Date: 31st December 2016 at 6:08pm
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Danny Hollands arrived at Gresty Road in the summer on an initial 6 month contract, which expires on January 19th 2017. Meaning if he doesn’t renew his contract with The Alex, he only has three more games at the club; Morecombe away (02/01/17), Mansfield away (07/01/17) and Luton at home (14/01/17). Obviously there is still time for him to renew his contract, but from the signs being sent out – I’d describe that as ‘unlikely’ to happen.

Hollands is a player who I’d describe as an ‘unsung hero’. He is not the most elegant of movers on the ball, but is a rock. He is that type of player whom you would notice his contribution more when he isn’t in the team than when he is. Some factors he brings to the team and on to the pitch include; his experience, his passing and his vocal ability to be a true leader in the engine room. If we were to lose Hollands in just over a fortnight, we would (likely) have Bingham and Jones in the middle of the park therefore, we would not just lose Hollands – we would lose experience, ability and a leader. Though Bingham does occasionally get ‘stuck in’, Hollands is by far the best midfielder at defending that we have – that is one reason why his loss would be so damaging. He offers a protection, that the other midfielders can’t offer, to the back four.

The defensive performance today against Accrington Stanley, who came to The Alexandra Stadium 22nd, was atrocious. Garratt had a poor game, he should have stopped the goal. Guthrie was a shambles, despite how consistent he normally is. However that defence were not supported by the midfield, but they would have had that support if Hollands started. The skipper Ryan Lowe was unfit for action, so Davis changed the system to a 4-5-1 formation – something I and most fans would have done. However Davis’ decision to start a winger in the middle of the park rather than an experienced defensive midfielder confused me. It was something that caused me to sit scratching my head in confusion, as I tried to understand both the decision to start Kirk over Hollands. I was also unsure simply as to what Kirks role was, and what Davis was hoping he’d achieve. If Hollands would have started over Kirk; the defence would have been more protected and confident, also Jones and Bingham two attacking midfielders would not have been pinned back. I acknowledge I have no coaching badges, but I would call that decision ‘tactically wrong’. With Hollands not in the team today, it was evident we missed him. That is why, he must start Monday and must sign on – however the latter is something I doubt he will do.

Before joining the Alex Hollands had played 52% of his total career matches down on the south coast, at AFC Bournemouth who are otherwise known by their nickname ‘The Cherries’. He arrived at Gresty Road from Fratton Park (Portsmouth), another southern team. It also has to be kept in mind, with the exception of Crewe, Charlton Athletic are the most northern team he has had a spell at. His family are still living down south, and I can imagine that the midfielder has had a hard time adapting to life up north – especially without the family. It also has been rumoured ex-Alex man Jamie Ness is coming back on loan, which appears to be a replacement for Hollands. As well as the signs of family and replacement not looking promising; when I asked Danny for his shirt as I thought it was his last home game he replied ‘Today’s not my last home game mate, but you can have it after my last home match. I am here until the 19th, my last match is Luton’ – despite that being positive that I may be getting his shirt, it does not sound like he will be here after January 19th.