Date: 5th November 2012 at 2:55am
Written by:

Dougie Freedman has a faultess record as Bolton manager. Let that wash over you…..

Good morning to you and you and you. Here we are, at the beginning of a new era and some tactical mastery and a couple of man of the match performances from two players who you wouldn’t expect to be anywhere near the words ‘man of the match’ have got us all entering the new week with a smile on their face.

So, what did I learn from actually being able to watch a Bolton Wanderers game, albeit on the goggle box as I had to get to work straight after?

Dougie likes a suit.
So does Lennie.
Lennie also likes to wear a big coat to keep out the chill.
Dougie is ambivalent about his.
Two teams playing the same kind of way cancel each other out.
Two teams playing a different kind of way make for a fantastic game.
Apparently a slight deflection that made the trajectory of the ball move ever so slightly excuses Adam Bogdan from going down so slowly he’s still going down for Cardiff’s goal.
Still, never mind, because he can save shots WITH HIS FACE!!!
If Peter Beagrie thinks that Mark Davies was man of the match then I am paying no attention to the rest of his punditry ‘skills’.
And having whatever he’s smoking.
Hey, passing the ball along the floor does work.
Tyrone who?
Can the person who kidnapped David N’Gog and Zat Knight and replaced them with dopplegangers hang onto them for a while?
That’s how you defend. Now, can we keep a clean sheet?

I probably wasn’t the only one who saw SKD coming off and thought that either Afobe or Sordell would come on and then shook their head when it was David N’Gog who took to the pitch. Yes, he is a good hold up player but this appeared to be a like for like replacement and SKD had had little change from the centre of the Cardiff defence. Well, smack me around and call me Daphne. Here was the player who Owen Coyle spent all last years money on. He ran and hassled, scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled offside. He didn’t let that worry him and almost immediately fell over in a Luis Suarez stylee to gain a penalty. Was he on his way down? Probably. Why does that matter. Only the loser and Peter Beagrie think that it wasn’t but his legs were clipped.

He then brought the best out of Marshall not once but twice before completing the coup de grace by getting himself booked twice in eight minutes and being sent off. From anonymous chugger to everything that encapsualtes this crazy game in the space of half an hour.

And what about Zat Knight? His interview at the end might not have been up to much, but this may have been more to do with even he not believing his performance. He made it look like he wanted to win every single ball. And then did. He may have had an inadvertant hand in the Cardiff opener (and flung his hands up to blame everyone else as per usual). But he had won the header that made its way back to Noone and, whilst that header was weak, then attempted to close him down. He may still not have been tested along the floor, but if he can perform like this on a regular basis, and do some more Cruyff turns, then OC’s decision to re-sign him may not have been a gormless act after all.

One game at a time though, eh?

So, Dougie becomes the first manager to win his opening game since Colin Todd stepped from behind Roy McFarland’s shadow in 1996. There were a number of things he got wrong. The lumping the ball up to SKD when he had no back up once again reminded us that there are times when SKD’s age is a factor. The selection of Dazza Prazza, his first league start of the season, told us nothing we didn’t already know, and it was a blessed relief when he was hauled off and down the tunnel before the hour. His replacement, Martin Petrov, scoring from the penalty spot minutes later as Chris Eagles went and hid.

Did Cardiff have a good shout for a penalty before the end? Yes, they did. But, if the fourteen games we have played this season have taught us one things, it is that Football League referees make their Premier League counterparts look good. And it is nice, after some of the dodgy penalties that we have had awarded against us, to have something go right for a change.

One game doesn’t make a season, but it does send us in the right direction and puts us in good cheer for tomorrow’s game against Leicester before heading for the suddenly imploding Blackpool on Saturday in one of those ironic things that happen in football. Suddenly, there is a feeling of optimism. But, as I’ve said before this season, let us walk before we can run. It’s still a long way to that forty sixth game.


Right, I’ll be here for the Leicester preview tomorrow and then I’m off for the rest of the week as it’s my birthday, so Al will guide you through the rest of the week. You may send your best wishes. In fact, I insist on it.


13 Replies to “Bolton Wanderers: 100%”

  • I was definately questioning the line up when it was anounced and Pratley and Knight were starting. I put it down to him giving everyone a chance. Petrov is a terror in this division he needs to be on the pitch as is Eagles. I definately think Chungy is going in the right direction although he was lucky not to get sent off. I think we will see him return to marauding down that right hand side like he used to very soon. Mark Davies link up play was good, he also seems to be moving in the right direction. Spearing didnt get on the pitch. Was he being rested? He has to be included in our midfield, he works tirelessly and passes accurately. I dont mind Andrews, but Spearing is a better player than Andrews and Pratley put together. There are some good selection problems in that midfield of which i think are some extremely exciting players, not to mention Holden returning in the not to distant future. I think we will see alot of squad rotation as Dougie has been quoted as saying ‘its not a team that wins in this division it takes a squad’ or something like that. If he can reinforce that defence and get a reaction from players like Ngog and Sordell i would be extremely happy! Looking forward to Leicester game, extra coat time i think was bloody freezin on sat!

  • Three minor points about the game; firstly, I was glad to see Mears chucked out of the team, although I thought Ricketts was also quite poor. Maybe it’s time to give Riley a chance? Secondly, Andrews put in one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen from a holding midfielder; he didn’t get his positioning right once, and was far too slow at closing players down. Lastly, in that formation, I would have Spearing instead of Andrews and I would switch Pratley to holding midfielder until Holden’s fit to play, whilst pushing Mavies forward, into what is easily his best position. I would also (whisper it) drop Eagles for Petrov and use Eagles as an impact sub.

  • Also, did anyone hear about the police investigation into an ‘anti-Welsh’ comment? If this is true, then, what?! FINALLY, how does the poll say, Bolton: 44% Draw: 14% Leicester: 0%? That’s 58%.

  • Skippy got drunk Saturday night ( on fosters ! ) and then arrested for fighting – last time I take him in town to celebrate our good fortune. Watching KD leave the pitch gave me the impression his days are now numbered, the requirements from an attacking centre forward was summed up by N’Gog in that last 30 minutes, running, shooting, going past defenders, etc, far removed from what big KD does- slowing the attack down, flicking the ball into empty spaces. If Sordell can show his potential and link up with N’Gog we might have the nucleus to seriously threaten defences. Anyway, one swallow not a summer makes. I must hope we don’t squander this good result by blowing cold tomorrow evening, was it merely beginners luck another false dawn ? surely not. Lenny Lawrence has that air of knowledge and wise wisdom about him, re – seen it all, done it all, worn the T shirt.

  • Ok I voted Leicester to test the maths and we are up to 80% although me voting for a Leicester win has actually reduced their percentage. Which means that 20% of voters have gone for an option that is not available. Is there a premium membership that gives access to extra options like Clattenburg skydiving in from Baumgartner range to send off all of both teams? Or Coyle hiding in the floodlights with a sniper rifle and twitching Dreyfuss style?

  • Pedro – calm down! Thing – cheer up & get with the message – say no to negativity! (BTW why was Spearing not given any game time?) And Mike – kangaroos are herbivores they need more hops – get some Guinness down him next time then he’ll be more of a mellow drunk roo & engage the locals in sensible footy (sorry, soccer) discussion rather than the constabulary carting him off and denying us his insight and wisdom.

  • And for what it’s worth am looking forward to the Doog taking a leaf out of SAF’s book and playing Ngog, Sordell and SKD with Eagoals, LCY and Petrov behind. Then er Bogdan in nets. Probably need some defenders. Ricketts and Knight. OK got it…get Mills in (3 CB’s) plus Spearing as sweeper (do they exist anymore?) or HMFP (sweeper). That has 10-0 written all over it. OK 10-7. Gonna be exciting. Now you know why I am a primary school teacher and not a top class footy coach. But hey if its good enough for Pep and SAF why not…..?

  • At least King Michael of All The Australasians can blame Skippy. I only have myself to shine a very bright light on.

  • Spearing was dropped for Dazza Prazza because he was crap in the previous two games. His return will be swift, however, as Andrews managed to demonstrate once more why nobody else wanted him. I’d still like to know who that centre half was and what he’d done with Zat Knight, but I don’t want him switching back. N’gog was far too strong, far too quick and far too skillful yet again for the opposition in front of him, it’s just that this time the ball came into his feet, there was movement around him and he got the odd break. Oh and also he was trying. Long may that continue.

Your Comment