Some say that Ormskirk-born midfielder Ronan Darcy didn’t stop running for several days after Bolton’s hard-fought 0-0 draw against Coventry earlier in the season and it could be exactly what Bolton need now.
Over the past few games, Keith Hill has pushed his side into a high-pressing possession-based style of play, it’s gorgeous to watch, but after an hour or 70 minutes or so, Bolton’s players have started to tire and it’s been gifting fitter opposition sides a chance to grab a goal or two late on.
Ronan Darcy could be the answer to Bolton’s problems in this instance as the 18-year-old midfielder was renowned for his high-pressing and never-ending running ability earlier in the season.
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Ronan Darcy has lost his place in the Wanderers first team since Keith Hill took charge and a whole new squad of players was brought in. However, the 18-year-old youngster could be the answer to Bolton’s current fatigue problems which have arisen in recent matches.
In the games against Oxford, Sunderland and Blackpool, Bolton’s players clearly can’t quite maintain their high-pressing style for the full match.
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But what if Ronan Darcy was brought on in the last 15-20 minutes? He could be set loose like a little lively puppy, chasing down every ball that comes his way. It could be far more beneficial than slowly retreating as the game wears on.
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Whether Keith Hill agrees with us, however, is another matter.
Unlike Phil Parkinson, who relyed on Darcy as part of his midfield, Hill has hardly used the 18-year-old, and instead favours 17-year-old Sonny Graham who has also impressed so far this campaign in all fairness.
But if Wanderers’ fitness levels mean that the team cant’ sustain their pressing for 90 minutes, surely the young whippet that is Ronan Darcy should be given a chance.