clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Five Things: Blackburn 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

New, comments

Chris points out a few things that you might have noticed, and perhaps a couple that you didn't

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Well as you read this, I'll be sunning myself up in the lovely surroundings of Fuerteventura, so firstly let me offer my hope that wherever you are it is absolutely throwing it down.

Anyway, it's 10pm on Friday and I should really be packing, but here's yer Five Things wot I did notice:

1) Our Defence is Quite Good Actually Like

Solid, if unspectacular is probably a better way of phrasing it, but other than a few potshots and a clearly offside 'goal' scored by Blackburn Rovers, the Bolton Wanderers defence containing Ben Amos, Dean Moxey, Prince, Dorian Dervite and Lawrie Wilson looked pretty comfortable.

Despite clearly having the odd brain-fart, and being capable (no doubt) of extreme incompetence, they kept a dominant and dangerous Blackburn side at bay.

They limited the dangerous Jordan Rhodes to a few long range shots and headers around the penalty spot. The Scotland international striker has scored 120 goals in the past six seasons, but didn't force Amos into a single save of any note.

We know that we will now have to cope without Dervite for a game, given his ridiculous red card late on, but the return to training of Derik Osede should soften the blow a little.

Ben Amos won my MOTM award, and rightly so. He looked very composed, confident and comfortable. He's a good'un.

Prince was really impressive yet again. He continues to show a fantastic combination of skill, style and risk-taking that endears him to all. Love him.

2) Striking Lack of Strikers

It barely needs saying, but our lack of options up front is a real problem.

We are not utilising Zach Clough properly - shame on any of you still claiming that he needs dropping - whilst Gary Madine continues to be a handful, but not one that appears to be of any sort of threat to the opposition goal.

We brought Emile Heskey from the bench, and perhaps he should have scored, but that's where our options end. Youngster Jamie Thomas is in the squad more out of necessity than anything else. Is he worth a go? Not sure - but we may not have a choice unless Lenny brings in another forward pronto.

3) Neil Danns and Liam Feeney

Often picked on as being poor performers in a white shirt - tonight the pair impressed with an energetic and confident display.

Whilst Danns remains easy to dispossess, and whilst Feeney needs to look up before crossing, it was a much improved performance from both in the midfield. Once or twice we had the option to counter and the wrong pass was chosen, but I put this down to an over-keenness rather than anything else.

I was disappointed before the game that Josh Vela was again overlooked, and I would still prefer him in the centre to Danns, but I thought that against Blackburn Rovers the former Rovers man was much improved, and let's hope that continues. I like his new haircut too.

4) Zach Clough

He remains a work in progress, but I still think we'd be insane to drop or rest the young man, as some of our more Reebok Roar-ly fans seem to want.

He possesses more talent in his little finger than the rest of the team do together, and we just have to accept that his newly-earned reputation as a dangerous opponent will mean that teams double up on him, and make it hard for Clough to weave his magic.

I put our preference to a long-ball game down to the needs of the team, but I would like it if we would at least try and play to the lad's strengths and keep the ball on the deck for a time.

It's not revolutionary, but it would make best use of our best player.

5) Slow Starts Make for Poor Seasons

This is a fifth successive season when we have stumbled out of the blocks.

We know we have a crippling debt, and we know that we have had to sacrifice better players to make way for numbers in the squad *cough Tim Ream* but our constant underperforming in the season's opening weeks is a cause for serious concern. We haven't paid a transfer fee for anyone since 2013.

We are but five games into the season - you'd be hard pressed to find a Bolton Wanderers supporter with the guts/insanity to think we're in for anything other than yet another season of struggle.

I do not blame Neil Lennon for this - I think he's doing as good a job as he/anyone could do in the circumstances, and again to those Reebok Roar-ly idiots I would be very careful before starting to call for his head - just consider the alternatives......there are none. Be careful what you wish for.

Our upcoming fixtures include three home games against Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton - we should be looking at winning them all.