Holden got there first and his boots were firmly on the ground. Evans got there a fraction of a second late and his studs were showing. It wasn’t malicious but it was a foul and not even Sir Alex argued with the decision to show Evans the red card.
Unfortunately for Holden, the studs on Evans’ boot collided at great speed with his knee, causing a horrific gash that required twenty-six stitches. The latest news suggests that Holden may well be out of the game for around six months. That is awful for the player and a terrible shame to come out of what was an honest, if mistimed tackle.
The twenty-five year old midfielder has had a great season for Bolton and will be sorely missed. His manager, Owen Coyle, said,
“First and foremost, our main concern is Stuart and his recovery. He will get all the time and support he needs. Stuart has been outstanding this season and has shown he is one of the best midfielders in the Barclays Premier League. He has such desire, strength of character and a winning mentality and he will draw on those attributes in his rehabilitation.”
The injury means that Holden will miss the season run-in and an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and then possibly the final. It is a real shame that the Scottish born USA international will miss the chance to play on one of the world’s biggest stages.
Holden’s career has taken a rapid rise this season and everything was starting to look really good for the player who was born in Aberdeen and moved to America at the age of ten.
After Holden had played two years of college football in the USA he moved to England to try his luck at Sunderland. It didn’t work out for him there as an injury caused in an attack outside a nightclub, together with another picked up in training, meant that he left after six months without playing a game.
He returned home and joined MLS team Houston Dynamo where he stayed for four seasons. He made his name as an attacking midfield player and scored twenty-one goals in one hundred and twenty-two appearances for the club. He also gained international recognition with the USA and has picked up seventeen caps so far.
In January 2010 Holden joined Bolton. He played just three games that season but prior to his injury this time around, he was a virtual ever present this season with twenty-eight impressive performances.
This is a nasty injury and Bolton will miss his infectious style of play. I wish him a speedy and full recovery.
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To be frank, I think the Evans boys, both of them, are on the rise, but they both need some more experience before they can claim that red shirt. As an American, I’m horrified, and as both an American and a United fan, I fully agree with the red card decision. No excuses.