Bolton Wanderers are down and they went down without a fight at Derby County, as the Whites fell to a 4-1 defeat brimming with weakness and pathetic defending. Here's five things I observed from the relegation party:
1) We Are a Self-Deprecating Fan Base and it is Wonderful
Every single Bolton supporter that traveled to Pride Park on Saturday knew we were doomed, knew we were done for, and could not care less. As the above photo shows, we were having a relegation party. Chants that took the piss, chance that showed our pride, chants of past legends, all of them got a run out on Saturday and it was wonderful. "Shoes off for the Wanderers!", "we're going to Shrewsbury, queue sera sera", "we all dream of a team of Nicky Hunts", "how shit must you be? It's only 3-0", "we're going down and never coming back up, we're Bolton Wanderers and we don't give a fuck". Just like it was at Eastleigh, we're a supporter base who aren't afraid to, and are probably at our best when, we take the piss out of our selves and don't take the game too seriously. We didn't stop singing throughout.
We stared adversary in the face and gave it the middle finger.
2) Stop Blaming Zach Clough you Fuckers
If I see one more person blaming this season on Clough not performing then I'm going to scream. Yes, he hasn't lived up to expectations this season but to put all of our hopes onto the shoulders of a 20-year old was foolish, and he's hardly let us down like the rest of these jokers have.
He's been injured, played out of position but most importantly been played with utter clowns so it's hardly surprisingly he hasn't had the same explosive impact as he did last season. How can anyone go from playing along side Adam Le Fondre and Eidur Gudjohnsen to Gary fucking Madine and be expect to be as good as he was?
And anyone who says he doesn't care or hasn't put the effort in can swing, too. He could have taken the easy option and jumped ship in January but didn't and on Saturday he put in more effort and fight than all of the other senior midfielders on that pitch put together
3) What is Jimmy Phillips Doing?
I like Jimmy and he's been doing a sterling job with the academy, but he is not and never will be a manager. That isn't a criticism, some people just aren't compatible to the role, he's even said himself in the past he does not want the job full time. Which is good, as he has not been very good in his four games in charge so far.
I do like how he's been giving so many young players their debuts but he needs to stick with them and not throw them out after a bad game as that will destroy their confidence, these senior players have had a season of atrocious performances and don't deserve another chance to rectify them. I honestly would rather play more kids and lost by five every week than not and lose by two, as they learn much more from them then any pre-season friendly. So, for me, he needs to keep the likes of Tom Walker, Niall Maher, Alex Finney and Alex Samizadeh in and around the team.
Also, Phillips' tendency to play players out of position is becoming annoying. Why is Derik at right back when there are three players more capable? Why on Earth is Zach Clough being alienated on the left? Why is Kaiyne Woolery being left isolated upfront? Why is Darren Pratley being played at all?
Like I said, it's hard to blame Phillips too much as he's not a manager, but he does need to change things up.
I still believe sacking Neil Lennon was the correct course of action, but I think David Lee should have been giving in the interim role instead.
4) I Think Ben Amos has Genuinely got an Eye Problem
I've been an Amos defender longer than most, but it's hard to do so anymore, especially after a performance in which he could have done better on all four goals. There is a decent goalkeeper in there but it's being held back by a bizarre trait of being completely unable to prevent shots from distance going in. I have never seen anything like before, Amos concedes from distance on far too frequent occasion.
So much so that I'm now convinced that he's got an eye problem of sorts. I think he might be short sighted and just can't actually see people taking pot shots at him from thirty yards.
That or he just isn't that good.
5) The Complete and Utter Downfall of Dean Moxey
Moxey was on course to be our player of the year, and probably still is, but his performances since Phillips has come in have been nothing short of pathetic. He's completely deteriorated as a footballer and reverted back to the shambling mess that he was last season.
Bollocking youngsters for honest mistakes when they've been exposed, half arsed tackles, crazy positioning, lazy effort. More than most Moxey really does look like he's just packed it all in.