In a match where many thought we were doomed to lose, the white men managed to carve out an impressive 0-0 draw (an odd thing to say out loud) against one of the frontrunners for promotion. Here are five things we learned from that season opener.
1) A Prince was crowned
Very new loan signing Prince-Désir Gouano, from Serie A side Atalanta, started the game which may have served as a shock to some considering the lad had only trained once with the club beforehand. Of course, somebody who wasn't familiar with Bolton Wanderers wouldn't have known that, as Prince put in a performance akin to somebody who could have captained the team. Prince brought pace, strength and solidarity to our back line and the partnership he had with Dorian Dervite showed a lot of promise. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Derik Osede and Tim Ream are fully fit again, but for now there's a sense of royalty in the Bolton camp.
2) Madine could be the long term striker we've been looking for
A lot of heads were scratched when we signed Gary Madine from Sheffield Wednesday, where he was regarded as shite by the Owls fans. Madine, however, impressed in pre-season and continued to do so in the season opener, hitting the crossbar twice and looking generally lively all game. Madine is also a bit of a man crush of this particular LOV writer, if he can add league goals to his handsomeness then we very well could finally have that reliable long term striker that has eluded us for some time.
3) Feeney still isn't very good
Seriously, how can somebody with an IQ of above 50 continue to start this man week in week out? He does nothing for the team other than unnecessarily cut inside, do pointless skill moves at the corner flag and botch crosses. I'm already tired of seeing this guy in action and we're only one game in, please for the love of all that is holy, Lennon, find a replacement or look to the development squad to find someone better, which I'm sure wouldn't be difficult.
4) The Spearing of old is back, or is he?
When Jay Spearing was originally on loan to us in the 2012/13 season, you would have been hard pressed to find somebody who didn't regard the ex-Liverpool midfielder as their favourite player, his luster fell off in the following two seasons as his performances became less consistent and he made more mistakes and just generally didn't look arsed. However, in yesterday's game he showed many signs of that man we saw and fell in love with, constantly winning headers, looking determined to win every tackle, making key passes. Unfortunately, he was unceremoniously sent off for simulation much to the shock and anger of fans, the manager and Spearing himself. I dearly hope this red card doesn't interfere with the spark that was clearly lit during the game and we get to see Spearing as the reliable midfielder we all know he can be.
5) Heskey is more than a Novelty in a Bolton shirt
Now, I've personally been saying this for a good while now but many fans just see Emile Heskey as someone to laugh at and make tired old jokes at the expense of. But the man changes games and does have a use, take yesterday's game for example, when he came on everyone laughed and what not. He had almost an instant impact hitting the post with a header and proceeded to run around the final third winning headers and holding the ball up really well and was an integral part of Bolton's final assault to take three points from Derby. I firmly believe the man is a useful tool for the club and I hope he produces more performances like these to make everybody else realise too.