So on Tuesday evening, after a long day spent in Blackpool on my first day at my new job, it only felt right that I should be at the first of two cup encounters with the seasiders, over the next couple of months.
But what were the five main talking points from the performance?
1) Derik substitution
I’ve started with this one as it happened very early on in the game. I really like Derik, I think he’s best suited to a defensive midfield role but I also feel like he could thrive alongside a more physical centre half in defence. On Tuesday he did the former, sitting just in front of the back four and I thought he was very effective in his role; he was tidy in possession, he worked hard to press Blackpool attackers and made important interceptions.
Then after 25 minutes, the spaniard was hauled off to be replaced by Josh Vela. At the time, this change seemed purely tactical, Derik seemed to be unhappy with Phil Parkinson, having an exchange with him, shrugging his shoulders and going straight down the tunnel.
Parkinson has since confirmed that Derik was forced off with a groin injury so let’s just hope this isn’t too serious.
2) Seven changes
Bolton made as many as seven changes for this game after the Sheffield United game on Saturday and with an eye on the weekend’s fixture against AFC Wimbledon. I won’t talk about Derik as I’ve just made point one about him but I’ll briefly touch on everyone else who came in.
I’m not really an Amos fan but I was surprised to see Mark Howard start against Sheffield United and it shows how far the ex-Manchester United ‘keeper’s stock has fallen. His positioning was iffy for a few of the goals but he did make at least two good saves. I think Howard will be straight back in on Saturday though and Amos has a fight on his hands.
After quite a shaky start, where I thought his lack of physicality may be an issue, I thought Finney had a fine game alongside Mark Beevers. He was quick, good on the ball and not afraid to clear his lines when needed. The first goal could be attributed to being his fault as he let a cross come in but that was due to Lawrie Wilson being out of position and also Dean Moxey was ball watching and didn’t track his man at the far post. With David Wheater’s injury record and the amount of games we play this season, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of this lad.
I’ll actually get onto Davies in the next point but in short he had a very anonymous first half before coming out the second half and running the show. Needs to find an end product though.
This was like an audition for Liam Trotter for a starting place in the absence of Darren Pratley and I think he did a great job. He’s one of our only players who actually look forward for a pass and the ball he put in for Jamie Proctor’s goal was sensational. Hopefully Trotter can really step up now and show the potential that he’s shown oh too rarely in a Wanderers shirt.
I was surprised to get home from the match to see everybody berating Tom Walker for his performance on Twitter. I thought he did alright. He was nothing spectacular by any means but he was tidy in possession when he had it and tried to drive forward and make things happen. He’s still young and inexperienced and needs to learn some aspects of the game but he’s also not a right winger so the sooner he gets played on the left side, the sooner we’ll reap the benefits.
I really like this lad. He’s a completely different striker to Gary Madine and isn’t just your typical lump-it-up-to-him holdup striker. He actually looks comfortable with the ball at his feet and I can see him grabbing quite a few goals if he gets an extended run in the team. Although Trotter put the goal on a plate for him, the finish was still very cool and one Madine might have managed to put wide.
3) Parkinson’s half-time team talk
I don’t know what Parkinson said to Mark Davies at half time but it worked. After being far too safe and predictable in possession during the first half, Sparky came out a completely different player in the second half, driving forward on his trademark runs on numerous occasions. He was unplayable at times and one time in particular, he ghosted past about four players before playing it across to Madine. I think he should have pulled the trigger himself to be honest and he does need to start adding goals to his game.
4) Kaiyne Woolery
The scenes in the away end were unbelievable when Woolery scored. He jumped in the crowd, followed by a number of other Bolton players and then even ‘dabbed’, meaning that @Luke_BWFC had to donate £100 to a charity of Kaiyne’s choice. Fair play Luke.
But back to the goal, it was a great finish by Woolery, the long ball forward from Moxey was dealt with horrendously by the Blackpool defender but Woolery had the anticipation to gamble on it and make the run before rounding the goalkeeper with a touch and slotting into the goal with all the pressure on him.
However I don’t think he’s ready to be starting games yet. I can’t remember much else he did other than the goal and I think his pace would be best used as an impact sub. I do think he’ll be a very important player for us this season though.
5) Away form
The away curse continues. There’s not really much else to be said.
Bonus point 6)
Dan what are those shorts mate?
If you have any thoughts on anything I’ve said, please feel free to leave a comment below.