam Feeney could be Bolton's surprise package this upcoming season.

Now, before you get out those torches and pitchforks, let me explain.

Unlike any winger we currently have in our squad, or have had in recent memory, Feeney is direct. He doesn't fanny about with the ball, trying to be all sneaky and coy to beat his marker, slowing the whole attack down in the process. No, he will run directly at his opposing defender and try and get past them whilst continuing the flow and pace of the attack.

Feeney is by no means the most agile, skillful or quickest player in the world, so he of course won't beat his man every time, but when he does he will get to the by-line and, again unlike our other wingers, look to quickly get a cross into the area. And as he displayed in his debut for us, in which he was a big reason as to why we won our first game, against Birmingham City, he can deliver a dangerous ball into the box.

We may not see Feeney's crossing bare fruit immediately, he hardly has the most clinical of strikers to aim for, but when (yes when, I'm trying to be optimistic here) we sign a striker who is half decent, I believe we will see Feeney being very influential in attacks.

The other reason I believe Feeney could prove to be very important for the team as the season wears on is his work rate. Again, unlike his fellow wingers, Feeney will track back and help out defensively, at least he did whilst he was here last time.

I lost count at the amount of occasions last season our fullbacks were left hopelessly exposed to numerous attackers, as they had absolutely no cover at all, and it cost us dearly. Hayden White was a particular victim of this when he lined up for his first start against Leicester City.

Feeney's tendencies to track back also make him a viable option to play as a right wing back, should Freedman ever attempt a 352 again. Making him a flexible and versatile asset.

I'm not saying Feeney will solve all our problems, nor am I saying he's better than the other wingers we have, but he does offer something different to the others, and that sets him apart. Just a bit.

He's an okay footballer, but sometimes it's not about a players individual quality, but how he fits into the team.

I think Feeney will pleasantly surprise some people this season.