Unbeaten or without a win. How do you view the Whites’ start to the season?
Thrilling first home game of the season against the Royals, yes? Something I think we can all agree on. If ever there was a contest played at our beloved home-ground that can be described as ‘a game of two halves`, this was it. It was night and day, black and white, ying and yang. Even Mork and Mindy? nanu, nanu?
Blame from either side for not taking the 3 points was rife after the final whistle. Dougie`s starting line-up was applauded but his substitutions and timing were questioned. Adkins` starting line-up was criticised but his substitutions were telling. During the match, if Medo`s thunderous effort had been an inch lower, in all probability, we would have won the game. If Bogdan`s hands would have been an inch to the right, after his point-blank save, they`d have gone home with the spoils. It was that tight. A draw was on everyone`s lips before the game and a draw was the outcome.
As we are all to aware, Bolton Wanderers were drawn a very difficult start to the Championship season. The first 5 games of the campaign, 2 away games at Burnley and Nottingham Forest are sandwiched between home games involving Reading, QPR and Blackburn Rovers.
The first game at Turf Moor ended 1-1 and felt like a point gained. The first home game on Saturday, against Reading, also ended 1-1, but after 45 minutes of the best football I`d seen the Whites play in a long time, felt like 2 points dropped.
If you are disappointed at Bolton`s start to the new Championship campaign, you have every right to be. If you are satisfied with what you`ve witnessed over the 180 minutes, again you have every right to be.
It would be easy to criticise Wanderers` 2 points in the league out of a possible 6. Only scoring two goals, not kept a clean sheet, not won a game, bottom half of the table, not finishing Burnley off when they were lagging, or not finishing Reading off before half-time when there was only one team in it? It would also be effortless to congratulate the team for the 2 points they have earned. Scoring two great goals, gaining a point at Turf Moor- a place we`ve struggled, taking a point from the Championship favourites and outplaying them for large parts, not allowing an opposing player to score a goal in open play, undefeated start to the season?
The bottom line is, we definitively can`t say- for sure- what kind of a start the Whites` have made to the season. Two games played, two draws, 2 points? It`s as simple as that. It could have been better, it could have easily been worse. It tells us fans very little and the very little it does tell us, we can`t read too much into.
There are several teams, currently above us in the table, who will travel to Turf Moor and come away empty handed. There are several teams, currently above us in the table, who will welcome Reading and allow them to leave with the 3 points. You may look at Watford, Blackpool and Forest with envy as they sit aloft with 6 points from 6. But the 6 games those 3 teams have played have been, Blackburn, Birmingham, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Doncaster and Barnsley. Hardly promotion candidates, so please, don`t be too disheartened just yet.
If you want to look at the negatives, like I said, you are thoroughly justified and if you want to focus on the positives, knock yourself out. But please don`t definitively decide just yet. From what I`ve seen so far, there are no major faults or deficiencies, the team and playing-style is getting better and we are still unbeaten. If our manager can iron out the creases, who knows, I may have something else to tell you. I, however, am optimistic of what I`ve seen so far and from what I`ve heard from the majority of fans, they share my optimism. Trust your feelings, they won`t be far wrong.
There may not be much more information to relay after our next league match, away at Nottingham Forest. But one thing is for sure, they will definitely be asking us a lot of questions? I just hope we have the answers for them, at least.
But I can`t help share Dougie`s view on things, from what I`ve seen so far? There`s definitely more to come.