BWFC Guest Article: Worse Than Zat Knight
Just as I sit down to write the match report from Saturday's dire display; trying to find the correct adjectives for Chris Eagles' 'performance'; to try explain my feelings and frustrations, a comment falls into my lap which describes it perfectly. Robmoss2k and his stepson have differing perspectives regarding Eagles, but Electronic Arts have a lot to answer for, anyway... Cheers Rob, I share your pain.
Well well well. Where to start? I thought Bogdán, despite his drubbing on international duty, can be thanked for keeping us in the game. Some awful defending gifted Wednesday two gilt-edged chances which the 'keeper did very well indeed to parry onto the post. I thought Kyle McNaughton and Jermaine Beckford were excellent, although the latter was somewhat starved of service yet again his goal was well-taken and he was unlucky not to get a second late on.
Baptiste, Medo, Mills, Ream and Spearing weren't really at the races, and the glimmer of hope they showed us in the previous couple of fixtures simply wasn't there on Saturday.
Feeney's number is up after his performance against Birmingham; Dave Jones clearly went out with a game plan to mark him out of the game and it paid off for them, every time someone had a pass they could make to him there were two players on Feeney and another closing off the angle the passer had.
And then... there is Chris Eagles.
That was his most abject, disappointing, misery-inducing, greedy, lazy performance to date for Bolton Wanderers. Time and time again he failed to control the ball. When he did control it, it was inevitable that he'd give it away. My 10 year old stepson sat next to me chastised me every time I shouted abuse in Eagles' direction, saying 'Rob, he's good!' 'No he isn't, he's awful!' 'Well he's our best player on FIFA!' EA Sports, I suggest you come down t'Reebok and just have a look at him before you release the next game in the franchise. Eagles is, without a shadow of a doubt for me, our worst player, and by some distance. The worst for some time, at that. Worse than Zat Knight, worse than Gavin McCan't, worse than Paul Robinson, worse than Keith Andrews, worse than John Gope-Fenepej, Kostas Konstantinidis, Mario Jardel, Ariza Makukula, Tuncay Şanlı; hell, Eagles can thank his lucky stars that Gérald Cid once played for us to avoid him being committed to the ultimate fate. He wouldn't look out of place in League Two. Actually, he probably would.
Anyway. I thought Lee and Hall did well when they came on and N'Gog was a waste of space except for one magnificent run when - surprise, surprise - he forgot to put Beckford through when he had the perfect opportunity to do so.
Come the Ipswich game, form and fitness permitting after a week of training, I'd be picking Bogdán, McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Baptiste, Pratley, Feeney, Moritz, Danns, Hall and Beckford. And I'd be telling them to press as high up the pitch as they can, to attack at every opportunity, to throw the kitchen sink at them for every single one of the 90 minutes. Because we sure as hell aren't keeping a clean sheet the way we're leaking chances and we sure as hell aren't scoring when Eagles gets anywhere near an attack.