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The Resurrection of the Now-Undroppable Ben Alnwick

Our new no.1 is a fine no.1

Northampton Town v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

I'm sure Ben Alnwick is a nice guy, the sort who would console an injured teammate - such as Mark Howard.

However, I'm also sure that the latter's thumb injury - which came at his own expense - was warmly received in the Alnwick household.

With Bolton Wanderers' fans immediately judging the former Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur keeper as a duffer based on barely any evidence (fancy that), I find the excellent form that Alnwick has displayed lately to be hugely impressive and of the calibre that should ensure his continuing status as first-choice even when Howard is fit.

I read one knee-jerker describe Howard as a 'very very good goalkeeper'. Teenage drunken hyperbole aside, he's fine. Just fine.

Alnwick is similar. No frills, he's just fine.

However, I have been really impressed with his testicular fortitude. Alnwick has taken on the mantle of first choice and, barring a flap in his first game against Peterborough United, has barely put a foot wrong.

My main reason for this support is the way that he plays with his feet. You see the vastly overrated Manchester United waif David De Gea and Manchester City's ex-Barcelona man Claudio Bravo rightly given praise for their ability on the ground and whilst I am not for a second saying that Alnwick is of that calibre but he is better than Howard with the ball at his feet.

The way that Phil Parkinson has us set up with Gary Madine as the top end of an attacking three means that it is imperative that our forward hoofs are accurate - for all Mark Howard's good points he is pretty pish at kicking.

Alnwick seems to have it all. Calm and composed handling and accurate kicking both on the move and from a static position.

David Wheater swanned back into the team after an injury, I suspect Mark Howard will find it much harder.