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What Do Bolton Wanderers Need To Improve?

Jamie tries to work out what part of the pitch Bolton need to improve the most the strike force or the defence using some rather questionable analysing techniques.

Bolton could do with someone as good in front of goal as Le Fondre, but is that what we need most?
Bolton could do with someone as good in front of goal as Le Fondre, but is that what we need most?
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

So you may have noticed that we have struggled to score this season. At the same time the defence has at times not done too badly. Five clean sheets have been kept this season and five 0-0 draws have been had. But then you have games such as the 4-3 loss away at Queens Park Rangers where we could suddenly score but not defend.

So it got me thinking what would happen if we had scored our goals at more beneficial points in time? And while we are at it lets also find out what would happen if our strike force and defence generally were a little bit better. You probably don’t care about any of that; you’re probably just bored at worked so clicked on this article, but let’s go on a journey to some parallel universes shall we?

So like I say above we have drawn 0-0 five times so far this season. These came against Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday, Preston North End and Bristol City. If we take the goals we scored against QPR and Huddersfield Town along with one of the goals from the Cardiff City game we can turn each of those into 1-0 wins for Bolton. Yeah it would mean a couple more real thrashings this season but who cares!

If we then apply the other goal from the Cardiff game to one of our many score draws, maybe the one against Nottingham Forest because Dougie Freedman we have another win 2-1 this time. If we then take our goal against Reading and applied that to the game against Leeds United, as they are closest to us in the league, we would have another 2-1.

If that were the case we would have seven more wins making eight for the season. That would be another 14 points this season putting us on 27 points and in 14th place behind Reading. Not only that but it would leave us on our current points total when we enter administration, isn’t that fun!

Yeah we are not doing amazingly in this parallel universe of mine, but it certainly looks a lot better than it does at the moment does it not?

So what if we scored one more goal in each match we played this season? To save me running through each result in turn we would be 25 points better off, I think. That would put us in 4th place in the league ahead of Hull thanks to drawing with them leaving them two points worse off and just two points behind Derby who would be one point worse off having lost at the Macron on the opening day.

That is the most telling of the three little alterations I think. Yeah one extra goal in each game is unrealistic even if we had a goal scorer. But it does show just how many more points could have been picked up this season if we just had someone with a real eye for goal.

So what would happen if we had a meaner defence I hear people asking, I don’t but let’s find out!

For this let’s see what would happen if we conceded one less goal in every game we played this season. The effect of that would be a 0-0 draw against Milton Keynes Dons, a 1-0 win against Forest, a 2-1 win against Brighton and Hove Albion, a 3-3 draw against QPR a 0-0 draw against Birmingham City, a 1-0 win against Leeds, a 1-1 draw away at Reading, a 1-0 win against Brentford a 2-2 draw against Cardiff a 0-0 against Hull City and a 2-1 win over Charlton. You see why I didn’t bother going through all the games for the extra goal now right?

The result of that would be that Bolton would be 15 points better off and in the top half of the table in a cosy 12th place just behind Blackburn with QPR dropping behind us as they would have two less points.

What does this prove? The answer to that is nothing. We are rubbish. We are conceding too often, scoring too little and not scoring at the best times to maximise points. It doesn’t even conclusively tell us whether we need a better strike force or defence.

But then again it is a lousy attempt at analysis so who expected anything else?