Oh, here we go again. Another game against a team lower than us in the table and expectations are low.
This is not to say that you don’t think Bolton can win, we certainly have the players for it. It’s just that you know that if we concede the first goal, as we invariably do, then it is a long, hard climb to get back on terms. And as for winning a game from that position? That’s as rare as a dodo and a duck billed platypuss teaming up to play swing tunes with Glenn Miller’s ghost. And as for a clean sheet…..blah blah blah.
Despondency is the order of the day for fans of a team that were once regarded as so difficult to beat that teams had lost before they got on the bus to come to T’Reebok. It is difficult to look at opponents now and say that we will definitely beat them. There is a soft underbelly in this team, with a squad that has but one available leader.
What we need tomorrow is eleven Kevin Davies’. Or, at least, a younger version of him. This is now a battle. Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Once more.
‘Criticising certain players, they need to analyse that, and think maybe ‘should I be doing this?` because the ones they do criticise are the ones who roll up their sleeves and give 100 per cent week in, week out.’ Keith Andrews. Not very good at maths.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
SKD is back from suspension, meaning that Marvin Sordell can go back to sitting at home on a Saturday again. Other than the usual suspects, there are no other injury concerns.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
This may be coming across as a Kevin Davies love in, but there was something missing on Wednesday that you would think that the captain would have at least attempted to kick out of the younger members of the team. And I don’t mean figuratively. He has been scoring goals and is still a talisman. And I know I am possibly going against what I said at the beginning of the season about him being an impact player.
Birmingham City Team News:
Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood may return to boost the number of Yanks on the Reebok turf to three, as long as Tim Ream plays. Or, at least, stands on the grass. Convicted felon Marlon King is injured as are other players not convicted for sexual assault, Peter Lovenkrands, Akwasi Asante, Papa Bouba Diop, Darren Ambrose, Paul Caddis, David Murphy and wee Stephen Carr. That almost matches our injury list.
Player to watch: Jack Butland
Only in the forlorn hope that we will force him into making some saves.
Match Facts & Stats
Since Bolton and Birmingham (then Small Heath) first met at Muntz Street in 1894, they have played each other 116 times in the league. T’Wanderers lead overall 46-39 and 33-7 at home. Our last win at home to them in the league came in 2010, when SKD and Ivan Klasnic scored in a 2-1 win.
Bolton’s leading scorer in the fixture is George Gibson, who netted ten times between 1927 and 1932. In the second division it is Billy Hughes with four in 1909-10. I called him W earlier in the season. Not making that mistake again.
I have faith that SKD will, wearing an England flag pinny, rise on a chair and give a speech of such Churchillian maginificence, a 2-1 win will come almost without trying. No, that’s not right. By really, really trying and breaking into a sweat.
Leeds, Dirty Leeds, in Dirty Leeds, on New Years Day.