Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Stuart Holden’s ability is Vividly standing out in Bolton’s Midfield

The last few games that I have watched of Bolton, one player consistently stands out to me. Stuart Holden. In Bolton’s system of progressive passing, he consistently looks to get the ball forward and start Bolton’s attacks.

Holden has shown his passing ability. He has the attributes to pass effectively short to begin Bolton’s attacks and he has the ability to pass long from midfield. However, its fair to say his long balls aren’t consistently accurate. Against Chelsea, 3/5 of his long balls were unsuccessful. But overall, 74% of his passes against Chelsea were successful. This is a decent statistic seeing as Chelsea controlled possession. Holden also has the ability to be able to thread through balls in the final third. One thing which continually stands out for me when watching Holden is that he is always looking to pass the ball quickly. This shows he is trying to dictate the tempo of Bolton’s play. But it also shows how Holden has already seen the pass before even playing it, thus allowing his team to attempt to catch their opponents out, by putting Bolton on the front foot.

Stuart Holden’s mobility makes him stand out too. This is because he is a player you will find popping up in all areas of play. This makes Holden so successful, as he gets into different areas and looks to pass the ball, so Bolton can make progress. Furthermore, Holden’s off the ball running makes him a large threat for Bolton. As he looks to make runs from midfield and attempt to get in-between the midfield and defence lines.

As a midfielder, being able to tackle is obviously a big part of the game. Holden’s tackling rate has been a success for Bolton this season. Holden is the Premier League's top tackler with a 102 tackles. This shows he is able to win the ball for his team too and its something which is a great advantage for Bolton. However his tackling success rate against Chelsea was woeful as he lost 83% of his tackles. If Holden's tackling is on form it gives Bolton another dimension as it means Holden can retrive the ball and then look to play the next pass.

The American’s great technical passing ability, along with his brilliant eye for seeing the game makes him stand out. Furthermore, the mobility of Holden allows him to get into dangerous areas through his well timed off the ball runs. But its evident there are aspects of his game which need to be worked on, such as his tackling and long range passing. But I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years he ends up at a bigger club, he has got the ability to succeed at the very top.

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