I managed to make it to my first Bolton Wanderers game in over three months on Saturday, so naturally they meekly fell to defeat against a side that they should be brushing aside with ease. It was a strange game as the Whites simultaneously dominated the ball and has umpteen chances to score and were bullied off the ball in midfield and struggled to win the game in the middle of the park.
Here’s how I thought the players did.
Ben Alnwick - 6
The goalkeeper didn’t have much to do and was left helpless for the goal, distribution was off kilter though.
Lawrie Wilson - 7.5
Probably my man of the match, Wilson marshalled the right touchline all game long and never tired in supporting Ameobi and whipping in dangerous crosses. He was sound at the back too. Seeing Lawrie in such a great vain of form really does warm the cockles.
Mark Beevers - 7
Neither centre back had much to do and spent the majority of their time in the opposition half, all but one of the challenges that came their way were easily dealt with.
David Wheater - 7
Andy Taylor - 6
Some poor crossing and marking from set pieces put a downer on an otherwise solid showing.
Jay Spearing - 3
I imagine this is the poorest display Spearing has put in in quite some time, he was just never at it at all against Chesterfield. His passing was really sloppy, he couldn’t get near Chesterfield’s trifecta of midfielders who gleefully passed around him and his set pieces rarely found a yellow shirt. The poor display of Spearing, and his midfield partner, is a big reason as to why we lost the game.
Tom Thorpe - 2
I just don’t see how Thrope gets in this team over Derik, he's just another Spearing but doesn’t do anything the Scouser does half as well, where as Derik offers a bit more composure and elegance on the ball. For me, the goal lies solely at Thrope’s feet as it was he who didn’t close down the man who made the pass and allowed the massive gap for the ball to roll through to form. Disappointing.
Sammy Ameobi - 6
Sammy is really exciting to watch and he was often our most dangerous asset in Yorkshire. He’s so unpredictable and skilful on the ball that he can literally create opportunities out of thin air. He came close to turning some of them into goals on a few occasions. My one qualm is that he often took a long time to decide what he was going to do with the ball and by the time he had good options had passed him by.
Josh Vela - 4
Vela was severely starved of the ball and wasn’t able to get involved much at all. Whenever he did find it at his feet he was quickly hounded out.
Zach Clough - 4.5
Oh Zachy boy. At times against Chesterfield he was electrifying, carrying the ball with such vigour from the halfway line to the opposition box. The only issue is is his finishing in one-on-one scenarios, or in fact, his finishing in situations in which he has time to think about what he's doing. Clough had at least three chances in which a player of his quality should be banging away, but he failed to do so. It’s happening so often now that is beginning to cost us.
Gary Madine - 4
Like Vela, Madine was more or less void of service throughout the game. However, after his great performance against Gillingham, I was hoping to see a bit more fight in the challenge from Madine, but I don’t think he won more than three headers all match.
Chris Taylor - 4
Didn’t miss place a pass but failed to have any impact on the game, shockingly.
Jamie Proctor & Keshi Anderson: N/A
Both were brought on far too late to do anything meaningful, which is either Parkinson showing that he doesn’t think either of them are good enough or that Parky substitution making isn’t the best.