Writing about Bolton Wanderers this season has fast become enjoyable. The football isn't always that; it's tight, sometimes nervy, sometimes ugly, but it has been effective so far. Granted, we've played two promoted sides in our first three games, but to be top of the tree with the only 100% record in the Football League, I'm not paying too much attention to that.
As on Saturday, there were many stand-out performances. Mark Beevers staked a claim for his third MOTM award in four games, and the man mountain alongside him David Wheater also impressed yet again. What a partnership these two are fostering. Jake Buxton was solid once more, Jamie Proctor put in another tireless performance that Bolton fans appreciate, and Jay Spearing's top notch free kick was enough on another day to win the award alone. However, this game's MOTM award goes to wee Josh Vela.
I like Josh, and I don't try to hide it on our podcast. I didn't like his performance at Wimbledon. On the left of the diamond, he seemed uncomfortable throughout proceedings, and didn't link up play in the manner that we know he can. The very fact that he turned the tables to put in the performance that he did last night is another reason why he has been given the nod this time around.
It wasn't just his goal that swung it in his favour, but it certainly didn't harm his chances. Proctor held the ball up well, before laying the ball forward to Mark Davies. Davies, who has come in for criticism in recent games, slid a through ball to Vela, who took one touch into the box, and fired at goal. With the help of a deflection, Wanderers led after only six minutes, which set the tone for a dominant first half.
What was more impressive was Vela's ability to recover from Saturday's disappointing performance and dictate the pace of the play in midfield and fit into Parky's rough diamond. He appears to have put recent speculation of a move to Wigan behind him, also. It's nice to see both club and player reject the move, and let's hope Wigan's interest has ended there and then. If Josh can kick on, this could be the biggest season of his career yet.