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MOTM: Derby 4-1 Bolton Wanderers - Zach Clough

We somehow select a star Bolton performer on the day they were condemned to League One

Zach Clough has scored two in two, both from the penalty spot
Zach Clough has scored two in two, both from the penalty spot
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Selecting the man of the match for a game in which Bolton Wanderers were - once again - utterly inept is about as enviable a task as our US cousins have choosing one of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to run their country.

So in this instance I've gone for Zach Clough, just so I can have a bit of a whinge about our so-called 'strikers.'

From what I've heard - I had more sense than to go to Derby, and I've seen the goals on TV - Clough was about the only player that made any effort on Saturday. He was the sole threat in a beleaguered side void of any confidence and even put a shift in defensively, doing this weird thing known as 'tracking back' - take note, all of the Bolton midfield. He actually scored a goal as well, hoorah.

Giving a player the man of the match accolade because they scored a penalty says a lot about the season of woe we've had to endure this season. Clough is now Bolton's joint top scorer and top league goalscorer with six goals, three of which have been penalties, and he's scored in two consecutive matches, but again they were both penalties.

Wanderers haven't scored from open play since Liam Feeney departed for Ipswich Town on loan on 17th March, and haven't won any of their last 11 league games. It's a truly woeful run of form that is partly due to some dreadful defending, but isn't being helped by the complete lack of presence up front.

Given that Clough was deployed as a left winger for both the Brentford and Derby games, this means no Bolton player deployed as a striker has scored a goal since Emile Heskey brought us level against Brighton on February 13th. That's ten matches without a striker scoring - note, Clough's sceamer against QPR doesn't count because he wasn't playing up front.

The lack of a striker who can 1) score goals and 2) hold up the ball and bring midfielders into the game is an urgent matter that whoever the new manager next season is must address. Whether Gary Madine can cut it in League One remains to be seen, but it seems pretty clear that utilising either Clough or Kaiyne Woolery as a lone forward is a complete waste of time.

But for now, well done Zach Clough and I hope we can build a team around him in League One.