Gary Madine. Gary fucking Madine. Why does this bloke get so much stick? Seriously, it keeps me up at night, and I don't like it.
Firstly, let's address the point that many of you have been making over the last week or so; suggesting that Big Gaz should be dropped if and when Adam Le Fondre re-signs for Wanderers. Let me break it down for you: You're all idiots, and no, don’t excuse my French.
Gary Madine is a Phil Parkinson player, through and through.
A tall, physically imposing individual that makes life hard for central defenders across the land. He is the pivot for almost every forward move that Bolton Wanderers make. He wins headers, holds the ball up and brings others into play in every single game. His work is dirty, unenviable and often goes unnoticed because people just expect him to be there.
Well let me tell you, without Gary Madine, we’d be well and truly buggered.
Playing the 4-2-3-1 system that Parky favours (and, by the way, clearly works in League One) means we need a ball winner up front on his own. It's a lonely role that not many centre forwards enjoy playing in, but Madine seems to be an exception to that rule.
He's constantly battling to win the ball and lay it off to Josh Vela just behind him, or push it out wide to bring a full back into play. Can Adam Le Fondre do that? No, he can't.
Can Jamie Proctor do that? Can he bollocks.
Can Zach Clough do that? Didn't think so.
Madine might not score 20+ goals a season or do what he does with flair or any sort of breathtaking skill, but he does it well whilst putting in 100% effort week in, week out - even if he has been battered by bigger defenders the week before.
That takes guts; something which the majority of our other forwards lack.
As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don't fix it.” On the pitch, Bolton Wanderers are certainly not broken and are most definitely not in need of fixing.
We need Gary Madine more than many fans realise, and I think it's high time he received the praise he deserves.
You don't change a winning team, not even for Adam Le Fondre.