20 September 2011
Stuart Holden finally returned to first team action for Bolton Wanderers today. Holden played for a full 90 minutes as Bolton comfortably beat Aston Villa 2-0 in a Carling Cup match. The 26-year-old midfielder had a superb return and was involved in the build up that led the first goal.
Bolton manager Owen Coyle was ecstatic with Holden and the team's performance.
"We welcomed Stuart back and the players that also came into the side did very well", stated Coyle. "There is no doubt in the light of the win tonight and, more importantly, the manner in which we achieved it that there are a number of players who did themselves a lot of favors with regards to team selection at Arsenal on Saturday. It is exactly the kind of problem a manager wants to have."
As a result of the win, Bolton will move onto the fourth round of the Carling Cup. However, this Saturday the Wanderers take on Arsenal in league play, and Holden is largely expected to keep his starting position.
Holden was pumped up about the match as well.
"Can't tell you how good it felt to be back on the field. Thank you to everyone that has supported me over the last 6 months..."
Couldn't be happier for Stuart right now. He is fit, and better yet, he is picking up right where he left off six months ago. Coyle said it best, he has problems with selecting a squad for Arsenal, and I think Holden is exactly why Bolton's boss will have plenty to think about before he goes to bed Friday night. Arsenal will be a high intensity match with the Gunners recent struggles, and it still might be too soon to throw Holden into the deep end. I definitely expect him to play though. Welcome back Stu.