1. We Need A Revolution, Not Evolution
Another game, another last minute loss. In fact, since the days of Owen Coyle, Bolton Wanderers have shown a mental weakness in some way or another. Under Coyle for example we used to capitulate and concede in pairs. The current illness afflicting us is this last minute conceding coupled with the inability to hold what we have and put away our chances: a potent combination. Player turnover has been too high to blame the squad. We've changed managers 3 times so it can't be them. What is it? The mental weakness just appears to be sewn in to the fabric of the club; from boardroom to groundsman. The new board have been making some of the right noises about changing this and it's vital we get a manager who wants to see wholesale changes in the staff, squad and mindset. Ditch the players who are just a hangover from the declining era and bring in a new squad and staff untarnished with years of failure.
2. That Clough Free Kick
If you haven't watched it, go, go now! It was simply sublime. We've seen him do that before; truth be told it has been too long since we have but it sure is a special attribute. Clough has come in for a bit of stick this year because he hasn't scored 30 and cured cancer which was all expected of him when we saw his break out season. It is so hard to play well when you're playing in a team that struggles and once the confidence dips it becomes a slippery slope. Yesterday was a reminder of what a special player he is, if we can keep him next year, build his confidence up and give him a decent strike partner we'll have a leading light in League 1.
3. Our Cup Overfloweth
The positive of having overpaid and under-talented senior pro's this year has been the emergence of so many youngsters. It's unlikely that they are all at this leagues standard yet (much like the seniors) but this experience will be invaluable next year. We've seen Holding, Niall Maher, Kaiyne Woolery, Alex Samizadeh, Oscar Threlkeld, Alex Finney (who despite his mare the other week I rate very highly) and now Tyler Garrett with Jamie Thomas making it to the bench. These players will form both the spine of the team next year and be the vital reinforcements to the regular players. I don't care why they are getting these chances. I don't care if they're not good enough right now. It's exciting and it's a sign of long term planning, something severely lacking in recent years.
4. More Praise for Derik Osede
I would like to take a minute just to praise our Spanish, summer import. He had a shaky start to his Wanderers career but has since found himself as one of my favourite players. Besides his talents and ability he has done something that no other senior player (if you can call him senior) has done: Give a shit. Every goal we concede, Derik has the right mix of anger, frustration and sadness in his face. Rather than simply accepting it and walking back to the restart like nearly all the other team does he feels it. In the interviews he's done you can tell he gives a damn about the club and fans and that he hates losing. I'd do all we can to keep him personally.,
5. Still No Manager
Jimmy has noticeably changed the squad for the better. Not by much, granted but we are certainly a bit more organised and solid. What we need to see though is the new manager come in before the end of the season so he has a chance to fully evaluate the team and get to know the squad before decisions are made by the men upstairs. Quickly please Dean and Ken.