Bolton Wanderers' forgotten man Liam Trotter is definitely one of those players.
The kind of player that elicits an all too familiar chorus from certain fans.
You might remember them from such sayings as "He’s shite" and "He’s the worst player I’ve ever seen." They’ve said it about Darren Pratley. They’ve said it about Tim Ream. They’ve said it about Dean Moxey.
Sure at one time or another all of these players have had some diabolical form; but it was just that, form. All it took to get each of these players firing was a consistent run in the team and confidence. Pratley shown this turn around can be done in spite of the fans on your back but has several times said it affected him.
Trotter gets much the same treatment as Pratley did. Any mistakes he makes are disproportionately focussed on and the good sides to his game are ignored. He is just coming back from injury but is getting goals in the under 21’s.
What’s the point of bringing this all up?
I think Trotter can be the next player to shake off his bad form and boo boys and become a good player for us. The reasons being he has in the past been a good player and all that is masking that is a lack of confidence.
His confidence took a massive knock after moving up here.
He went from being Millwall’s captain to a bit part player in a team coming in to form. You may recall we had a mid-season slump in the 13/14 season and suddenly came in to form post January.
Trotter signed just as the team picked up and was limited to cameos all season. With his confidence shot, the performances dipped and the spiral continued from there.
There were brief flashes of his quality in that season when he was given a chance to start; a goal of the season winner and commanding performance against Sheffield Wednesday stick in the mind. We still had Dougie Freedman as our manager though and with another disastrous start to the season, all players looked bad and Trotter was a focus for blame when he played.
At full confidence, Trotter is a commanding midfielder.
He is physically imposing standing at 6ft 2" with great positional awareness, he can also pass and carry the ball well. He adds a goal threat from midfield proven by his 22 goal haul at Millwall; that’s 5.5 games per goal from midfield. In short he is a good all-rounder with a knack for getting goals.
The one complaint from Millwall fans is he could be reluctant to run and put in a shift but I am certain Lennon could knock that out of him.
All this said we are blessed in this area. We have Mark Davies, Neil Danns, Darren Pratley, Josh Vela and Jay Spearing all fighting for those spots. It’s unlikely he’ll get a chance to get a run in the team but Lennon does rate him it seems; when fit he’s consistently made the bench over Medo Kamara and Spearing. If he does get that chance though, I wouldn't bet against him turning his Wanderers career around.
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