clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Fulham: Five Things

New, comment

Tom Molloy emerges from the shadows to offer his thoughts on yet another draw.

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers continued their remarkable winless streak at home to Fulham in a game that we really should have won. What, if anything, can we take away from the performance?

1) Have we finally found a right back?

Right-back was somewhat of a problem last season. We brought Josh Vela in there and he performed admirably in a position that was completely alien to him, however everyone thought he'd be better suited to being a centre midfielder.

Pre-season came along and a natural right-back became Neil Lennon's priority. So much so, that he signed two specialists in Lawrie Wilson and Francesco Pisano.

Wilson started the season in a solid but unspectacular fashion and didn't really do much wrong up until Huddersfield Town battered us 4-1 in a game which everybody was awful in.

He was duly dropped and fellow signing Pisano started the next two games, his lack of physical presence seemingly an issue. Since then, Derik, Prince and Vela (again) have all tried their hand at playing right-back with varying degrees of success. No doubt Hayden White and Oscar Threlkeld would have also been given a go there had they not been loaned out.

However, against Hull City, Rob Holding made a surprise return to the first team, after not featuring since the second league game of the season, when he was part of the disastrous defence which shipped three first half goals against Middlesbrough.

To be fair to Holding, he was playing out of position that day on the left of a back three, when in fact he is a natural right sided centre back or even right-back.

Against Fulham, he looked excellent. He was calm, assured, his positioning was sound and he even had quite a surprising turn of pace which helped him get out of sticky situations.

I feel like if we're gonna start winning games, we need a settled team/back four and I genuinely believe Holding should be a part of that.

2) The footballer formerly known as Prince

I'm sorry, I just can't see it anymore.

When we first saw Prince, he was exceptional. He was quick, not afraid to get stuck in and made some excellent slide tackles.

However, I always thought he had a mistake in him, and recently he's proved he has not just one but an abundance of them.

The opening goal against Fulham was shockingly poor and I'd be surprised to see him start the next game.

The only problem is, who do you replace him with?

It's been a while since we've seen Derik at centre-back so I can't suggest he's any better and Dorian Dervite definitely isn't. Maybe giving Holding a go there and bringing back one of the forgotten men to play at right-back could be an option but it doesn't seem to be happening for Prince at the minute.

In fairness, he is only young and has had a difficult couple of months so I'll not write him off completely.

3) Who needs Adam Le Fondre?

Zach Clough is back.

After a difficult start to the season for the 'Denton Destroyer', he seems to be back with aplomb.

Earlier in the season he seemed to be playing too deep, as more of an attacking midfielder, whereas I think he's at his best just off the main striker, like last season when his and Le Fondre's partnership was a thing of beauty.

He proved his quality at the weekend with a brilliantly taken first goal, which looked simple but nobody else on our team could have scored.

The second goal was easier but he was in the right place at the right time and made that gamble to get across his man and bundle the ball home.

The lad's a natural goalscorer and if we have any chance of staying up this season, we need him to stay.

4) Our bench is pathetic

Our bench is quite depressing to look at.

When you're counting on the likes of Stephen Dobbie, Filip Twardzik and Emile Heskey to come on and change a game, you know you're in trouble.

When we brought Spearing off, I wasn't surprised. He's Lennon's fall guy and we all know Neil Danns must have a clause in his contract saying that he must make an appearance every single game. It's fine.

The Clough one baffled me, yes he's just back from an injury but he was on a hat-trick brimming with confidence. Madine was blowing out of his arse.

It was sod's law that Heskey came on and gave the free-kick away which led to Fulham's equaliser.

Wouldn't it be nice if we actually had some potential game-changers on the bench?

Kaiyne Woolery and Jamie Thomas must be ripping their hair out seeing Heskey and Dobbie make the squad above them every week.

Woolery especially offers you pace and a directness that can worry tired defences. I'm not saying either should be starting but off the bench they have to be worth ago.

Talking about youngsters, Tom Walker remained on the bench for the entire game. Surely if you are going to go for Madine and Heskey up front, you want to bring on somebody who can actually whip a ball in? Just saying.

5) Ben Amos

He's a fairly decent Championship goalkeeper. Nothing more, nothing less.

What I've noticed about Amos a lot recently is that he gets beaten low down from range quite a lot.

His distribution is also somewhat lacking.

What about his save from Kacaniklic? I hear you cry.

Yes, it was decent enough but to be fair, if Madine, Dobbie, Heskey, Ameobi (delete where appropriate) missed that chance, we'd be calling it an appalling miss rather than a superb piece of goalkeeping.

For the level we're at, he's okay and he's far from our biggest problem but I don't see the hype.

Feel free to aggressively disagree in the comments.