Holden Workmanlike but Inefficient in Bolton Loss

Stuart Holden (10) of the United States (USA) prepares to take a corner kick. The United States (USA) defeated Panama (PAN) 2-1 during a quarterfinal match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA, on July 18, 2009. Photo via Newscom

Prior to today’s match against Sunderland (a 1-0 loss for Bolton), Stuart Holden had an average of twenty-six passes attempted per game. He almost doubled that figure today.


by Guardian Chalkboards

Unfortunately, Holden wasn’t very efficient when in possession. Despite the large increase in passes attempted, he didn’t complete any more passes than usual. Twenty-one is his norm. Though he was a bit wasteful, Holden made aggressive passes. Only eight of his forty-three attempts were backpasses.

In contrast to his passing stats, Holden’s defensive contributions were well-below average. He attempted two tackles, winning both, and intercepted one pass.  He normally produces eight tackles attempted, five won, and three interceptions.

All of his statistical anomalies can be explained by the two teams’ tactics. Both squads used a 4-4-2, which allowed room for the center midfielders to operate (increased pass attempts), Sunderland attacked down the wings (low defensive numbers), and after Sunderland went up in the thirty-second, they were a bit more circumspect in their attacks (ie, Bolton, and Holden, saw more of the ball).

Gringos, did anyone else tune in to watch the match on ESPN 2?

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