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A Need For Goals

Regularly returning guest writer, Jamie Moss, discusses a potential solution for our goal drought.

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Now, it probably has not escaped your attention that Bolton Wanderers have not scored much recently. According to my ever reliable source, Wikipedia, Bolton's record longest streak in one season without scoring a goal is five games (during 1898 and 1990), and for those of us counting we are now on four at the beginning of this season.

This somewhat worrying trend needs to end, especially with Gary Madine, (who is not turning out to be the goal machine Chris thought he would be when titling my article on him, or indeed, I thought he would be when writing it (read here) and with Zach Clough being back in the team. Admittedly Max Clayton is still to return but can we wait that long to solve the problem?

I am writing this in the immediate aftermath of the MK Dons match which we, of course, lost 1-0 despite having an impressive 18 shots on goal. But a rather less impressive five of those were on target which means (if my maths is correct which it often is not) 27% of our shots were on target. Middlesbrough whilst blowing us away last weekend managed 17 shots seven of which were on target which is 41% of those shots. Whilst I don't expect us to be as good as Boro, that is a far better ratio than the Whites managed today, obviously.

The problem here (feel free to correct me in the comments) does not appear to be creating chances, after all we had plenty of chances against Derby County and Burton Albion too, not to mention the 17 shots against MK Dons. So although I welcome the loan signing of Wellington Silva, as I think we are light on the wing at the moment, his goal scoring record is not great so he is clearly not coming in as a solution to that problem.

There is of course a chance that if he can offer a more consistent and higher quality of service we will have more better chances and as a result score more, but that comes with the big if being whether we will hit the target regardless.

That means that we still need to find a solution and with there being no sign of anymore signings happening this transfer window, unless another players leaves, we need to find a solution from within. If money were to suddenly materialise then Chris covered a series of options worth exploring up front (again, read here). But in the more likely scenario of there being no chance of signing a new striker, two names immediately spring to mind - Jamie Thomas and Kaiyne Woolery.

I have been aware of Thomas for a number of years having seen a series of videos of him scoring wonderful goals down the years (yes fellow Bolton fans goals are still a thing that happen in football...). I know that Thomas does receive some criticism for being over confident in his ability amongst other things, but there can be no arguing against his goal scoring record as he has moved through the clubs youth system. I am aware that goals at that level do not guarantee goals for the first team, but at the moment the first team is not scoring any goals so I would argue that maybe it is worth taking a chance on a player who knows how to find the back of the net.

With Woolery it is worth noting at the outset that he has not scored at first team level for Tamworth, Bolton or Notts County (where he was on loan for a spell last season last season). But he did score a few goals in pre-season and I understand has been scoring for other Bolton sides. So again maybe he is worth a punt, and you never know maybe one or both of them can make an instant impact for the first team.

I assume that the fact that Lennon has not used either of those players though is because he does not believe that they are ready. Considering his recent record of calling up youth players to the first team it's fair to say that Lennon should be trusted on that front. But you have to wonder whether at some point something will give and Lennon will have to take a punt.

They surely can't be any worse.

From @Jamie_Moss123