A 3-0 defeat at home is never a good thing. Bolton yesterday were completely outclassed by a Sheffield United side that were at it from the start of the game, were able to knock the ball around the park, were allowed by those in white shirts to knock it around said park, and ultimately were just better.
It’s also difficult to apportion the blame to specific players. Jonathan Grounds, who replaced Andy Taylor at left back, got a lot of stick but the whole of the back four had an off day, which had been uncharacteristic of them so far this season.
The midfield failed to make an impression either, with Luke Murphy taken off after an hour, but Josh Vela was hardly any better.
The only players to have really come out of the afternoon with any credit were Josh Magennis, who tried his hardest to be a nuisance up front, spurning a good chance when he headed a cross off target, and Sammy Ameobi, who kept trying things, providing one of the more impressive moments of the game from our perspective when he somehow kept an awful ball in play by the right-hand. touchline which would have pinged out for a throw-in 99 times out of 100.
While it was rubbish, it was pretty startling to hear boos at half and full time. It has been an excellent start to the season, we’re still third, we weren’t going to go the season unbeaten, someone would have won at our place eventually. Sometimes they’ve deserved that reaction, but not yesterday, not after the previous four games.
Hopefully, this is just a blip, even something to focus minds going forward to ensure the team doesn’t get complacent. It was rubbish, but no point losing the plot about it.