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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Banter » Do Bolton Wanderers need another centre-back? The Zouma debate

Do Bolton Wanderers need another centre-back? The Zouma debate

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
If any department at Bolton Wanderers looks numerically well-stocked for a 46-game season in League Two, it is the centre-halves.

The 3-4-1-2 formation Ian Evatt is determined to make a success at the UniBol will require options, different blends of physicality, experience and pace depending on the opponent.

On Saturday, the head coach added a bit more heft to the trio by bringing in Reiss Greenidge for George Taft, who had played 90 minutes in Tuesday night’s EFL Trophy defeat to Crewe.

Greenidge joined Alex Baptiste and Ricardo Santos in the back three against Forest Green but was substituted 20 minutes before the end as Evatt switched to a flat four and pushed three up front in an effort to get something from the game.

Ryan Delaney and Harry Brockbank have also featured in the cup competitions as centre-halves, while Adam Senior and the injured Liam Edwards are yet to feature.

In total, there are eight centre-half options currently in the squad, so it was with a degree of surprise that fans learned Yoan Zouma is also on trial, with a view to earning a contract.

Had that revelation been made earlier in the summer, it would have caused less of a stir. Though Zouma had elements of rawness about his game which were exploited in League One, those who have worked with him say he has the base elements to make a good player at this level.

Efforts to secure him to a new contract in May and June amounted to nothing, and it was claimed within the club at the time that Zouma was looking to earn a deal elsewhere in Europe.

Wanderers went down their own recruitment route, signing Greenidge, Taft, Santos and Baptiste before the start of the season.

After a tough start to the season, Evatt has limited space to play with under new regulations on squad size – not to mention the ubiquitous transfer embargo, which also requires all new additions to be sanctioned by the EFL.

A loan deal for Senior at Ashton United stalled earlier this month and Edwards seems no closer to a first team return.

Brockbank’s situation also seems finely poised as despite putting in a decent display against Crewe in his first senior outing for several months, there are still question marks over exactly where he fits in Evatt’s formation.

Any deal for Zouma would count towards the salary cap and, at 22, he would also take up a place in the 23-man quota – which could dislodge Brockbank further from the first team picture.

Last season proved eventful for Zouma, who had been signed on a two-year deal from Angers in the summer of 2018 and consigned to the development squad while the club was still playing in the Championship.

His break came on the opening day of 2019/20 at Wycombe, where he drew praise for handling Adebayo Akinfenwa, after which he remained in the team until Keith Hill’s first league game in charge at Rotherham United seven games later.

From there, his grip on a first team place was inconsistent. A penalty conceded in the last minute against Sunderland, soon after coming on to the pitch as a substitute, was branded “naïve” and “stupid” by the former Bolton boss.

But while some of the home truths Hill came out with often felt a little near the knuckle where Zouma was concerned, their relationship was a good one, and he was given ample time in the team up to a 5-1 hammering at Lincoln City in January.

At that stage, Hill felt some of the younger players in the squad were flagging, mentally, and with the loan arrival of Brandon Fleming and Kean Bryan, plus the availability of Jack Hobbs, he was able to rotate for what was left of the campaign.

Zouma finished up with 23 appearances in all competitions – bettered only by Dennis Politic (30) of all the players who featured for the ‘Junior Whites’ at the start of last season.

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Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I'll pass, thanks.

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Much as I like Zouma and the great potential he has, it’s a bit late now with all the other cb options so if we’re going to spend more money and take up more squad places surely it should be elsewhere.

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I'd have him back now, he did ok last season even though he can be a bit rash and dive in. He seems better than the likes of Santos and Greenidge to me.

Just let Baptiste go as he is even worse than first time round.

wessy

wessy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
If we are serious about the moneyball route then to me he fits the bill, can see him developing into a player who can play much higher than league two, Yes he's raw but after watching Greenidge on saturday, yes please.

It's also about future seasons if he can develop then by the time we rise to an higher division, he will be a regular hopefully. Baptise offers no progression, Zouma played more than any of the other youngsters at the back including Brockbank who i find steady at best.

T.R.O.Y.


Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
Think we need a leader in the center of the three, I don’t see Baptiste as that and from what I saw last season I don’t think Zouma fits the bill either. What happened to Liam Edwards? Still injured?

sunlight

sunlight
Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
What Bolton has needed to do, for about a decade now, ( I am assuming they dont have one ), is to get a very good defence coach. They need to get a retired defender who knows the ropes to train the players in defence. The defenders need coaching week after week on defence.
They need also a very good goalkeeper.

luckyPeterpiper

luckyPeterpiper
Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
It seems to me that we need a sense of unity and a fighting spirit rather than any specific individual if we are to turn things around. The problem with the club is we've become used to losing and that's got to change. Whether or not we have tons of money is obviously an issue but I think the mindset of the manager and squad is far more important given we're in League 2 now. I don't belittle the off field problems for one moment but somehow we have to find a way to make these players believe in themselves again if we're to have any chance of turning things around on the field.

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:It seems to me that we need a sense of unity and a fighting spirit rather than any specific individual if we are to turn things around. The problem with the club is we've become used to losing and that's got to change. Whether or not we have tons of money is obviously an issue but I think the mindset of the manager and squad is far more important given we're in League 2 now. I don't belittle the off field problems for one moment but somehow we have to find a way to make these players believe in themselves again if we're to have any chance of turning things around on the field.

It's a completely new squad and management team. The only losing mentality they have is from the first three competitive games.

luckyPeterpiper

luckyPeterpiper
Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
Nat I know you've heard of institutional memory so I won't belabour that here. I'm saying that as an organisation Bolton Wanderers have a deep seated problem, one that a change in personnel alone will not solve. There needs to be a change of mindset from the very top all the way to the very bottom. Things can't be simply 'good enough' any more, we need the management and staff to demand the very best from themselves and each other at all times. We don't have the resources to buy success so we have to make it happen ourselves from within. I hope Evatt and the squad can do that but the board and fans need to do it too if we're going to get out of this years long rut.

BoltonTillIDie

BoltonTillIDie
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Think we need a leader in the center of the three, I don’t see Baptiste as that and from what I saw last season I don’t think Zouma fits the bill either. What happened to Liam Edwards? Still injured?

Last update on him I can find is he’s not quite ready

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wessy

wessy
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:What Bolton has needed to do, for about a decade now, ( I am assuming they dont have one ), is to get a very good defence coach. They need to get a retired defender who knows the ropes to train the players in defence. The defenders need coaching week after week on defence.
They need also a very good goalkeeper.
Then they could make him manager and call him Ian Evatt ?

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
I don't understand some people. We've been wading through shit for a few years now, and survived more by luck than judgement. We start this new season with a management team who are obviously trying their hardest, a new manager, and 18 new players to begin the season. And what is our response? Moan, moan, and moan. Give the team a break and support them by showing a little patience, and shutting the fuck up.

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Give the team a break and support them by showing a little patience, and shutting the fuck up.

Is this your first day on a football forum?

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
No, but it could easily be the last.

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:No, but it could easily be the last.

I really hope not, you'd be missed.

sunlight

sunlight
Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
The new owner ought to install a glass floor in the changing rooms with a Shark tank underneath with trap doors and handles underneath each seat in the room. When you are paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds in wages, the half-time chat can be focused on underperforming players.

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:The new owner ought to install a glass floor in the changing rooms with a Shark tank underneath with trap doors and handles underneath each seat in the room. When you are paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds in wages, the half-time chat can be focused on underperforming players.
We'd have the fattest sharks known to man.

sunlight

sunlight
Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
We'd have the fattest sharks known to man.

Get some with Bulimia. And seperate them for weekend and midweek games.

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:No, but it could easily be the last.

I really hope not, you'd be missed.

Very true that Tasha!

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:I don't understand some people. We've been wading through shit for a few years now, and survived more by luck than judgement. We start this new season with a management team who are obviously trying their hardest, a new manager, and 18 new players to begin the season. And what is our response? Moan, moan, and moan. Give the team a break and support them by showing a little patience, and shutting the fuck up.

:agree: :clap: :clap:

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:

I really hope not, you'd be missed.
This is unlike you Nat. Do I owe you money ?  Very Happy  (thanks anyway)

Keegan

Keegan
Moderator
Moderator
Baptiste is on the way out and Zouma on the way in. While I'd prefer a new attacker, I think he has value to the team going forward.

https://forum.boltonnuts.co.uk

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