After another shambolic performance, I've been given the dubious pleasure of rating the Bolton Wanderers ‘players' out of ten for this game. Not an easy thing to judge when you have 11 players playing as individuals rather than as a team, something I will be covering in more detail, with my ‘Five Things' article, later today. Anyhow, without further ado, let's get down to it.
Ben Amos - 5
Can't be faulted for any of the three goals conceded and did his usual medley of competent shot stopping, catches, saves and commanding his area at corners or against free kicks. The most notable save from my view point being in the first half, with a wonderful flying fingertip push onto the crossbar from an edge of penalty shot, for what should've been a goal.
However, that's only half the story. What Amos didn't do was shouting out direction to his defence during the numerous Brentford attacks in the first half. Jussi in his Bolton prime would've been bellowing at his defence, be it commands or indeed encouragement, throughout a game when Bolton were under the cosh. Maybe that's an experience thing but what isn't, is Amos's inability to distribute a ball.
Be it indecisiveness when throwing out or his kicking accuracy, both were poor. During the first half one kick out flew well above Walker head into touch. What Amos needs to do is watch a recording of the Brentford goalie, Button's, distribution to see how it's actually done.
Niall Maher - 5
Overwhelmed at times in the first half but never let his head drop and worked well with the impressive Derik at his side. Don't get me wrong, Maher wasn't great, but he is young and I saw enough today to think this lad has a chance of pinning down a full back position next season in League One.
Worth pointing out that Maher was given little protection from Vela so can't really be fully blamed for what happened in the first half.
Derik Osede - 8
For me, Derik was Bolton's MOTM by some considerable distance. This guy is going to be some player as a central defender or holding midfielder if he can keep this current run of form going. Just never, ever, play him at right back! Other than an early mistake when he slipped whilst being out turned by the impressive Judge, Derik's performance was flawless.
His distribution, positioning, heading, tackling, it's all there and this guy doesn't need the pace of a player such as Prince to get him out of trouble. The only player in the first half debacle that could walk off the pitch with his head held high. It is a national crime that this bloke has been kept out of the side by Dorian Dervite for a significant period of the season.
Alex Finney - 2
At fault for all three Brentford goals and possibly the worst debut performance by a Bolton youngster since Rob Hall's infamous game against Blackpool a couple of seasons back. For the first 5 minutes Finney started well, with an early pinpoint sliding tackle denying Jesse Vibe a clear run on goal being his highlight. One missed tackle later quickly followed by passing to a Brentford player and Finney went to pieces.
If this performance had been by a senior player and not a youngster's full debut, then the score would've been a 0 or 1 at best. In fairness to Finney, he was badly let down by both Moxey and Walker having a mare on the left flank, leaving him exposed on numerous occasions. In addition, he had absolutely no guidance or encouragement from anyone other than Derik.
I'd expect a senior player, particularly Moxey, to have been talking to Finney throughout, giving encouragement when necessary. It didn't happen and Finney's confidence dive bombed with the speed of a German Stuka. I think the only reason Finney wasn't subbed in the first half hour was JP simply trying to ensure that the lad's confidence wasn't forever damaged.
Dean Moxey - 1
Moxey played like a total twat. An utterly disgraceful performance from a senior player.
The only reason he gets 1 point is that he managed to get himself together in the second half once he had Wheater alongside him and Danns in front. Moxey went to pieces from the kick off, giving no support whatsoever to Walker and Finney and was also at fault for all three Brentford goals.
But what was worse, much worse than Wheater and Trotters one fingered pre-match salute, was Moxeys ‘Mills moment' after the third Brentford goal. When a back tracking Walker was unable to stop Woods from crossing the ball, a player a hopelessly out of position Moxey should've covered, he then shouted down Walker fully blaming him for the goal. You could see that Walker was visibly upset and dispirited from the verbal backlash.
A trait I've noticed with Moxey is that he likes to stride around with a stern face trying to look hard rather than communicating with the players around him to assist the team playing as a team rather than as individuals. Cock.
Josh Vela - 3
Pretty much anonymous in the first half, he didn't provide any cover of note for Maher and did little going forward. I thought that being on the right hand side of the Bolton midfield, Vela would finally click into gear. I was wrong.
In the second half, when he had the ball, he did improve. Like his compatriots in midfield, without the ball, he went missing and closing down opposing midfielders seems to be a dark art that Vela, trotter and Pratley can't master at this time. Vela's performance was summed up in the second half with one run on goal taking him into space the edge of the penalty area and then having a shot aimed at the top corner of the net, miss and actually failing to even hit the stand.
Liam Trotter - 2
Shocking, slow, shambolic performance that was embarrassing to watch. The Trotter of old is back with a vengeance.
My personal ‘favourite' moment was in the second half when Trotter received a pass on the left hand side edge of the box, with Button out of position also on the left side of goal. All Trotter had to do was a left footed shot and smack the ball into the gaping chasm that was the right half of the net. Trotter tried a curling right footed shoot that missed...
Darren Pratley - 1
Typical Pratley performance. Anonymous, unable to lead his team, by example or otherwise, unable to support the strikers or defenders, couldn't stay on his feet and finally got booked for poor tackling born out of frustration. Lucky not to get sent off.
What more is there to say that hasn't been said already?
Tom Walker - 2
Had an absolute nightmare and was totally destroyed on all areas of the left flank by Woods, McCormack and Collin. Why he wasn't subbed along with Finney at half time is beyond me. It would've benefitted the player as well as the team.
As with Finney, the reason Walker hasn't got a lower score is the fact that he was offered no support whatsoever from the senior players around him, being Moxey, Trotter and Pratley. We can only hope that Walker recovers the form he had at the end of last season as he will be needed in League One.
Zach Clough - 5
Didn't have the best of days to be honest. In his defence, he was left isolated up front by an absent midfield and inaccurate long range passes from further back. When Wheater and Danns came on and added some backbone to the team, Clough got more involved in the game. Still off form but took the penalty well.
Kaiyne Woolery - 6
Along with Clough, Woolery was totally isolated up front in the first half although at least his quick runs prevented the Brentford defence from going to sleep. Woolery had a good second half.
This game was my first real look at Woolery and by God this guy is fast. His speed was a direct cause of the clumsy foul on him by two Brentford defenders that resulted in our penalty. Unlucky to be subbed and should've stayed on.
David Wheater - 5
Now that he seems to have got his fitness back, this was a typical Wheater performance. Whilst I understand that Phillips wants to try out players, such as Finney, that are likely to be with us next season, it was a big mistake to not start with Wheater.
He settled our defence, particularly the frantic Moxey, and Bolton looked a far more cohesive unit during the second half. He also seems to give a shit.
Going forward for corners and free kicks, Wheater was surprisingly ineffective. One weak header straight at Button, when he had space and time to do something better, sticks in my mind.
Neil Danns - 5
We all sighed when Danns came on 7 minutes into the second half. The simple fact is though that Danns was by far our most effective midfielder in the second half.
He closed players down, actually passed to Bolton players, tackled well and made a connection between defence and attack. Along with Wheater, Danns was the reason why Bolton ‘won' the second half. His performance wasn't spectacular but it was enough to help Bolton be competitive.
Alex Samizadeh - on too late for scoring
Well he's finally arrived in the first team. On for less than 10 minutes, the diminutive striker was all balls and keenness. He even tried to head the ball out of Buttons hands when going for a cross. Fair play to him.
He had a good run round and didn't embarrass himself or look out of place. Hopefully a player we will see more of over the next few games even if Dobbie and Heskey are fit.