Now, based on this:
Liam Bridcutt is the most overrated player we have ever had. Shit and things he’s supposed to be good at. Always wants the ball so looks like he’s contributing when he isn’t. Next #LOVPod look out for my and @Wi1lJ argument about this. #COYWM— Tom Jenkins (@TRicko44) November 17, 2019
Obviously I got to thinking. Obviously my first thought was that the young man needs some help with his wind-ups. I thought I’d taught him better than that.
Nevertheless, I thought this was perhaps the ramblings of a drunken scallywag out for attention. We’ve all been there.
Consequently I thought, well, I can’t let that stand.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but Tom, I disagree.
In my opinion, Liam Bridcutt is the best central midfielder we’ve had in a good while. Granted, he has played half a dozen games for us and this is bound, in some quarters, to be deemed a knee-jerk reaction but given the absolute mince that has occupied our midfield in recent years then I believe my assessment to be sound.
Playing alongside Luke Murphy and Jason Lowe, two players who could, at best, be considered to be in the lower reaches of the all-time great Bolton Wanderers midfielders, Bridcutt has looked a level above his teammates and before his recent injury could’ve staked a claim to being one of the better in his position in the league.
The numbers back this up.
According to WhoScored.com, in his six appearances for the club Bridcutt has played 485 minutes out of a possible 540. Winning Man of the Match twice, he is yet to score but he has won more tackles than anyone else in our midfield. His tackling is decent too - he hasn’t been booked this season either. With more tackles and interceptions per game than Mr Lowe, there is no comparison between the two on this front either.
A 70% pass completion rate is very decent indeed, along with an average of 58 passes per game.
His influence on his fellow teammates is similarly undeniable, in my opinion.
Jason Lowe has been at Bolton for two seasons and has largely been horrible for the entire time. The same Jason Lowe has also been undeniably decent this year. I believe this is a result of Bridcutt coming in and raising standards. Contributing to this is the ability that Bridcutt has in taking on the captain’s armband.
Undoubtedly a leader, his presence was missed during his injury layoff. Granted our results were decent during his absence but I thought the midfield improved immeasurably with Bridcutt back in the side. I mean I wouldn’t have started three defensive midfielders at home to MK Dons but that’s my own personal gripe rather than anything else.
In my eyes he’s a calming presence and his ability to move the ball around is something that nobody else in the side is capable of.
A WhoScored.com rating of 7.32 is also very decent indeed. Whilst these things are very much subjective, the website is a highly-regarded source of information, often cited on larger sporting news outlets including the Guardian.
So, Tom, whilst I respect your opinion I certainly don’t agree. The only thing missing was that little fishing emoji thing.