Date: 20th September 2013 at 7:54pm
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A poll set after two games asked: which league fixture would produce the Whites` first win of the season? Five games on from that poll, the Wanderers are still searching for their first 3-points of the campaign, triggering a second poll. Optimism dwindling, there are now 6 options available for you to register your vote.

Unsurprisingly, 60% of you are considering the home fixture against Yeovil to garner our points total with 3. What is surprising, however, is 30% of you are suggesting our first league win of the season will come tomorrow, away to Brighton and Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium.

Is there something you know that I don`t?

Whether it`s a gut feeling you have or blind optimism driving your every waking thought, I hope you`re right. Boy, do I hope you`re right.

Although the Seagulls haven`t set the league alight of yet, they are definitely showing signs of finding their feet under new manager, Oscar Garcia. The last three league games away from home, they haven`t conceded a goal, taking 5 points from Birmingham, Reading and QPR. Like Derby though, they are a different proposition at home. A defeat at the feet of Newport and Derby, followed by a point against Millwall, suggests to me?

30% of you could be spot on.

Vital Quotes:

‘It’s very unfortunate for the group of players that we have – their performance levels have been very good,’

The fans have seen that and they got right behind them the other night because they saw the determination, but they didn’t get what they deserved from that game.

The guys in the backroom who do all the statistics tell me that we had more possession and more shots, but you have to score more goals than the opposition.

Frustrated? Yes we are, but certainly a lot of positives came out of it. It was a good display and I think if we can keep on having performances like that, then it’s only going to be a matter of time before we start picking up a few wins.

There is no way that we’ll be lying down and taking these defeats and draws – we’ll keep on fighting.’

Dougie talking to the official website.

Brighton & Hove Albion Team News:

Thankfully, Leonardo Ulloa is suspended after a recent red card. Ashley Barnes is expected to start in attack and Wanderers fans will remember Barnes from the last meeting, when he was sent off for kicking out at the referee in a defeat at the Reebok.

Do it again, Ashley, I dare you… I double-dare you.

Craig Mackail-Smith, Will Hoskins and Andrea Orlandi are all injured, but Bruno, who scored in this fixture last season, could start.

Player to watch: Ashley Barnes

Leonardo Ulloa aside, Brighton’s danger-men wear thin. Ulloa has accounted for 4 of the Seagulls 6 goals, so Ashley Barnes will be looking to stake a claim in Ulloa’s absence.

Bolton Wanderers Team News:

I know it seems negligible but our only long-term absentees are Stuart Holden, Mark Davies and Joe Riley- who are all out with knee ligament injuries.

Andre Moritz is out for a matter of weeks with a torn groin. Tom Eaves will also be away with his loan spell at Rotherham United starting.

Oh, Craig Davies- gone but not forgotten, just- may be back in contention for a place on the bench. But with Beckford being Beckford, Davies may find himself thrown straight in the deep-end.

Player to watch: Chris Eagles

I hate this section.

I’m saying Eagles because, who knows what he’s going to do? Is he going to shoot at every opportunity and score a hat-trick? Extremely unlikely, the hat-trick, I mean.

Or will he start slipping some Iniesta-esque through-balls to Beckford to grab a brace? Again, highly unlikely, both things, I mean.

So, let’s just watch and see if he starts, shall we?

Match Facts & Stats

Brighton and Bolton have only played 10 league matches against each other.

The Trotters’ only away league victory against the Seagulls was 2-1 in October 1977, in a season in which they finished league champions.

There has never been a goalless draw between the two clubs.

Ref Watch:

Michael Jones

Match Prediction:

Head or heart, which do I disclose?

I’m going 1-1 like last year.

I’ll let you decide which part of the body that prediction came from…

Next Fixtures:

It’s the game in which 60% of you believe the Wanderers will get their first win of the season.

It’s the home-banker, Yeovil at the Reebok.

Home-banker my…


11 Replies to “Shooting At Seagulls”

  • I woke up this morning with an irrational feeling of optimism about today. I went to this one last season and we were battered out of sight only to come away with the most improbable of draws. And even more weirdly David Ngog scored. Maybe it’s my recollection of that good fortune which brings these thoughts, or maybe just that on the law of averages a win must surely come soon, if only by accident. So although my first win vote went on the Yeovil game, I’m changing my mind this morning and saying it’s going to be today – despite wisdom suggesting otherwise.

  • I am naturally a sarcastic person, so I’ll just repeat what Dougie said after we got the run around by Brighton at the Reebok last year. “We dominated the game, without the ball!” Indeed! But we did win. Do you think we’ll follow that policy again? I do!

  • the earlier optimism expressed above surprised me, reality hits us over the head week after week and yet its ignored, years ago your teacher did the same thing to check if you were listening to what he was saying. We are in meltdown, the team is not simply poor they are shocking and responsibility sits with the manager, the chairman and the owner. Would E Davies or Gartside allow any of their companies to continually lose money every week, fail to achieve targets, send them bankrupt, not likely, so why is the club different ? Do they have a clue how to operate the club ? Don’t be fooled that better times are around the corner, do fairies live at the bottom of the garden ?, it is only good when it actually happens, otherwise forget it. I am not interested in anything the manager says, he is not paid to talk he is paid to get results, improve the team, on both counts he has failed miserably and that is all that should be said. When everyone jumped around last year praising DF for getting us close to the play offs I was utterly *****ed off with the fact a good manager would have done a damn sight better, as polarised in the very last match against Blackpool – which said everything that needed to be said about DF. As underscored by everything witnessed already this season, cut adrift bottom of the league.

  • I think that DF is getting various things wrong with the team, only playing one up front, making Knight captain, for example. But if we sack him he has to be paid off, and the same underachieving players will remain. The players are the biggest problem in my view, the spine of the team is weak, centre of defence is awful, centre midfield not creative enough and lack of composure, and up front the strikers can’t even get shots on target. This undoubtedly started with Owen Coyle whose transfer dealings were dreadful, what was the point of signing Eaves and Sordell for example? We need 4 or 5 new players but January seems a long way off at the moment.

  • My optimism this morning was based on hope rather than expectation and clearly the reality is that we are deep in trouble and neither the manager or the players seem to have any leadership to pull us out of this. Will be interesting to see what pans out over the next few days. Anything but a win against Yeovil and I can’t see DF surviving. BWFC needs to survive though.

  • Possession% 59/41
    17 14
    On target
    2 5
    10 7
    8 12

    I could not face a trip to Brighton to watch this group of extremely poor players. I listened to the entire game on Tower FM and words fail me.

  • Brighton away was never gonna gonna be our first win. It’s difficult to remain optimistic at the moment and I had already conceded a loss before a ball was even kicked in Brighton. We must win against Yeovil at home next Saturday. Am not saying we will, but I think if we don’t we are finished and Freedman will walk. My optimism has completely disappeared, I am predicting relegation to league one and jimmy Philips taking over as manager. Mass exodus of staff and players. Good riddance to many!. I agree with Mike. An era of lower league football is coming. There is a deep rot at our club and not enough money to make it right. I don’t know what the financial implications are for the club should be slide down the leagues, I do know without tv revenue and fans bums on seats we are in big trouble. Maybe we need to hit rock bottom (wherever that ends up being) to cleanse us of the rot. Gartside needs to leave and a fresh and capable man needs to come in with a new vision for a new era.

  • Come on fellas, heads up! We’ve shown in patches that we can play great football so far. This has to be harnessed for the 90 minutes. We don’t need wholesale changes, a new centre-half and effective striker will make a big difference. That is a must, the minimum we should at least expect. Mind you, we have find them and afford them first. I know we’ve heard it all before, but DF seems very confident in his job security. Is it just bravado, or does he know something we don’t! The board will want a man who will bring the kids on, and that’s what Dougie has promised. I’d like to know just how much input Lenny Lawrence has and what form it takes exactly. Anyway, fear not, the tide will turn and some of us may be eating humble pie with our turkey dinner!

  • Well I hope so Barney, but just how long is this going to take? The implication is a very extended period. Dougie said post match that he knew exactly what we need and that was a couple of loan players and time for the team to gel. Well wasn’t that what pre season was for – getting the players he wanted and getting them to gel. It hasn’t taken QPR or Forest or Blackpool long to gel has it? I accept the Dougie project is a long game but we are very definitely going in the wrong direction at the moment, and the manner and margin of our defeats at Forest, Blackburn and Brighton together with the general lack of drive in performances this season suggests the need for some very strong glue never mind gel. The team doesn’t look at ease with itself and they often look as though they haven’t played together. It’s as if all the momentum of last season never happened. Perhaps they need a hypnotist to remind them what they can do. Whatever the problems are this needs sorting out quickly.

  • I have said it many times, PG as an accountant by profession, has continually failed to provide the club with the talent needed in both players and team managers to take the club forward or maintain the standard required to protect and secure our future. Inside the 14 + years he has been chairman in excess of £650 million has been squandered with nothing to show for it beyond what we now witness, a first team of questionable talent unable to put a single good performance together and a manager devoid or bereft of the ability to do just that. As for the decisions taken on the players the club has engaged and those they released, its clear the judgements applied have failed spectacularly. Less than 2 years ago we gambled over £10 million on N’Gog and Sordell ( fees & wages) neither has made any meaningful contribution throughout this period, a shocking reflection of the incompetence of those in control at the club. We now operate under austerity measures introduced by PG that make Greece appear affluent, measures that by their very nature can never attract the talented players the club needs. Policies that both OC and DF embraced are failing badly and were always destined to fail, cutting the wage bill, placing reliance on average youngsters from the academy, was never anything other than a mask to cover up the chairman’s incompetence. At best Gartside hoped to put the brakes on our slide and stop the financial bleeding, however, the reality is you can only ever achieve that by bringing in genuinely talented players and for that you have to spend money in order to get the right lads. I expect the talented managers interviewed when OC was sacked told Gartside exactly that, of course knowing the money was gone he wanted to enforce his own cost cutting agenda and refused to see it derailed, DF who due to his lack of experience was prepared to go along with it -” sure we can build a good team from nothing based on peanuts “, maybe he though if it fails so what, I am getting £1,500,000 for trying, regardless of the disruption and damage cost cutting might have on the players already at the club. We now see the futility of this wisdom, I for one object to seeing those in control deliver nothing but continual abject failure. Sure if we beat Yeovil as expected next weekend many will use it as the excuse they have been waiting for to claim things are now getting better, we have turned a corner, the truth suggests otherwise, they simply wish to keep the mirage alive rather than admit their own mistakes and failings. We have been conned and it will continue, sadly I don’t see any cure on the horizon.

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