Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughOh Stuart - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Oh Stuart - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Oh Stuart

There are few things worse in the world than trudging into work on a Monday morning full of man flu and still considerably hung-over from the weekend. Of course this turns out to be one of the days where everything goes wrong possible, making your day as difficult as could be. However, all of this can be overcome by reaching that magical 5 o’clock mark and writing the day off as yet another grim day. Not today. I received a message today that ruined my spring, the rest of my season and my two intended trips to Wembley. Stuart Holden out for 6 months.

The rock of Bolton’s midfield has been an absolute revelation this season. Being one of the league’s  top tacklers, the highest rated player by the Guardian at the mid way point, the heartbeat of all our attacks, set piece deliverer and epitome of everything we love about the way Owen Coyle has changed the team. Now we are without him just as we appear to be entering real form and with the biggest game we’ve had for many a year on the horizon and with it the possibility of Europe.

Trips to Old Trafford are un-enjoyable at the best of time for Wanderers ever since Michael Ricketts and Fatty Nolan gave us consecutive wins there 9 years ago. Constantly on the end of a Ronaldo/Rooney battering and an expectation of a 4-0 reverse. This weekend of course saw us not only concede a late goal to ten men, miss glorious chances and give United a big boost towards the title… but lose our main man.

The tackle itself, of course was full blooded by both men. But those, I mean you Harry Redknapp, saying it was nothing at all but unlucky are just ridiculous. Both men slightly left the floor for the challenge, both got to the ball in the same split second. One lead with his studs in the manner of a coward and the other was left with 28 stitches in a as of yet unclassified knee injury. ‘He just got to the ball first’ excuse, suggesting the inured party wouldn’t have been inured if good enough to get there first, is one of my major pet peeves in the world of football cliché.

The response to the incident has been a different matter all together. Holden has accepted his fate without breaking stride in the manner of a man who has of course been there and done it before (Nigel De Jong) and revealed that Evans called to apologise soon afterwards, extremely commendable and the dignified in the sense that Evans himself was not the one to broadcast this news.

Sorry may not be enough. Without Holden that leaves Fabrice Muamba as our first choice central midfielder… oh dear god. Although I have been one to champion the inclusion of Mark Davies in the starting line up all season long, his partnership with Muamba is one that has nearly driven me to vomit on several occasions and leaves only Tamir ‘come on, get booked, go home’ Cohen in reserve. Our season may now be on the brink of an Arsenal esq capitulation and Stoke may soon be playing their trade in Europe. Surely that negatively affects everyone involved with English football.

Philip Gillett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *