All Wanderers fans seem to have a pretty similar idea of who our best 11 are for the coming weeks but so far Coyle's team selections have left many fans more than a little baffled. Has Coyle realised yet where our weaknesses lie? And will he address them on Saturday against Wigan or will he go with the same, head up backside, attitude that has cost us in recent weeks?
The closest we got to seeing the fans dream team was when Wanderers went to Aston Villa and came away with their best win of the season, and best performance. However, in subsequent games the manager seemed to revert to form and, while he did make some changes, largely went with the same backbone as had capitulated so badly in previous outings.
I'll run through the team. See if you agree.
Bogdan Vs Jussi - While Bogdan made some glaring errors against Chelsea I feel he should still start in goal against Wigan. His errors, in that game, were uncharacteristic and are unlikely to be repeated against Wigan. We all know Jussi is on a declining slope whereas the floppy haired ginger keeper still has his best years to come. Keep the faith with him against Wigan and if he cocks it up then we revert back to jaaskelainen.
At the back - Let's start with the easy ones shall we? Cahill, playing well, England International, should start. Wheater, back from suspension, played well against Villa, kept a clean sheet and rattled Villa's post with a header. Wheater in. Right back, for me Boyata. By far the best right back I have seen in a Wanderers shirt since... er. Well, ever. Some people may not agree but those people must be either blind, gay or a woman. (No offence). Left back. We have all seen the way our left side has been targeted by Nani, Sturridge and pretty much any team who has figured out just how slow Robinson is. Robinson recently lost a race against Stephen Hawking - and Hawking didn't even use his chair. We have leaked goals like Kerry Katona drops chicken nugget crumbs and almost all of them have come from our left side. The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is a little known player by the name of Bibi (Ricardo Gardner). He is fast and agile and, if he can stay fit, probably our best option at left back. He played there against Villa and by all accounts had a very good game. For me he should continue there.
The debate - Do we play 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 or do we go for some other combination of numbers that bizarrely adds up to eleven but looks like ten? I think it depends who we play. Seems obvious doesn't it? You would think so but apparently Mr Coyle has only ever heard of 4-4-2 as a formation. Playing Wigan I can see us getting away with a 4-4-2 formation but in future, especially away from home, against the big boys we should be looking to lock down midfield with an extra man. At least for the first half.
Wide - The young Chelsea winger, Gael Kakuta, has recently put his cards on the table saying "I came here to play, no player likes to be on the bench." And that is music to my ears. As much as I try to like Petrov and Eagles something just has not gone right for us this season and while I think Petrov has looked lively and threatening at times I think it would be wise to give Kakuta a go against Wigan. Kakuta is another player who starred in Bolton's away win at Villa when he scored the second goal which killed Villa off. Kakuta in on the left wing. On the right I suppose I will have to go for Eagles. (I suppose we could swap and have Kakuta right and Petrov left as Petrov's defensive frailties won't be as noticable with Gardner at left back perhaps). I certainly would not have any of this nonsense with Kevin Davies or Mark Davies on a flank. No chance. And no need for it!
Central midfield - If only Holden were fit eh? If we were to play 4-5-1 in certain games I would definately have Muamba sat just in front of the defence with Pratley and ReoCoker in central midfield (or possibly Mavies in for Reo Coker). Contrary to popular opinion I don't feel that ReoCoker has been at his best for us. He gives away the ball too easily and shirks many challenges. In my opinion Pratley has been the more productive of the two. In a 4-4-2 system I would love to see Holden paired with any one of Davies, Pratley, Muamba or ReoCoker. We have a lot of decent quality central midfielders in there. The difficulty is knowing who to pick. Against Wigan I would take a risk and play Muamba and Pratley. Mark Davies is too inconsistent. There is no point playing ReoCoker in the same 2 man midfield as Muamba. And I feel we need Muamba to add to our defensive solidarity.
Up top - Personally I don't think there should even be a debate. We have all seen glimpses of what Ngog can do and we have all seen Davies' form slowly sliding downhill. Ngog has to be in. Klasnic, back from his ban, should partner Ngog up front. We know Klasnic is deadly and him paired with the pacey Ngog should be too much for Wigan to handle. If we choose Kevin Davies to start this game I think every Bolton fan should leave.
Tell us what you think!
My first XI against Wigan would be:
Boyata Cahill Wheater Gardner
Eagles Muamba Pratley Kakuta
Life long Wanderer, season ticket holder and avid blogger!
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