Underrated: Stuart Holden

As Robbie Savage laments (on a daily basis, I might add) players below the top four are not given enough credit. Well, we will aim to rectify that by celebrating the talent of those who are, let’s face it, unlikely to win anything except the odd match and maybe a player of the Year award at their prospective club…

Stuart Holden was signed by Owen Coyle last January from Houston Dynamo for a bargain fee of zero pounds and zero pence. Upon return to the English game (he was once on the books at Sunderland, although he failed to make a competitive start) Holden broke his leg in an international friendly against the Netherlands, caused in a tackle with, you guessed it, Nigel De Jong.

This season however, Stuart has been blessed with more luck and is considered one of the best performers in Bolton’s ever improving side.  Owen Coyle, as ever, is the first to praise his players, “Everywhere the ball was, Stuart seemed to be,” Coyle said….”He brings a desire, a hunger and a willingness to be the best he can be,” In addition, the Scottish born American has the higest average game rating on the Guardian match rating system with  7.4 (Recorded Decepmber 21st)

As a player Stuart Holden is a self confessed work horse. As the chalkboard shows below:

by Guardian Chalkboards

Stuart get’s himself around on the pitch and is employed primarily as a central midfielder. Usually, he is employed in a more attacking position, but against West Brom, in February, he was forced to play more defensively and duly delivered. He impressively made 6 interceptions to help his team win the ball back in potentially dangerous positions. In addition, most of his passing choices, although 11 of they were unsuccessful, were positive ones looking to bring the play forward. Those passes played backwards or across were all made to keep simple and tidy in the middle of the park – all of which, completed without a hitch.

here for the footballing journey.