Date: 24th February 2010 at 10:58pm
Written by:

It`s been clear for some time to those who know football, that Bolton`s shambolic collection of couldn`t care less duffers are a thoroughly rotten team. That tragedy turned to comedy against Spurs in the FA Cup at White Hart Lane as they imploded with only minimal prompting by the opposition.

The starting selection didn`t inspire confidence. Ivan Klasnic on his own up front, with no discernible means of support, and Matt Taylor who`s poor defensively on his natural left side, tasked with picking up Gareth Bale on the right. The young Welshman did well not to dissolve into fits of giggles.

That said, the visitors had early chances. Taylor had a shot on target that was clawed away by Heurelho Gomes, Klasnic shot wide from distance and Ricardo Gardner should have done much better with a close range header.

Hopes for the travelling fans were soon dashed however, thanks to Zat ‘You`re Just a Big Titus Bramble` Knight being confused by Roman Pavlyuchenko`s turn, and having an attack of vertigo. Left on his own the Russian slotted the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen with Knight watching from the floor.

Not to be outdone in the incompetence stakes, Jaaskelainen forgot that he was entitled to handle the ball in the penalty area and turned a Wilson Palacios cross into his own goal just after the half hour mark.

It`s been said lately that Owen Coyle`s side has difficulty scoring. This isn`t strictly true, they just can`t do it at the right end. Two minutes in the second half Andy O`Brien turned a Bale cross past his own goalkeeper as things threatened to get embarrassing. Fortunately Tottenham eased off. Either that or they were aching with laughter.

The scoring was complete three minutes before the end as Pavlyuchenko got his second of the evening. Being completely unmarked just outside the six yard area helped, as did Knight lying down again.

A defeat for Bolton was fully expected. The lack of commitment wasn`t. A game plan would have been good, but it`s been a while since one of those was seen.

Had Tottenham played inspirational football, this result would have been easier to deal with. The truth was that they didn`t need to get out of second gear

The evening was summed up by a botched substitution, as the hapless Matt Taylor was replaced by accident, when the intention was to bring off Ricardo Gardner. Maybe Taylor had had enough and decided to escape when the chance presented itself. The feeling will be familiar to Bolton`s weary fans.

Things were bad under Gary Megson. Under Coyle the show has descended into farce.


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