Date: 30th August 2008 at 9:41pm
Written by:

There were two rounds of booing at half-time. The first was for Bolton, who had given a performance that would have been an embarrassment to a pub team. The other was for Keith Stroud, who has scaled the heights to become a Premier League referee without realising that football is a contact sport.

At half-time, the TV highlights on the concourses told their own story. There were no passages from open play, just four free kicks and two corners. For the second home game in succession Bolton were embarrassed by the superior passing and movement of their opponents, who with better finishing would have won at a canter. For any passing Baggies, the previous team were Northampton Town of League One. Don`t get ahead of yourselves.

Bolton`s second half performance, was better than the first but not by much and the visitors still had the better chances with Ishmael Miller firing over the bar and Do-heon Kim hitting it before Jaaskelainen recovered to block Millers follow up.

At the other end, Scott Carson, having one his better days, did well to parry Mustapha Riga`s free kick. and Kevin Davies had two efforts disallowed, both for offside, close to the end.

‘From our own point of view I think we played a little bit one-dimensional in the first half,` said Gary Megson in his post match interview. What he expected, starting with three defensive midfielders and Kevin Nolan wasn`t recorded.

The more charitable Bolton fans have deferred judgment on Megson, but this sterile, route-one rubbish will tax the patience of anyone. While the referee was whistle happy, Bolton`s habit of going in late and from behind is going to draw fouls whoever is officiating, and against a team with more of a cutting edge it will be expensive. The lack of attacking ideas is inexcusable, as is the ease with which they were closed down in midfield, whilst allowing their opponents comparative freedom in this area.

It was West Brom`s first point of the season and there could have been no complaints if they had taken all three. The season may be in its infancy, but for Mr Megson, the clock is already ticking.

Player Ratings

Jussi Jaaskelainen 7
Saved well from James Morrison in the first half and Ismael Miller in the second.

Gretar Steinsson 5
Was too often caught out by West Brom`s neat passing and did nothing going forward.

Jlloyd Samuel 7
Still a liability going forward, but defensively, it was his best game in a Bolton shirt. We may have to cancel the contract that`s been taken out on him.

Danny Shittu 5
Desperate Danny improved on his disastrous debut, but two horrendous errors late on could have been costly. Still, there`s only Arsenal to come. Oi you at the back, stop crying.

Andy O`Brien 7
Composed and reliable.

Kevin Nolan 4
Slow, immobile, routed to the spot at times and has a neurological disorder that prevents him from timing a run correctly. Booked for gobbing off to the referee. In other words, a typical Nolan performance.

Gavin McCann 3
Nicknamed ‘The Badger` by fans. A real badger would have done better.

Joey O`Brien N/A
Injured early when he needed to atone for a terrible performance against Northampton.

Fabrice Muamba 4
Part of the midfield that got Birmingham relegated. It showed. Someone needs to tell him that tackling from behind was outlawed some years ago.

Ricardo Gardner 8
The only attacking Bolton player who didn`t receive the ball and feel the obligation to hoof it up the park immediately.

Kevin Davies 6
Had a hard working, but ineffective afternoon playing against the referee

Riga Mustapha 6
Delivered three set pieces of real quality but wasn`t involved enough in open play.


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