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Bolton Wanderers vs. Millwall

Reebok Stadium

12 January 2013


Bolton Wanderers: Brand New!

Hello all. Welcome to the new era of Vital Bolton.

Before I get onto all that, I would like to thank Quentin X for all the hard work he has put into this site. His humorous and honest tales of being a Bolton fan over the last few years are a massive part of why I wanted to blog in the first place. I have been privileged with becoming the editor, and hope to continue to run it with the same values and community that my predecessor has built.

So, to the Millwall game. The reverse fixture was the final straw for Owen Coyle, and whilst there has been some improvement since, we are nowhere closer to where we want to be. Where we expect to be. Let's face it; it's not our year. We're going to lose people in the summer, and we've already lost Petrov, so some serious rebuilding is in order. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see how Craig Davies fits into that; a stop-gap measure at most.

Anyway, enough with all the pessimism. Despite their relatively good season, we should beat these in our playground every day of the week.

Vital Quotes:

Douglas thinks I'm wrong. "Millwall are a very difficult side to beat. Kenny Jackett is a manager who demands hard work and his teams to show spirit and fight for each other.

"They`ve caught out a lot of teams this year because people have possibly taken them a bit lightly. They don`t necessarily have the biggest names on paper, but they have got a really good team and we`re going to have to be at it from the word go.

Bolton Wanderers Team News:

Holden and Vela are not yet ready for first team action, whilst Wheater and Mark Davies are further back on the road to recovery. Craig Davies is facing a late fitness test, but I'll imagine once he's had the chance to 'chill on Sunday' he'll be ready for our trip to Sunderland.

Player to watch: Marvin Sordell

Marvin had a very impressive return to the first team last week in the FA Cup, enough to show that he is worthy of another shot in the league. His partnership with N'Gog was impressive, especially on the counter, and I would like to see him given a chance at some point today.

Millwall Team News:

According to the Beeb, Liam Feeney (hamstring) and Chris Taylor (knee), as well as striker Andy Keogh (broken toe) and defender Paul Robinson (pelvis) are all out. Not that Paul Robinson. Or that Paul Robinson.

Player to watch: Chris Wood

Wood has been banging them for Millwall this season. I've seen bits of him before, and he looks like the sort of striker that Zat Knight has nightmares about. A competent one.

Match Facts & Stats

Despite us being an all-round superior football club, Millwall are beating us on a head-to-head, with 16 victories to our 14.

Match Prediction:

I'm going to go with a Quentin prediction - a 2-0 win.

Next Fixtures:

Up to the Stadium of Light to get absolutely mortal like. Howay the Wanderers!

The Journalist

Writer: AlParklar Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 12 2013

Time: 1:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Thank God he signed for Leicester then! Haha. He was the player I was asking myself why we weren't poaching him. Can we not afford 1.5m? Hence, Crraaaig Daaavvis! Can I get a rewind?
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12/01/2013 14:33:00

C'mon Ed. Where are the stats and the new Poll? - the one with 15 check circles, the last being none of the above! See what you can do. That would be a popular vote for most games!
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12/01/2013 19:53:00

correct me if I am wrong, looking at our managers this season, based on average points per game ( Coyle 1.1 , Philips 1.6 and Freedman 1.1), multiplied by the 27 games played, Philips would have us on 43 points in the play off spots, our best manager by far. But we dont have Philips we have Freedman, and today we dropped another 2 home points, but Freedman claimed the effort was very good. Thank you for that Mr Manager I can sleep easy tonight knowing the FA are about to change the rules of the game and award points based on effort instead of results. Freedman is now sharing Coyles excuses, I wonder if Freedman is actually Coyle in clever disguise - it would explain everything, the team is the same, results are the same, performances the same. maybe we should appoint the office cat as manager, but then its another pussy in the job and we have had enough pussy this season. The BBC say snow is on its way.
aussie mike
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12/01/2013 21:09:00

17 mostly pretty pathetic shots but only 5 on target. This is a stat that was improving but has been getting progressively worse. It is the first thing I look at to see if it tallys with how I saw the game. Bogdan also went the wrong way for the 8th time out of 9 penalties. Surely that stat should be 50/50 unless his technique and background info about other team's penalty takers is totally wrong. First half was very weak. Very few of our lads getting in their faces whilst they went for everything. DF is pretty good at the half time team talks and after a few minutes after the restart they started playing as he had told them to - lifting their game. It took until the 83rd minute for them to start putting a real effort in and attacking as if they meant it. Result? The crowd gets behind them finally, as we always do when they are trying hard, but as usual - too little too late and with 4 strikers that couldn't hit a barn door between them we came away without one goal from open play - pretty pathetic Dougie. Special mention for SKD's vast improvement today at first touches and finding a white shirt with a pass after holding up the ball. He should have had a couple of goals from his headers today and that diving header at the end that was cleared off the line showed his 100% committment.
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13/01/2013 01:44:00

New ed. Same moans. I think I must watch a different game to some people. I thought the lads all put in a shift yesterday. Millwall had only a couple of periods when they had the ball and put us under pressure like near the end of the first half. The result being the boo boys got an opportunity to do what they love. I think that since the worst showing in years on boxing day there is a real improvement in the team from front to back. I think eagles needs a rest as he carried the team for so long at the start of the season he looks jaded and spearing should be dropped for pratley. Finally its time for afobe to go. He has done virtually nothing all season and we just don't need him with all the other strikers now available. Cue the moaners
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13/01/2013 09:09:00

There are positives but there is a spark missing in midfield and we are all a bit fed up of the amateurish defending. Another needless penalty.
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13/01/2013 10:54:00

general team performances all season have failed to deliver results or meet expectations. the manager is responsible for getting the cockail mix right on players, training, tactics, effort, etc to improve team performance. For reasons beyond us it is simply not happening, the problem may be a combination of the players we have and management, but generally it comes down to management when effort and consistency is not there across 90 minutes in each game. Do you think the team would be performing better if Alardyce was in charge ? . Our objective this season is now slipping away and even the players sense it, what is the point they may think - the post mortems will begin come March, a ressurection looks extremely unlikely as matters stand.
aussie mike
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13/01/2013 11:01:00

I agree with a lot of that aussie mike but I still think things are improving as for Allardyce we were already on the slippery slope when he left. The last few months of his tenure were those of a man no longer interested and it showed. We all know that he didn't get the backing but he hasn't exactly set the world alight since (we will see what happens at whu) We can still make the play offs and with Holden and Wheater coming back, along with mavies vela and the new signings there is plenty to look forward too. If we stick behind them and silence the boo boys the performance will get better. With regards to management at the club the biggest disappointment to me is that we have not heard anything from chairman or manager surely when things are not going well that's when we should hear a rallying cry from one of them. Get on the pitch before a game and show it matters as much to you as it does to us.
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13/01/2013 11:35:00

Good points ' Boltongav', long term injuries to key players have had a negative impact on the team and we should improve by a margin when the team squad is back to full strength. Equally, the perpetual silence from club directors implies no further changes will happen regardless of missing all our points targets and the muted action in the transfer market this month suggests finances are not being gambled with dependancy switched on existing players returning from injury. Anoraknophobia is correct claiming bad defending is costing us, though failure in our attack to find the net is constantly costing us dearly, yesterday polarised how yet again failing to get more than a single goal lost us 2 points. SKD may have put a stirling performance in but like N'Gog these lads are first and foremost on the pitch to score goals and it just isn't happening, in my eyes if these lads can't score they should be dropped, sentiment has no place, winning is everything, scoring goals is everything.
aussie mike
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13/01/2013 13:20:00

Couldn't agree more I can't understand why Craig Davies wasn't even in the squad if he is worth buying, surely he should be playing. Its not like he is for the future. Similarly Sordell and Eaves must be due a run if we arent scoring.
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13/01/2013 13:52:00

Besdies the Penny, Millwall didn't really do anything. We drew simply because we can't score goals.
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13/01/2013 13:58:00

We have 19 fixtures left this season. The bookies' current prediction (and they make their money from not being wrong) is that 72 points will be required for 6th place. We have 33 points so far, so we will need another 39. That works out at a shade over 2 points per game. Are we capable of 2 points per game between now and the end of the season? I'm not seeing it. Do I think we'd have a chance with Holden, Wheater and Mavies back in the side? No, because our strikers still can't hit a cow's backside with a banjo. One exceptional signing (a goalscorer) could project us into the play-off positions, assuming we don't get crippled by injuries again, but unless we manage that, forget about it.
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14/01/2013 10:52:00

I forgot about it after the Leeds game (completely forgot about it and it was liberating). I just hope he's got something planned for next season. But, somehow...
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14/01/2013 10:59:00

Chris Wood is a good player and dangerman but he scored a hat trick for Leicester on Saturday!
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14/01/2013 12:51:00

Bear in mind the bookies had us as favourites to win the league a few short months ago how's that working out for them? I do agree we need a goal scorer though and quick. A certain N. Anelka is unhappy and wants to return to England. Unless he already signed somewhere else give him all the remaining money for this season and watch the goals fly in.
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14/01/2013 12:59:00

The bookies did indeed have us down as favourites, but that doesn't mean they got everything wrong. Just that, really. And it's pretty easy to work out how many points you need to reach the play-offs - just look at every other season in the past 10 years or so, the number of points doesn't change too much. I'd love to see Anelka back here but I can't see it happening. Maybe Darren Bent would be a more realistic choice?
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14/01/2013 14:14:00

Robmoss - you hit the nail on the head earlier, our failure to score this season has blown our promotion chances, whatever happens here on is expected to be to little to late. Would not be surprised if we mount a late charge and fall agonisingly short by 3 - 4 points, at which stage we might reflect back on the Ipswich, Milwall home games. Shocked to read Zat Knight telling local readers sloppy defending is a problem, the truth is he himself is the problem. The club must stop allowing players to give patronising statements to the press, its a reincarnation of Coyles policy all over again, we play *****e and talk *****e, everyone is sick to the backteeth with these incumbants insulting our intelligence, they receive a kings ransom for being utterly inept, I despair with rage !! The BBC forecast sunshine tomorrow, none due over Sunderland for which I do not give a toss.
aussie mike
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14/01/2013 14:58:00

I cant agree with Zat Knight being the problem. The number of times he heads the ball, clears the ball etc. without him I dread to think where we would be. I think the bigger problem is the players we have had next to him never seem to react to pick up on the ball when he wins it so he ends ip just lumping it half the time. By no means do I think he is the greatest defender ever to pull on the white shirt just the best currently available and when Wheater returns I fully expect the two to work well together. With regard to the points total I agree Robmoss but we can live in hope after all what else have we had for the past few years!! Not sure even Bent would come to us at the moment unfortunately, and although I would love to see Anelka back it was again more hope than expectation as I think the strikers we have now are the ones we will have come the end of the season as Freedman already said we are well covered in that area. Lets just hope the new Davies comes good.
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14/01/2013 17:17:00

I have a theory. A theory I call my own. I think the club is beset with fear. We have got so used to losing & fighting for our lives that both OC and DF have put out sides with instructions not to lose. We apparently went for it for the last 15 mins against Millwall with 4 strikers and nearly got a winner. Maybe now is the time for us to take it to visiting sides with some confidence. Once our strikers start converting a better percentage of the chances created then the more likely they are to continue doing so. But they need to realise that they can do it.
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14/01/2013 18:46:00

of course they can do it - our league position confirms that and as for poor Zat Knight, if that Millwall lad had stayed on his feet when Knight fouled him in the area they would not have had the penalty, what lousy luck. It is also increasingly unsporting for opposition teams to conspire to beat us, it makes our task all the more difficult and downright impossible most games, they should bring a law out to stop it, how are we supposed to win a game if they won't let us.
aussie mike
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14/01/2013 19:21:00

To be fair Knight could do nothing else, it wasn't him that gave the ball away and then played it into the danger area, but he was the only one to react and reach Keogh who went down like a two dollar ..... not that I blaim him. Fred I think you are spot on which is why the crowd need to get behind the lads from the beginning of each match. Our positivity will increase their confidence. Aussie mike I am beginning to wonder if you arent a Blackburn fan on the quiet:)
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14/01/2013 20:24:00


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