Owen Coyle brought his Bolton Wanderers up to Yorkshire today and he needed a result against a Hull City side still getting accustomed to new manager Steve Bruce. Earlier this week the internet nearly exploded when Bolton lost to Crawley Town 2-1 in the Capitol One Cup. Most Bolton supporters directly atributed the loss to Coyle's in-game decision making. Coyle's late switch from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 formation coincided with 2 late goals from the home side. Many people were very anxious to see the team sheet today.
And they would have been happy for the most part. New signing Jay Spearing made his debut in the middle of a 4-5-1 formation. Hull City had the upper hand in the first few minutes, but Kevin Davies managed to botch an easy header in front of goal. Eventually Chris Eagles put Bolton ahead with a deflected free kick from about 35 yards.
Hull equalized at the 29 -minute-mark through Sone Aluko. Lion of Vienna Suite readers were made aware of the threat Aluko posed, but apparently Bolton Wanderers defenders were not.
Bolton did manage to keep things level until halftime, but within four minutes of the restart Hull had taken a 3-1 lead thanks to relatively easy goals from Abdoulaye Faye and Stephen Quinn.
Somebody woke Owen Coyle up at this point and he switched over to a 4-4-2 (I'm sure he was thrilled) and brought Benik Afobe on for Keith Andrews.
Bolton managed to create a few chances in the second half, but Hull still carried the biggest threat. They had two goals disallowed and hit the post a few times. Truth is, the Trotters are lucky this wasn't a hammering, there could have been five or six goals for the home side.
The good news? The nine goals Bolton Wanderers have conceded in the first five matches is actually an improvement on last season. Benik Afobe and Marvin Sordell look a threat. The wing play has been good.
The bad news? Basically, everything else. Bolton cannot defend at all. We've changed personnel. We've tried several different formations. The defending is still diabolical. There will be some after this match screaming for Owen Coyle to be sacked. They have been screaming that for a while. I don't think it is a good solution to our troubles. I do think Coyle needs to bring in a defensive coach to get things right on that side of the ball. We have been waiting for Coyle to figure it out for two years now, he obviously doesn't have it in him. And if he refuses to do so, then Phil Gartside needs to step in and do it for him. It doesn't matter how well Bolton play in attack, and to be fair, they weren't bad today, if the defense is allowing two or three goals per match.