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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
Box to box Bowyer
Lee Bowyer shows his all-roundgame in scoring BBC Sport Online's Goal of the Week
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Managers and coaches love to use the phrase 'box-to-box player' to describe a midfielder who is as good in his defensive duties as he is in the opponents' penalty area.

Lee Bowyer's winner at Derby not only demonstrated that phrase, but also why the Leeds midfielder is one of the highest-rated midfield players in the country.

He also gave a hint of what England might be missing in the Far East following the decision not to pick him for the World Cup for his off-field problems.


Bowyer displayed all the attributes that coaches look for in a top midfield player in scoring the goal voted BBC Sport Online's Goal of the Week.

Aggression, commitment, pace, awareness and coolness all came together in a goal that was deceptively simple in its construction and execution.

Bowyer showed his aggression and defensive qualities when he took advantage of Malcolm Christie's error of control to nick the ball off the Derby striker 20 yards inside Leeds' half.

Leeds Lee Bowyer is the coplete midfield player
Lee Bowyer is the complete midfield player

In the same instance that he played the ball forward to Alan Smith, Bowyer was also aware that Derby had over-extended themselves.

With the Rams' wing-backs pushed on and the central defensive trio playing a high line, Bowyer saw a gap and sprinted into it.


Smith was also aware of Bowyer's run, and after controlling the ball on his chest, hooked it over his shoulder and perfectly into Bowyer's path.

Bowyer did not need to break stride as he powered away from the chasing Derby defenders.

Bowyer's pace took him clear, but he still had work to do as he was confronted by Derby keeper Mart Poom.

But Bowyer kept a cool head to delicately chip the ball over the Estonian keeper.

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