Bolton Lose Must-Win Game
Here at Vital Bolton, we took the decision to sleep on yesterday`s result, in order to have more chance or writing a more considered, balanced verdict on yesterday`s 3-0 home defeat to Brentford.
What a load of rubbish.
It was ramped up as a huge game, and although we did start reasonably well. Brentford had just as much a foothold in the game, and then when Yoann Barbet curled in a very good free kick in the 38th minute, there was just no confidence we could get back into the game. We have one goal in the league scored from open play, we haven`t scored for a club record six games, and only twice have we waited longer than this for a first league win of the season. We are up a certain creek without a paddle.
Nico Yennaris and Ollie Watkins scored the other long-range goals, but the second in particular wasn`t closed down well enough. There were multiple excellent performances in the Brentford side, while Ben Alnwick`s saves and Gary Madine hitting the post and putting himself about were Bolton`s only real positives.
Again, Phil Parkinson will take some stick, and rightly so. Filipe Morais, our best crosser of a ball, was lumped in a central midfield which doesn`t work. There has been a lot of noise about a back three not working, but the bigger problem may well be three in central midfield not working, especially when Darren Pratley (who can`t even get in ahead of out of position players), Josh Cullen and Jem Karacan are currently the only three senior central midfielders available, and none of them have had a good start to the season.
At the same time, how good is this team? Is this really a better team than two years ago? The team two years ago underacheived, burdened by the critical off-field stuff, but that team still had the likes of Jay Spearing, Zach Clough and Rob Holding, players we would have back given the chance. At this stage, that team had won a game, and not lost at home at least. I`m not for wanting rid of Parkinson yet, but anyone has to be in danger with this current run, but keep in mind that most managers will struggle to get this team anywhere above the bottom six.
Anyway, we play Bristol City next, we did well there last time. Oh, wait…