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Bolton Wanderers: Cojones

Bolton Wanderers: Cojones
Afternoon all. Yes. Blimey. It's lunchtime. I know. And there's an article. I know. It's like the old days isn't it, before time and doing stuff that may, and I stress the may, be more important came along? So, stick that crab and paste sarnie in your mouth and let's get on it.

What has been happening in the wonderful world of relegation contenders, Bolton Wanderers, since we last spoke? Well, we threw away another winning position and missed a penalty, two things that we seem to have had problems with this season already. Hopefully, although some would already disagree, the inability of Chris Eagles to score from eighteen yards won't see this manager sacked.

Strangely, despite Eagles being one for two on managers being sacked after he misses a spot kick, Dougie sees no reason why he shouldn't be allowed to keep on taking them. Working on the fact that if he keeps on taking them, he will finally score one, no doubt.

'It`s not a question for me to answer because Chris Eagles has got a bigger pair of stones than me.'

And there was me thinking what goes on in the changing rooms, stays in the changing rooms.

I'm sorry, it is nothing to do with 'stones'. It is to do with the ability to score penalties. Miss one and it plays on your mind. Miss two, and it plays on everyone elses. This is like when England draw in a major tournament and Frank Lampard goes forward. A collective shaking of heads and then a wistful 'told you' when he misses. There are other players in the squad who can take penalties, I seem to recall SKD being quite adept at them. It isn't for the player who has missed two to decide who takes them. It is for the manager. Regardless of the size of the players 'stones'.

This goes back to the problems that OC had. Unable to be able to tell players what they can and cannot do. Granted, penalties come up so rarely for us (but quite a lot against us) that it is barely a consideration. But we could have won on Saturday if Eagles had scored. Dougie makes great play of the professional that the former Burnley man is due to him scoring after missing. But you don't know if he would have done that anyway.

What happens if Eagles takes the next penalty and it lands on the M61, regardless of where the game is being played? Will he be allowed to take a fourth due to the fact that when he retires he will be apparently able to make a comfortable living from porn movies? It baffles me, it really does.

Naturally, there are other things to focus on, like the defence. But penalties can win games. If Eagles can't score two, then he shouldn't be allowed a third.

Elswhere, Mavies believes that we can make a push for promotion come the New Year, which goes against everything we have seen so far. Yes, we are closer to the play-offs than the relegation zone, despite being eighteenth. And yes, a three or four game run around Christmas would see us move up the table quicker than the shower room at Euxton is cleared when Eagles takes his jock off and steps into the shower. But, let me point you towards all the players that have said the same thing since we lost at Burnley in what, at the time, was seen as a small beginning of season blip, but has turned into something much, much worse than that.

I do believe that there is more desire about the players than there appeared to be under OC, but I have a desire to win the lottery and, at the moment, the odds on me winning it are pretty much the same as Bolton getting promoted. How a team can go so long without a clean sheet away from home is an answer that, normally, only Sunday League teams can answer. There is a fundmental flaw in the make up of the defence that worries and it is difficult to see, whatever happens in January, where that will hole will be plugged.

I agree with Al that Zat Knight has been one of the best performers in the defence. But when Zat Knight is one of the best performers in your defence, then your defence is in trouble. On Saturday, he undid all the solid work he has done by putting the ball into his own net, and not for the first time in his not all that illustrious Bolton career. All this talk by players and manager that we can still get promoted is now being very much taken with a pinch of salt by most people. Sure, it can happen. But there has to be a change in luck and personnel. And neither of those look like changing any time soon.

It is good to see that Norwich have relented and let Jacob Butterfield stay into the New Year. He does appear to have fallen slightly foul of Dougie's need to play every single person in the squad (bar Riley and Sordell) but he does give the midfield that something extra that we miss without Stuart Holden in the team. If and when Holden returns, and that looks to be on its way sometime, soon, maybe, kinda, then we will have no need for Butterfield. But, for the time being, I do think he should be given more game time.

And finally, congrats to the kids of Diddy and Zico, who took another step towards the Youth Cup with a victory last night. Maybe the first team staff should have a look at the work our former players are doing at youth level and see if they can learn something from it?

And with that, I'm off for my own lunch. Al will be here tomorrow (he's promised he'll be here tomorrow), and I'll see you Thursday.

Bonne chance.

Writer:Quentin X
Date:Tuesday December 11 2012
Time: 12:03PM


interestedto know why Gartside ignored McCarthy and went for Freedman, when the objective was strictly that of promotion this season, with McCarthy immediately doing the business at Ipswich while Freedman is struggling getting the car out of the garage. Why was McCarthy overlooked given he was the fans 1st choice ?? and why does the manager claim we have the finest squad in the league, per quality, when their are clearly 17 other teams better than us, are we to assume results are irrelevent ?
aussie mike
11/12/2012 14:41:00
Mark Davies: "I'm not fussed where I play, I'll play anywhere". Lets try him a Right Back.
11/12/2012 15:12:00
so the Freedman mutterings are getting under way . . . wonder if he's thinking what we are . . .
11/12/2012 16:27:00
miserable old bunch! I thought we were absolutely fantastic in the second half on Saturday and the best attacking side in the league that I've seen this season. Far better in fact than anything I've seen for yours. Excellent fluidity, short passing, chance creation... Plug the gaps at the back and play-offs (minimum) are ours.
11/12/2012 20:59:00
for years*
11/12/2012 21:00:00
I agree, I thought we were a joy to watch at Huddersfield (not all game, obviously, but in long spells). I know people are looking at Mick McCarthy's results at Ipswich, but Mick suited their needs were I believe Dougie (or someone of his ilk) suits ours. Ipswich needed a plaster-cast for a broken bone, we needed open-heart surgery! McCarthy's wins are coming in-between 5-0 and 6-0 losses, something our club wouldn't tolerate and thus the boo-boys would have halted McCarthy's plight before it began. Dougie doesn't need to re-invent the wheel, he just needs to put the wheels back on and maybe add a spoiler at the back and go-faster stripes in January! COYW!
12/12/2012 09:45:00
Brakes ?
12/12/2012 11:38:00
.......and additional airbags for defence.....
12/12/2012 11:39:00
Agreed Robb. When we played well it was very exciting and teriffic football. Now all Dougie has to do is get them playing consistently for 90+ minutes. Something no manager has achieved for years.
12/12/2012 17:21:00
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