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The Quentin X File: Gary Madine - Bowling Green

Play to your strengths.

Crystal Palace v Bolton Wanderers - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

You'll remember Gary Megson. He was our manager a few years back. Megson. Gary. Gary Megson. Oh, come on. Sure you remember him. How about 'Ginger Tosser'?

There you go.

As I've written about before, due to the incapacity of Mrs X Snr, I currently sit up in the Duke of Lancaster Regiment Suite, home to our disabled supporters who prefer to be nice and warm and in comfortable seats with access to Sky Sports. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place to be on a day like last Saturday but this is mitigated by the gentleman who, with little or no apparent musical training, is allowed in with that bloody drum every home game being right underneath us. His proximity to the suite means that he has appeared on various Dead Pools that we are running. He often appears on these lists, maybe unfairly, alongside Lofty Junior, due to said Lion holding up the lift while he makes his way down from the top of the stand after entertaining the kiddies. You've not seen a traffic jam until you're in one of six wheelchairs all trying to fit into a lift that holds three people. And then a speechless lion steps out of it, holds his hands up to his eyes in apology, gives us all a friendly wave and then wanders off, roaring. Method acting at it's best.

There are so many things that could have gone wrong with that paragraph. Think I got away with it.

Anyway, what has this got to do with Mugson and Gary Madine? Well, back in the day, Brian Clough signed La Megson from Sheffield Wednesday, where he had been some kind of local hero. Forest were no longer the title winning side they were and had started to sign middling players. A month after signing, Clough, who knew a thing or two about players, said that Gary couldn't trap a bag of cement......

Which leads us back to Gary Madine. Now, this may sound strange in a week where Madine has scored his sixth league goal of the season, but there are many in our suite who don't really rate the striker and not just because he, like Megson, used to play for Sheffield Wednesday. There is one gentleman who takes about six minutes to get from the entrance of the suite to his seat with the aid of a walking frame who is continually vocal, mentioning that he could move quicker than the forward.

There is undoubtedly a strength to Madine's game, and it's located between his nipples. His ability to hold up the ball reminds one of a young Kevin Davies. Indeed, it reminds one of an old Kevin Davies. And his running also echoes the glory days of one of Bolton Wanderers' greatest ever players.

But, let's not get too bogged down in the positives. A strikers aim is to score goals and this is where Madine has been failing dismally ever since he bagged three in four in August. Two goals against a poor Gillingham side just before Christmas were the last goals he scored before Saturday's header against a poor Walsall. That's three headers in five and a bit months.

And it's not just his goal return that is poor. Play the ball towards him below his nipples, and he will almost certainly lose it. Left foot, right foot, knees, arse, whatever. He will then fall to the floor, despite having no one near him, and hold his hands in the air. It's like the ghost of late era Kevin Nolan has come back to haunt us. And yet, there appears to be an almost unapologetic need by other Bolton players to play the ball to his feet. Surely someone, anyone, can see what a bad idea it is. A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. So, in effect, all Bolton players are to blame for continually attempting to play the ball to Madine's feet. It's just that he's the main offender.

May I take this opportunity to apologise for reminding you all of Gary Megson.