Well, that's another football ground ticked off the list. Stadium MK, though in the middle of nowhere, is an impressive ground. It has a capacity of 30,500. The official attendance was just over 10,000 - there was nowhere near 10,000 in the ground. And to think that Wimbledon Football Club had to die and be revitalised for that.
Here's my five things.
1) Record Breakers!
Bolton Wanderers - breaking records everywhere we go. We now have 6 competitive games without a goal - no Bolton team in our club's history has ever managed that. We're going places, people. Sinking to new lows. Something needs to be done immediately. In fact, five games ago. When you're strike force is as impotent as ours (which I'll come onto later) and you're bringing on 37 year old Emile Heskey, who hasn't scored for the Whites since his debut against Blackburn Rovers many moons ago, you know you're down a well known creek without a paddle.
2) We're Not Very Good at Football
Milton Keynes Dons were woeful last night - how they managed promotion to the Championship astounds me. No wonder they think Rob Hall is a useful asset to their team. However they also managed to take three points from us. Tactically, it wasn't disastrous. We should have gone into the break at half time in the lead, with clear cut chances for Prince Desir-Gouano (a header from a corner that crept wide of the post) and Zach Clough (who we'll come onto shortly). We didn't score when we were on top, and the Dons did with a rare foray forward in the second half.
The 4-4-2 diamond formation appeared to work well going forward, although the full backs still seem in desperate need of protection. Too many times, Josh Vela and Mark Davies (although to a lesser extent) were caught too narrow in our own half, allowing the MK wingers to get in behind our full backs. Substitute Daniel Powell did exactly that on the hour mark , Lawrie Wilson unable to cut out a through ball, with Powell slotting past Ben Amos. Neil Danns had a better game than in his previous two against Derby County and Middlesbrough, although Lennon's fall guy Jay Spearing is a more natural choice for me in that position.
Prince had a poor game, and looks like a mistake waiting to happen. Dorian Dervite looked strong alongside him, and our full backs both had decent games, so much so that I find myself almost lamenting Dean Moxey's late injury last night. But let's talk strikers, shall we?
3) Strike Partnership
Lennon lined up once more with Gary Madine and Liam Feeney, both of which I will analyse individually. But collectively, I could sum their performance up into three words - cow's arse, banjo.
Gary Madine - ahh, Gary. Let's start with the positives. He can head a ball. He's a tough nut. His mother probably loves him. That's enough. Bolton Wanderers are going nowhere with Gary Madine up front. His aerial presence and strength is counterbalanced by his inability to know when to lay the ball off, and who to lay it off to, and a . In short, Bolton do not need one, but two, strikers. Gary Madine is simply not up to it. A good pre-season is all very well and good, but at the end of the day, if you can't do it when it matters, it means jack.
Liam Feeney - Everybody's favourite winger-cum-forward took a hiatus last night from trying to break the world record for most corners won in a football match, and instead tried to rival Nicolas Anelka's "most time spent in an offside position" in one half of football. Unfortunately, this is were the comparisons between the two end. I feel sorry for Feeney, he is being played out of position, and it is clear that he isn't naturally inclined to a forward role. He drifts out to the wing in search of space, in doing so leaving Gary Madine isolated against the MK Dons back four. It also doesn't help that his crossing ability from both open play and corners is terrible (unless Lenny had instructed him to find the head of Kyle McFadzean, formerly linked with Wanderers under Owen Coyle when he was plying his trade at Crawley Town).
4) Zach Clough
Cloughie is one of the bright sparks in the squad, a rare pinch of creativity in a dire football team (Mark Davies aside). Seeing a player pick up the ball on the half way line, take on three defenders and try to get a shot away is so refreshing to see in a team that doesn't look like scoring a goal in a month of Sundays. His shot that was well saved by Dons' keeper David Martin could well have broken the deadlock, if he had been able to direct his shot either side of the goalkeeper. In the second half, if a goal was going to come, it was going to come from him. He's got some way to go, but Zach Clough is slowly developing into a Premier League player in a team seemingly destined for League One.
On 6th February 1958, Manchester United and the football world was rocked by the news that 23 people died in a tragedy at Munich airport after The Reds had taken on Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup. How sad, how pathetic, how downright disgusting that some of our fans mock the deaths of those people some 57 years after the tragedy itself. Both journeying to the game, and in the concourse of half time, I heard the chant which sickens me like no other. When I challenged one of these scumbags and asked them why they were singing about death, his reply was "City and Leeds do it". Well, that's me told.
I asked a Liverpool fan about his experiences of such chanting, and he had this to say when asked if he ever hears songs about the Munich air disaster: "At home matches, in the pubs, in the city - no. If ever there is a hint of it, it is put down quickly. People are acutely aware of the impact of such songs/chants due to our own tragedies...I've been semi-consistently going to away games for 10 years and been to Old Trafford 6 times. There's always a section of idiots...despite that, I genuinely believe that Munich/Hillsborough chants are dying off now the truth about Hillsborough has been exposed". If Liverpool Football Club, United's greatest rivals, have the class and the basic common decency not to glorify death, then we certainly shouldn't.
A Leeds fan when asked if their following sing about Munich said: "A minority do. You will never hear Munich chants at games. It's only heard in some pubs before games". So my good friend at Stadium MK was right - some Leeds fans do sing about Munich. But it doesn't make it right. Neanderthal.
You are not football fans. You do not represent the fan base of Bolton Wanderers. You are scum. Take your Stone Island jackets, your G Shock watches, your designer stubble which you think is hiding your second chins, your warm lager in plastic cups, your disgusting songs, and stop going to watch our team. You are not wanted.