Yes, it was quite frustrating at times, the team's lack of movement and atrocious finishing being two big catalysts for that. But, don't shoot me, I thought we were... alright. We dominated the game for large portions, they had one or two real chances all game, with the rest of their efforts being pot shots from the edge of the box. We created a lot of chances, and actually played some nice stuff at times.
Some players were pretty bad, and the 352 formation really doesn't work at home, but I really don't think this game was as catastrophic as everybody is making out.
So with all that said, here's how I thought the players did on an initially gloriously sunny, but soon freezing, evening at the Macron Stadium:
Adam Bogdan - 7
Although I do think Bogdan could have done a little better on Charlton's goal, yes it was hit hard from only a few yards out and his vision may have been obscured but he was still beaten at his near post, he still had another very assured display in goal. He had very little to deal with all game, as Charlton rarely swung crosses into the area and most of their attempts on goal were pot shots from the edge of the box, which he dealt with comfortably. He was called into action on one occasion, however, when goalscorer Federic Bulot found himself in acres of space on the right hand side, but Bogdan batted the powerful effort away.
Dorian Dervite - 3
The French defender's evaporation of form has been sad to witness over the last few months, but it was epitomised against his former club. What's most frustrating to see is just how easily it has become for players to get past Dervite, all his opponent against Charlton needed to do was knock it past him and Dervite had no reply. He was also awful positionally and made my head nearly boil over with his atrocious passing. The team were clearly trying to build up play with patient passing, even if it meant a series of passes across the backline, which is definitely something I can get behind. But when the ball landed at Dervite's feet he seemed to panic, and would hit the agonisingly aimless long ball forward, and it always went out for a goal kick.
Matt Mills - 4
Our divisive captain did not earn himself many new fans on Tuesday night, in fact, he may have actually lost a lot of people who are actually defenders of his. His performance was what we've come to expect of him in recent months, decent one moment but then clumsy the next. He'd make a good tackle, but then let the ball slip past him. He'd get up well to win a header, but then get too tight to an attacker and leaves lots of exposed space. But his performance isn't what will be remembered, it was the way he treated youngster Tom Walker. In the opening 45 minutes, after a trade marked twatting of the ball upfield in the general vicinity of Walker which inevitably went out of play, Mills absolutely bollocked Walker for his tenacity of not being able to channel his inner Stretch Arm Strong and control the ball that sailed hopeless wide of him. It happened twice. Thankfully, the East stand leapt to Walker's defence and berated Mills for his actions, as Chris has detailed in his five things piece. I, unlike others, do like Mills and would like o see him stay. But acting like this, especially when captain, especially to our young, inexperienced players is just not on.
Tim Ream - 6.5
Away from a position where he'd lose out on a header at the most crucial part of the game, Ream seemed a lot more comfortable. He perhaps could have gotten across to try and cut out the cross which led to the goal, however, Danns was already closer and Ream was already preoccupied with marking an attacker, and he was easily outmuscled in the build up to Charlton's other best chance in the game. But those two moments aside, it was another typical display. He read the game intelligently, cutting off some dangerous Charlton attacks and since he was back on the left side of defence he was able to get on the ball a lot more, which he was as good as ever on.
Josh Vela - 5
It wasn't Josh Vela's best game in a white shirt, which is understandable as he was playing in a position he isn't very good in. He did defend well in parts, but he seemed very behind the pace the entire game, I'd expect due to tiredness. When we were on a counter attack he wasn't an option on the right, and at times when Charlton were attacking down the righthand side, he was up at the other end of the pitch leaving near on miles of space for Charlton to exploit over on the left. One particular example left Buyot, with a goal already to his name, eons of time to strike on goal, thankfully Bogdan was a match for it.
Neil Danns - 7
He still isn't the same player he was pre the Liverpool red card, don't get me wrong. but that was Danns best display in the Bolton side for quite a while. He kept things ticking over nicely by keeping the ball moving in the middle, rarely taking too much time on it, and he managed to play some nice slip balls into Feeney on the left several times too. He broke up play a lot, breaking down a lot of potentially threatening Charlton attacks without having to recklessly dive in and best of all he didn't fuck up and lose the ball on the half way line. As I said, it's still not the dynamic, energetic midfielder we had earlier in the season, but it's certainly better than the one we've seen recently.
Barry Bannan - 7.5
I personally thought Bannan had a bit of a quiet half and was a little sloppy with his passing at times too, but he improved massively in the second half and was by far our best player who started the game. He looked like the only player who would make anything happen for large sections and once Mark Davies was introduced he really came alive. It's a shame that the pair only have a further three games to play together, but man, we could see some magic from them both in the remaining games if they really gel and improve on what we saw on Tuesday. They're both very similar players, but seemingly bounce off each other so well, and they're both intelligent enough so that when one makes a clever run, he can be found by the other. Bannan set up the equaliser partly with his through ball to ALF, but mostly through his sheer determination. I really, really, really hope we sign him.
Tom Walker - 5
I'm a big fan of Tom Walker, and believe he can go on to be a big player for the club, but he needs a rest. He's come in and played a lot of games in an unfamiliar position recently, and I think we're now seeing the level of his performances decline as a result. He has the potential to make things happen and has the ability to beat a player with ease, but his game management and knowledge on what to do and when to do it is lacking. When he first came in he looked a little tentative on the ball and looked to pass it off quickly, now he seems almost too confident and looks to run at players at every opportunity. I'd obviously much rather see the latter than the former, and I'm really happy that we have a player who is willing to run at defenders, but he needs to realise when's best to take on an opponent, and when's best to pass the ball on. A balance needs to be found.
His decisions making could be improved too, in the first half when he was played through by Feeney, he had three options: go all the way him self, play in Le Fondre, or play in Feeney. He hesitated, chose the wrong option and executed it poorly. I also feel he needs to bulk up a bit too, in recent weeks, Charlton included, he's been weak in the challenge and easily beaten in almost every contest for the ball. He's a young player and these criticisms arne't meant in a way to deter him, just point out where he still needs to improve.
There's a bright future for Walker, but there's a long way to go just yet.
Rochinha - 6
The Portuguese youngster got another opportunity in the starting line up and faired a lot better than he did in his last outing. He made a couple of nice through balls, flicks and turns in the first half, and I really like his trick of looking like he's about to control the ball but then shifting his weight to allow it to roll past him and send defenders flying. However, I don't feel like he's adapted to the Championship well enough to have a real impact on games yet, I'd love to see him return for a year on loan next season to see what he can really do.
Adam Le Fondre - 6.5
The on loan striker wasn't at his best against Charlton, his all round play wasn't as sharp or as involved as it has been and on one occasion when he was half played in by Rochinha, he seemed to hesitate and take an extra touch instead of smashing the ball goalwards. All that matters little, however, as he popped up with yet another well taken goal. He's starting to hit his goal scoring stride now, a shame that it's come so late, but with the form he's in in that regard I wouldn't be surprised if reached double figures in the remaining three games.
Liam Feeney - 5.5
*Runs a safe distance away*
I don't care what you say, Liam Feeney did have quite a good first half against Charlton. Playing upfront along side Le Fondre, he looked a lot more useful and dangerous than he does out on the wings. The point Liam made on the latest #LOVpod, about Feeney being very good at keeping hold of the ball and passing it on, was extremely prevalent in the first 45, as he was able to hold up the ball and bring others into play. His back heel game was on point too, as he brought out three flicks that moved on our attacks. The one on the halfway line that played Walker though being my favourite. That said, he fell away massively in the second half and was near on nonexistent. Then when he was moved out wide he was back to his old tricks of being really ineffective with the ball.
Emile Heskey - 8
The former England striker made a massive difference upon his introduction to the game. He was involved in the build up of the goal and won absolutely everything in the air that came his way. It actually saddens me that he became some what of a laughing stock with football fans, as he is genuinely a fantastic player, but you don't really realise that until he's playing for your club. I really hope we see him stay next season.
Mark Davies - 8
At long, long last, Mark Davies has finally made his return from injury. Wrap the man in bubble wrap stuffed with cotton wool all encased in a zorb ball. In his brief twenty minute cameo he showcased exactly what we've been missing all these months, and looked as if he'd never been away. He immediately went deep in search of the ball and was then able to carry it forward in that majestic way he does. Linking beautifully well with Bannan, he crafted once chance for Feeney which really should have won the game. He's by far and away the most creative player at the club, and if we're to achieve anything next season we'll need him at his fittest.
Saidy Janko - N/A
Somewhat annoyingly only substituted on in stoppage time.