I've seemed to begin so many of these articles with that word over the course of the season. Maybe it's my dire lack of creativity in sentence openings, but I think it's got a whole lot more to do with how disappointing Bolton Wanderers have been this campaign.
Against promotion chasing Bournemouth, we had a chance to show to the public that we are a good team and can go toe-to-toe with the best in the division. We did that quite well in the opening twenty minutes, yes Adam Bogdan had to make four or five excellent saves, but we were holding our own and moving the ball around nicely.
Once Marc Pugh smashed the opening goal past the face of Bogdan we crumbled to pieces and embarrassed our selves with a shambolic performance. I don't have the vocabulary to describe just how bad our defending was and the complete lack of bollocks from the whole of the team was sad to see.
So with out further a do, here are the player ratings from Bournemouth 3-0 Bolton. It's bound to be a good one:
Adam Bogdan - 8
The only Bolton player to leave the pitch with a shred of dignity still intact on Monday night was Adam Bogdan, as he continues to have a strong end to the season with another good performance. It says a lot about our shambolic performance when a goalkeeper who conceded three goals was easily our best player on the pitch, but Bournemouth easily could have hit us for seven if it wasn't for the Hungarian. In the opening 25 minutes or so, when it looked as if Bolton might actually give the Cherries a difficult game, Bogdan made a string of four excellent stops to deny Bournemouth attackers. A low stop which he displayed wrists of iron to stop a Matt Ritchie strike and a clever challenge to halt Callum Wilson as he attempted to skip through on goal, were particularly impressive. In the second half he channeled his inner Manuel Neuer on several occasions too, coming off his line quickly on several occasions to cut out danger when Wilson looked as if he was through on goal. It was a fantastic performance from Bogdan and shows why he is the best goalkeeper at the club, how long he'll remain here though is another question, after a showing that's placed him firmly in the shop window.
Dorian Dervite - 1
I thought the recent game against Charlton Athletic was the epitome of Dorian Dervite's nose dive in form, but as it turns out, it wasn't, as things got so much worse against Bournemouth. Getting away with a clear yellow card in the opening minutes wrote the writing on the wall there and then, as I predicted he would see red during the game. The Frenchman was playing the right side of a back three and clearly wasn't very comfortable there as he constantly found himself out of position, either dragged too far into the middle, the cause of the Bournemouth opener, or too wide and forward, leaving acres of space to exploit. Callum Wilson was having a field day against our defence and he found Dervite to be a particularly easy opponent to defeat, as he constantly ghosted in behind the centre back and only Adam Bogdan stopped him from scoring sooner. Dervite eventually saw red for a utterly stupid challenge, as he dragged Wilson down in the box as he was clear through on goal, ending his season on the lowest of notes. I still believe there's a good player somewhere inside Dervite, but he needs to reappear soon.
Tim Ream - 5
Everybody's favourite American, Tim Ream, proved with out any shadow of a doubt that he isn't a centre back, against Bournemouth. In the opening two minutes he was weak as Wilson easily shrugged him off the ball and he struggled to deal with the Bournemouth attackers through out the rest of the game. As everyone knows, I like Ream, but he's definitely best served at left back, where he can get on the ball and won't be physically challenged as much.
Dean Moxey - Dean Moxey
It was a very Dean Moxey performance from Dean Moxey. In which he Dean Moxey'd lots of clearness, made lots of Dean Moxeys, Dean Moxey'd a player and got a way with a booking, and was generally just very Dean Moxey.
Liam Feeney - 3
I don't think I need to berate Liam Feeney anymore than has already been done on mass in recent months. He was poor again on Monday, slow getting back to help out the defence and he was completely ineffective going forward. I still stand by the fact that Feeney had a good first half of the season, but his form has massively deteriorated and he looks absolutely shattered. The summer can't come quickly enough for him.
Neil Danns - 3
After I praised him against Charlton for finally getting somewhere close to the player he was pre the Liverpool red card, I was left with egg on my face as Danns reverted back to the much lambasted player he's been since that faithful day. He and his midfield/drinking partner, Barry Bannan, comprised a completely useless midfield that offered practically nothing in defence or attack. Danns was completely anonymous in the midfield and I genuinely don't remember him doing anything of note.
Barry Bannan - 4
The on-loan Scott wasn't much better than his midfield counterpart, but he did get on the ball a bit more and was playing good balls over the top for Heskey to flick on or bring down. However, this soon became a detriment to our play as we weren't holding on to the ball at all and Bournemouth relentlessly attacked. Much like Danns, Bannan offered little in terms of shielding the defence and the pair rarely pressured the Cherries midfielders, allowing them to dance their way into the box at times.
Tom Walker - 4
I rate Tom Walker highly, and believe he as the potential to be a very good player for this club, but he needs two things 1) not to be played at wing back 2) a rest. He's been thrown in at the deep end this season and coped with the pressure admirably at the beginning of his stint in the side. But now he's wearing our quicker and quicker. The lad looks dead on his feet half the time and Lennon needs to start managing him better before he's completely fucked before he's even out of his teenage years. In regards to him playing a defensive role; he tries really hard and is usually always back closing down opposing wingers, but he isn't cut out for it. He hasn't got the defensive nous of tackling, ala the opening goal, and he's far too weak to go shoulder to shoulder with the opposition. However, he can beat a player, with ease at times, I think if he's moved into a purely attacking role next season then he'll shine in a white shirt.
Mark Davies - 3
I think we were all dreaming of the Mark Davies and Barry Bannan midfield combination from the start of a game, after the brief cameo we were treated to against Charlton. Sadly, things didn't exactly go to plan. Davies rarely, if at all, got on the ball and he never got the chance to really run at the Bournemouth backline with the ball at his feet, mostly due to Bournemouth's dominance and the fact we were constantly hitting the long ball over his head. As a result he creeped deeper and deeper in search of the ball and he never found it, rendering him a little useless. I don't really blame him and it was his first start back from injury, but he was really ineffective. Hopefully he'll fare a little better against Birmingham.
Adam Le Fondre - 4
It was a return of one of those performances from Le Fondre, in which he runs tirelessly to hurry the defenders but nothing really falls for him. The service up to him was non-excitant, so he can't be blamed too much for his lack of involvement, but he did get one golden chance whilst the game was still 0-0 that he would have buried on any other occasion, but he fluffed it and harmlessly nodded into the arms of Boruc. He needs to be burying those.
Emile Heskey - 5
Similarly to Le Fondre, Heskey had a quite game due to the lack of meaningful chances created by the players behind him. However, he led the line valiantly once again, winning everything in the air and making some dangerous flick ons. Alas, none of them led to any really chances.
Oscar Threlkeld - 6
The youngster, who I believe should have started the game, certainly didn't do his chances of a first team start on the last day of the season any harm. He came on to play right back and was fairly solid in his efforts, certainly more so than the rest of the defence. He was even our most attacking player at points as the game grew to a close too. So yeah, I really hope he gets another opportunity on Saturday.
Eidur Gudjohnsen - 5
Eidur came on to play a deeper role than he's usually played for us, as he lined up in the centre of midfield upon his introduction. The battle of midfield was already thoroughly lost by this point, so he rarely got on the ball, but he looked as composed as ever when he did. Centre midfield is a position I can see him being deployed in more, should he stay next season.
Kaiyne Woolery - N/A
One positive to come out of the game on Monday night was the debut of Kaiyne Woolery. Whilst he only came on with minutes to spare and didn't really see the ball, he looked lively and it's of course pleasing to see yet another youngster graduate to the first team. The 20 year-old isn't rated too highly by Notts County fans who watched him on-loan at their club, but regardless, I'm excited to see how he develops in the first team.
On a final note, if any Bournemouth fans happen to be reading this: congratulations on your promotion, you certainly deserve it. Good luck.