In his latest entry, the Bolton defender discusses his club team's chances of moving back up to the Premier League, of getting called up to the USA team and the Agudelo trade
I won’t lie, it’s been a tough few days since our game last Sunday.
We were in a position to stay up in the Premier League but we just couldn’t keep Stoke at bay long enough. The team battled and we got a bit of luck on Kevin Davies goal and in the back of your mind you are hoping that it really was your chance to stay up…maybe your destiny.
We can sit and complain about referee decisions but as they say over here in England, "At the end of the day, we were not good enough." I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, “At the end of the day!" No one wants to make excuses. You could see at times our team was good enough to stay up but there are so many teams that are so close in quality. We didn’t get the points and now it is time to look forward.
There will certainly be changes in the Bolton team.
The manager is staying and that is a huge plus. We have 12 players out of contract so there will be more than a few new faces coming in. With a couple of key players like Stu Holden back form injury we like our chances to go back up right away. We need a quick recovery from David Wheater, who had torn his ACL a few weeks ago.
I’ve heard from many players that the Championship is harder than the Premiership but only time will tell. Picking up points early will be vital. We need a good preseason under our belt and to hit the ground running.
By the way, there is talk of a preseason trip to the U.S. but nothing has been finalised yet. I wouldn’t mind playing some preseason friendlies against MLS teams.
But for now, I need a good break from football and to rest my body and my mind. Staying mentally sharp is the biggest challenge especially as every game since January has been a “big game." Since I became a professional, I have not really had an offseason. After my rookie year, I had my first cap with a trip to South Africa and then planning for the January camp. Last fall I had a short break but then straight to England for training at West Brom and Bolton.
So I am ready for some relaxation. I have a trip planned back to St. Louis to see family and friends and then a few side trips in Europe. Plus, the long-awaited honeymoon will be take place in June.
I am not sure if I will be included in the national team games. I certainly hope that I am but it is not my decision and I will respect Coach Klinsmann’s choices. I will support the team regardless if I am selected.
Crazy days at RBNY. I was a bit shocked to see Juan Agudelo get traded to Chivas USA. I have spent a lot of time with Juan and I know how talented he is and hungry to make an impact. I hope that he gets a fresh start at Chivas and increased playing time.
A quick mention of another St. Louis guy: Brandon Barklage, who has shown well recently on the backline in New York. It’s nice to see him on field and healthy.
Well done to Man City for pulling off the plays in injury time to make them EPL Champions. It is nice to see a different team win and will intensify the rivalry with their neighbors.
Thanks for all the support,