Bolton Blog Zone

Bolton Now Need To Change Their Tune


Failure to get in a similar player to Gary Madine means we need to stop hoofing the ball.

Transfer deadline day for Wanderers went as we expected really. If you look at the individual deals, the majority don`t seem too bad. The only major problem is we`ve sold a target man mid-season and not acquired a like-for-like replacement. To call Phil Parkinson tactically inflexible isn`t quite right, he has changed formation regularly during his 18 months or so in charge. What has rarely changed is the style of play, using the target man to get the ball up the pitch. Parkinson hasn`t won a Bolton league game without Gary Madine, but he`s going to have to now.

The profile of strikers signed means lumping it forward at every opportunity won`t get us far now, unless we play Aaron Wilbraham, actually, let`s not entertain that. It requires a mid-season change in our approach, which is easier said than done. Tyler Walker isn`t a bad player, and we do know what Zach Clough is capable of, but it`s not going to be fair on them if they`re spending their time controlling balls from the air.

Elsewhere, Reece Burke has come back, which is a welcome signing. He looked capable when he has been used this season, and we needed one more centre-back. Jon Flanagan is a weird signing. He`s good for this level, but a full-back seemed the least of our worries, notwithstanding his recent off-field scumbaggery. Surely he won`t go in at right-back ahead of Mark Little, or ahead of Antonee Robinson on the left?

Ultimately the sale of Madine is what has defined this window. Whatever the situation is with needing the cash, selling your most influential player mid-season represents a massive gamble. It`s now been bestowed on the manager to come up with a tactical tweak, and there`s little time for a transition period.

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