Updated: January 21st: We are updating this piece, first published on January 18th. Reports emerging…Holden is Premiership-bound, headed to Bolton, according to Houston Dynamo Chief Operating Officer Chris Canetti via Fox Houston. Vindication for Holden and for Benny below who said last week Holden had the quality to play in the Barclays.
Canetti on Fox: “”I will confirm all indications point to Stuart apparently signing with Bolton,” Canetti said.” (courtesy: Fox News)
The Wanderers currently sit in next to last place, just above the man-made disaster that is Portsmouth. As for Holden’s opportunity, Chung Yong Lee–who we learned from Wanderer message boards is considered the Ronaldo of Bolton–has recently come on on the right flank. In the middle they’ve got a platoon amongst the following: Mark Davies (a English wunderkind) and Fabrice Muamba, both 21, who Holden could supplant and Tamir Cohen, recently arrived from Israel.
Matt Taylor historically a defender, has moved up the pitch to the left flank…he’s got 5 goals on the year…so he is likely staying put.
Best bet for Stu…central midfield.
In the meantime, TSG caught up with Benny Feilhaber just last week to discuss Stu’s overseas forays.
Feilhaber is arguably the most established American player overseas, boasting a resume of 30 caps, outnumbering even Jimmy Conrad.
With Stu Holden trialing at Bolton at the time of the recording, Feilhaber has one of the better perspectives in offering insights on Stu’s challenges as he goes up against the likes of Terry, Essien, Carragher and more.
Feilhaber, beyond having a similar game and position to Holden, was tasked with breaking into a Derby County side in 2007 that was bound for relegation and about to have a management shuffle. As Billy Davies gave way to one-time Wigan man Paul Jewell, Feilhaber found himself without an ally in command and next season was sent packing (a free transfer I might add). The final EPL stats to date for Feilhaber’s brief Barclays’ sojourn: 10 games, 9 coming on as a sub, 3 shots on goal.
So what advice does the now seasoned and excelling Feilhaber have as Stu trials at Bolton:
Benny: “I think the Stu’s got the qualities that will do well in the EPL…I think the hardest thing is breaking into the team once he has the confidence of the manager I think Stu will do well if he gets playing time.
He’s got a great ball which is important in the Premier League because you’ve got the put the ball in the box…it’s what creates scoring chances. I think he can do a good job. He just needs to keep his head down and wait for his opportunity.”
Matt: What’s the one thing, the top thing you would tell him?
Benny: “It’s going to be tougher than he probably expects. He just really needs to stay focused every practice.”
Good luck Stu. Keep your head down.