1-0 Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
Best two minutes of my day, quite possibly my month. Is that what it feels like to be winning? I can't remember anymore. Such a fleeting feeling for us nowadays and it's safe to say that after Baptiste reminded all of us how exhilarating and wonderful it is to be winning, conceding two goals so quickly was....well, a let down.
Did you expect any differently? Silly you.
Apparently, it's not Zat Knight that's our issue. I don't know if we should start repenting and apologizing to Zat or just lay down and cry because this issue goes deeper than we all thought it would. Or we could keep making excuses and pretend that this isn't happening. Maybe it's the 4-2-3-1, yeah? Who even remembers that Jermaine Beckford is on the field? Like, we have a striker? I usually make it about 20 minutes into the game before I start to feel my optimism for the day deflate, but today, it went a lot quicker. Maybe it was the fact that our lineup was so different; I didn't necessarily expect a win, but I was hoping for a stronger defense and less conceding. Maybe even a goal or two. You know it's sad when your main priority is to score a goal, but apparently that's the card we've been dealt.
And then, as Bolton usually do in times of dire need and depression, there's a light. Beautiful footwork by Tim Ream (who I literally can't stop praising) and Chris Eagles finds the spot for a 2-2 finish. The excitement starts building up again and all I can think is "We're going to finally win this one!" which has been my mantra for a long, long time this season. It seems we can analyze and plan as much as we want, but no one can find the solution for this team. Maybe it's just a funk and one win will solve it all. Wishful thinking? Maybe not.
We've got great players, in my opinion. The issue is that we have these really solid players who can make solid opportunities happen, but can never finish on them. Our defense is poor, as always, but it's not Knight ruining it. Statistically we can't be this bad because of a lack of one player or another. Are we just unlucky? Does luck even exist? Who knew football could be this stressful and heartbreaking.
The second half was painful, to say the least; so many opportunities that keep slipping away. Maybe it's sad that I'm pleased we scored 2, only conceded 2. A draw?! Unheard of nowadays. This club is missing discipline and determination and emotion and we need it back. If we're going to lose or play horribly or continue with this, at least do it with some sort of pride that we're Bolton Wanderers. All this talk of fans not going tonight, of getting tired, it's not the Bolton that we know and love.
And for the love of all things good in this world, someone please let our strikers score.