Date: 14th May 2007 at 12:44pm
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It was fitting, that instead of ensuring UEFA qualification, with a win, Bolton Wanderers, once more had to rely on other teams slipping up. With both Reading and Portsmouth failing to win, the Wanderers are once more on their travels.

It was a game which typified Bolton`s form in 2007, a period in which they have won a mere four league games. Twice they had the lead through Gary Speed and Kevin Davies, twice they were pegged back and for most of the game they were second best to a Villa side whose fluent passing exposed Bolton`s disorganised rag-bag defence. Yet they could have won comfortably. At 2-1 Ricardo Vaz Te blazed his shot wide, after getting himself into a good position and Kevin Nolan failed to get on the end of Ricardo Gardner`s cross.

Whilst four consecutive top eight finishes is a fine achievement for a club with Bolton`s resources, there is a massive rebuilding job to do for next season. The defence is a shambles, the midfield uncompetitive and Bolton`s hoof and hope approach to attacking stopped working a long time ago. Add to that the expected exodus of backroom staff once Sam Allardyce is installed at Newcastle and things look somewhat scary.

If Sammy Lee can guide Bolton to a mid-table finish next season, it will be a fine achievement.

 

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