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Jay Spearing Needs to Play More

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The little midfielder needs to start being in our midfield again.

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Jay Spearing really is a curious figure at Bolton Wanderers.

After spending the latter half of last season out on loan at Blackburn Rovers it seemed as if his time at the Macron Stadium had come to an unsatisfying end, kinda like all of my past relationships.

Yet, with no one making a move for the scouser during the summer, he stayed put looking to fight his way back into Neil Lennon's plans and once again become a key component of the Wanderers midfield.

It couldn't have started any better.

On the opening day of this season, as the Whites faced league favourites Derby County, Spearing was a surprising name to be found on the team sheet as he started the match at the base of a midfield diamond.

Up against a Derby side that had an incredible amount of money spent on it over the summer, including a massive amount on attacking talent, Spearing played a pivotal part in keeping Derby's talented players at bay and frustrated them all day long.

It was a Jay Spearing performance of old. Not the shouting, pointing and shunning of any responsibility that we'd become accustomed to. He was passionate, committed and fierce. He constantly broke up the play and halted Derby attacks, something that particularly irked Tom Ince, and then instead of trying to be too ambitious with the ball he'd play simple, yet effective, passes which transitioned us from defence to attack brilliantly.

It was a real man of the match performance from Spearing, and when he left the pitch early due to an unjust red card, he rightfully received a rapturous applause from every Bolton fan in the stadium.

It looked as if we'd gotten the Jay Spearing that every Wanderers fan became enamoured with back.

But since then we've seen practically nothing.

Once his suspension had been served, Spearing was back in the starting XI to face Middlesbrough, but with Lennon attempting a 3-5-2 again it left Spearing in a formation he wasn't accustomed to and Boro romped us. Spearing was hooked at half time in order to change the system.

In the many matches since we've only seen Spearing come on off the bench for (usually) brief, yet promising, cameos.

I find it very strange that, after such a brilliant performance on the opening day, Spearing hasn't been given another chance to prove his worth in the centre of midfield - especially when we've not exactly been solid there at all this season, well, apart from against Derby.

I'm not a Neil Danns hater and I still do believe that Mark Davies might actually be best suited to playing in a deeper role, however, I'm really failing to see why a dedicated defensive midfielder ins't getting more opportunities in such a leaky midfield.

I'm not against Lennon and I'm certainly not bashing him, but his ostracising of certain players appears to be very arbitrary when he'll persist with players who offer no more, and usually less, than those he has sat on the bench or at home.

So yeah, Jay Spearing needs to play more.