Bolton Wanderers: Injurytastic
And at this time of year, it is best to remember that is a time of giving. And what the injury gods are giving us is not just one injury in a pear tree, but a couple of turtle injuries.
After the news that Mavies had done his shoulder and could be out for three months came the news that the injury that forced Matt Mills off on Saturday will keep him out for six weeks. For a defence that has problems when they all know each other, this leaves just Zat Knight and Tim Ream as recognised central defenders. It's as if someone upstairs has decided that, just when there may be a glimmer of hope, then that hope must be dashed.
I'm having trouble thinking of a club that has been quite so injury laden in the past eighteen months. Off the top of my head I can give you Muamba, Holden, Wheater, Alonso, Ricketts and now Mills and Mavies. I suppose the larger teams, especially Liverpool, have had large problems, but their's are offset by the size of the squad. We get no such luxury and every major injury is a major problem.
It is as if Bolton player bones are now far more brittle than they were ten years ago. Maybe this reflects the personality of the manager, with Big Sam being as hard as nails and Megson being a mardy git, so injuries were fewer. But with OC and Dougie, two slighter players, then there is more propensity to not be able to take a nudge. Maybe they need beefing up. Maybe they should go on the SKD diet.
It does seem that the world isn't playing fair, but the sign of a good manager is being able to get over the injuries with the players he has got. I'm a little worried over the defence, where Ream hasn't exactly set the world on fire. If he isn't to be trusted, then this would open up the debate again on who should play right back, with Ricketts probably moving into the middle. But even that is fraught with danger. Oh, for the days of Gudni and Whitlow.
As for the middle, it would seem likely that Butterfield is the more like for like replacement, but with Mavies being out for three months, it would seem likely that another midfielder will be needed come January. Hell, another defender as well. With the busy Christmas programme almost upon us, there is the likelihood that Mavies and Mills, who sound suspiciously like a firm of accountants, won't be the last injury we hear of.
And, on a day of no news, that is it from me today. I'm off to bake some pumpkin pie. Al will be here tomorrow with the Charlton preview, he promised that yesterday and I don't think he wants to feel the back of my hand again so soon. And I'll be back Monday.