We are getting there aren’t we? An improving Bolton had 2 points snatched from them at the death after an unfortunate but fair handball against Yoann Zouma. It’s always easier to highlight positive performances when things are going well, which is one of the reasons I’ve started writing again, so let’s get into it.
I’ll start with a couple notable mentions beginning with our goalkeeper Remi Matthews. Matthews put in a performance of the highest quality with two particularly impressive saves at the death as Sunderland put the pressure on. Matthews has been the topic of discussion amongst Bolton fans but perhaps the real test for him starts now with a more established defence in front of him.
A player who has impressed me greatly since joining Wanderers on Manic Monday is our Right Back Josh Emmanuel. Emmanuel is a defender of real quality and I think is going to be a really good signing for us, especially given his age. He’s put in a number of decent challenges and seems to have that side locked up, with most of opposing sides dangerous attacks coming down our left. His attacking is a little rusty I think but I’m pretty sure given the game time he is going to get at Bolton that will improve sooner rather than later. Both Jake Wright and Jack Hobbs look solid as well.
The man of the match could only be Liam Bridcutt. I have a feeling this will be a recurring theme for us in the first half of this season. Bridcutt is genuine quality and it seems insane he finds himself in League One. A lot of players as good as him could easily go through the motions in midfield but Bridcutt is fully committed and leads from the front in a way I haven’t seen in a Bolton player, possibly ever. If this loan at Bolton serves as a springboard to bigger and better things for the Nottingham Forest loanee, then I will be pleased with what we got out of the bargain. If we do stay up this season, even if he leaves at the end of his short term loan, Liam Bridcutt will have played a key role, I guarantee you that.