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Neil Lennon's Bizarre Wellington Silva Blast

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The Bolton manager revealed he's leaving the Brazilian out because he's 'not playing well enough'

Wellington Silva 'isn't playing well enough to start matches' according to Neil Lennon
Wellington Silva 'isn't playing well enough to start matches' according to Neil Lennon
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Given Bolton Wanderers' dreadful form this season it will come as little surprise to anyone that some, if not most, of our players are not playing very well.

No Bolton player has scored more than five league goals all season, and only three players have scored more than two league goals - Zach Clough (4), Liam Feeney and Gary Madine (both 5). Furthermore, only three players have had more than two assists all season - Mark Davies (3), Dean Moxey and Liam Feeney (both 5).

So when the manager comes out and says a certain player is not being picked because 'he's not playing well enough,' you'd be hard pushed to pick just one. However, Neil Lennon - in his infinite wisdom - has taken the unusual step of singling out Brazilian winger Wellington Silva for special criticism, stating:

"He has not been playing well enough to warrant a place in the team.

"His recent performances haven't been anywhere near good enough. He is a decent player at home but away from home he is a bit lightweight."

How Lennon has come to this conclusion is beyond me. Wellington Silva has barely been used since Wanderers' defeat at Brighton, making just two substitute appearances against Birmingham and Burnley. In that match he looked lively down the left wing, assisted Emile Heskey's goal and was causing headaches for the promotion chasers. Brighton's only solution was to foul the Brazilian and they should have been down to ten men after Anthony Knockaert took it into his own hands to deal with Wellington, first earning a yellow card with a rash kick on the winger - for which he could have seen red - before fouling him again and then giving him a slap.

Strangely, Wellington was replaced just after the hour mark despite both Feeney and Mark Davies having absolute stinkers, with Davies moved into Wellington's position on the left. Without the Brazilian in the side, in that game and ever since, we've looked lop-sided, with only Feeney to provide width down one flank, and lack pace, creativity and the air of unpredictability that the winger provides. Two games before the Brighton clash, Wellington had also scored in Bolton's fightback at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Lennon's flawed logic over dropping Wellington for poor form doesn't make any sense when you consider some of his more senior teammates have underperformed all season. The aforementioned Mark Davies has been terrible for months, hasn't scored all season, and has only contributed in one match in recent memory - when he assisted two goals in the win over Rotherham United. But Lennon insists on consistently picking Davies for selection, irrespective of his lack of form.

Likewise captain Darren Pratley has been in poor form all season, scoring two of his four goals in the entire campaign against non-league Eastleigh in the FA Cup. Yet he also gets picked week after week no matter what.

Lennon also suggested that youngster Kaiyne Woolery, who scored Bolton's consolation at Leeds on Saturday, will not be getting the game time that many fans are hoping for, saying:

"Woolery has been around it (the first-team) for a while but it is a big ask to throw him in there and start a game at this level because of lack of experience. He is far better coming on as a sub."

Woolery has scored two goals in his last three appearances, scoring as many goals as Emile Heskey has managed all season and surpassing Pratley's singular league goal in the process. The one time Lennon chose to start Woolery was as a lone striker away at Wolves, a thankless task given the lack of service he was given.

The youngster has shown  potential in a few fleeting appearances and fully deserves to be given a chance in the starting line-up. He, like Wellington, has the quality to cause problems for Championship defences and both possess the pace, directness and unpredictability that our team is so sorely lacking.

Both should be in the starting eleven against Ipswich Town tonight - but with Lennon in charge, there's little chance of that happening. Lennon's decisions to publicly admonish Wellington, while publicly praising the often frustrating and sub-standard Feeney and retaining the well below-par Pratley and Davies, simply summarise the poor job he is doing at Bolton.