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Five Things: Bolton Wanderers v Leicester City

Wanderers welcomed the Champions last night - so what can we take from the game?

Michael Regan

Well that was shit. Very shit.

Let's get this over with:

1) The Starting Line-Up

What the hell was that?

The bizarre formation, the constant presence of underperforming players, the selection of one striker alone up top and picking three central defenders to face one Leicester City forward.


We keep being told that 'Dougie knows' - well I'm convinced. I'm convinced that he fuckin' knows that his job is safe no matter what, and so now he just doesn't give a toss.

He's experimenting and showing us 'non-football' people that he's so clever. Clever as a fox.

Well I'd like to contend that you're NOT clever Dougie, in fact you're the opposite. You're an idiot.

Leicester showed the way forward with their solidity, organisation and SETTLED team. Not the best team we've faced, but a successful one. They looked thoroughly comfortable throughout and deserved the win. It's amazing what you can achieve through being organised and solid at the back, isn't it Dougie?

It was only through the sterling efforts of Adam Bogdan that we didn't lose by a higher margin.

I was embarrassed by our set-up tonight. We didn't even contest the game. I don't mind losing - I'm highly used to it - but I hate it when we go down with a whimper.

According to the BBC, Leicester had 62% possession in the game, to our 38%. The wastefulness of the midfield and their pathetic 'passing' range gave our attacking men almost zero chance to capitalise on what few chances they had - chances which both Beckford and Lukas Jutkiewicz missed.

Injuries can't be helped - but still, the choices made by our glorious leader often leads of severe bouts of head-scratching amongst fans.

2) The Bizarre Behaviour of Matthew Claude Mills

I quite like Matt Mills. I think he's been one of our better players this year

However, tonight he was a right shit. In the process of giving one of the poorer performances of his Bolton Wanderers career, he gave one of the more bizarre displays of teamwork that I've seen.

Dougie Freedman chose to give young winger Chris Lester his debut and immediately sent him over to the right wing to replace the disappointing Chung Yong Lee.

Mills, playing out of position at right back, must have had at least half a dozen opportunities to pass the ball to the debutant Lester, but each time instead chose to whack the ball hopelessly towards the centre of the pitch, avoiding playing in the winger each time to the obvious displeasure of the home crowd.

Once or twice I could forgive. However, after the third or fourth effort it became increasingly obvious that Mills was deliberately not passing to Lester.


Lester is one of the best prospects in our academy and we should be happy that he's shown enough to be promoted to the first team. So why would Mills behave in this way?

Andy Kellett was similarly given his debut on the opposite wing in the second half, but Tim Ream appeared quite happy to involve the lad in the play - with promising results. This made Mills' choices all the more unfathomable.

I hope that I'm reading more into it than there is, but it certainly caught my eye and judging by the response on twitter it seems that a few people noticed it too.

3) Giving Youth a Chance

At long last, Dougie Freedman - supposed champion of the young footballer - chose to give opportunities to three of the more promising footballers in our academy.

Hayden White was rewarded for his progress with a start at right wing-back in a weird five man back-line, whilst Andy Kellett and Chris Lester each received 20min cameos on either wing replacing the dreadful Rob Hall and the equally poor Chung Yong Lee.

I'm delighted that we're finally starting to give these promising kids a game - even if it is in a game of no consequence and at a time of our season where their impact is negated.

I fully expect that in our final two league games of this utterly dreadful season that we'll see the likes of Lester, White, Kellett and Iliev (an unused sub tonight) being given a run-out in the first team.

I would also like to see Wilkinson and Clough being given a go as well.

Then we can write off this 'experiment' as a failure and bring in some more loan players, or something.

It was however nice to see Chung Yong Lee absolutely fuckin' shaft Hayden White by offering the lad zero protection from the three onrushing Leicester attackers. Good one pal.

4) East Stand Lower Angry Kid

If you sit anywhere near me - towards the halfway line - you're probably aware of the 'East Stand Lower Angry Kid'.

Picture it. He's about 16 and acne-ridden. Fairly typical.

However, what sets ESLAK (for brevity) is his unwavering dedication to swearing and pure rage.

Tonight we were treated to a full-on 15 second long rant at the unfortunate linesman for daring to get a throw-in decision wrong. ESLAK unleashed a fairly impressive list of swear-words that even I with my fondness for swearing found to be both highly original and impressive.

The best one was 'oi linesman, you jizz-mop-head'.

ESLAK finds comfort in going against the grain. We have some negative fans in our section who make their displeasure known - ESLAK however does a little half-turn towards these negative fans and then proceeds to, using more swearing, proceeds to make the exact counter-point towards the pitch.

For example - tonight after yet another missed Beckford chance, some fans took it upon themselves to direct some constructive criticism towards the Bolton Wanderers striker. ESLAK then stood up and gave the former Leicester man a sterling round of applause along with a hearty 'you fuckin' keep it up Jermaine'.


If you happen upon ESLAK say hello to him from me - but don't get him angry.

You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

5) Where Do We GoFrom Here?

Will this season never end?

To his apologists, no doubt a 1-0 home defeat to the Champions will be seen as progress.

I read an excellent stat earlier - tonight was the 31st time that Bolton Wanderers have failed to win a game this season. I can't be arsed checking but that feels about right. It's pathetic.

I would love to sack Dougie Freedman. I would love it. I would love to bring in some actual experience of this division in our manager. Someone who can organise a team. As mentioned above - both promoted sides, Burnley and Leicester, have shown that with defensive solidity and a settled side then you can work wonders on a limited budget and with limited players.

I congratulate them on their achievement, and marvel at the fucking chaos that Freedman has overseen. I was informed earlier that this game represented the 31st time that Bolton Wanderers have failed to win a game this season, and that is a frightening stat.

What is more frightening to me is that we're sticking with the manager who has overseen this season of absolute farce.

We just don't compete.

We are a side without ambition, without a plan and without a leader.

Where do we go from here? More of the same, I fully expect.