clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Five Things: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Fleetwood Town

New, comments

A fistful of opinions

Well, that was fun wasn't it. Bolton Wanderers defeated Fleetwood Town and remained top of League One with four wins from four. What a time to be alive.

Let's not mess about here, on to my Five Things/Points:

1) Jay Spearing - A Proper Captain

What a performance. This isn't a pop at Darren Pratley, but I can't imagine a better candidate for captain than the diminutive resident of the Misty Mountains.

Superb on the ball and hard in the tackle, he was everywhere. His performance was key in our victory and I was really impressed by him. His set pieces too were absolutely lethal - something we should be looking to capitalise on even more going forward.

2) A Slow Start Became a Sprint

I thought we were a bit ponderous in the first 45 minutes, and that was the main factor behind the fans' frustrations.

Liam Trotter and Mark Davies were for me the main culprits. They took the ball in attacking positions and more often than not looked for a sideways or backwards pass. Lewis Buxton too was guilty of not perhaps being as positive as we might like.

Luckily it appears that we have a manager capable of changing things from the sidelines. The Wanderers team that came out in the second half was directly opposite from that which started the game and that is testament to the manager's ability to elicit change and to bring out the best in players who are heading a bit south with their performances.

It was a hugely exciting start to the second half and knocked out any preconceived sense of superiority that the players (and fans) might have had about facing "the likes of" Fleetwood Town.

3) Full Backs Still an Issue for Bolton Wanderers - Centre Backs Are Not

Lewis Buxton and Dean Moxey occupied the right and left back slots respectively. Both might be unhappy with their general performance. I accept that Buxton isn't a wing back and is being asked to perform that role, but he looked very uncomfortable going forward in the first half. I think he improved massively in the second though, to give him credit.

Moxey began the game poorly and also improved. I know that Parkinson so far has resisted playing with too much width, but I do wonder whether he might consider bringing in Andrew Taylor to play full back and move Moxey further forward.

No such problems in the centre of defence. David Wheater and Mark Beevers already seem like they have been playing together for years and were hugely impressive against Fleetwood. Strong in the air and equally tough in the tackle - it was a far cry from the Dervite/Meite/Knight years.

4) Another Senior Striker is Vital

Gary Madine and Zach Clough started the game, whilst Kaiyne Woolery and Conor Wilkinson finished it.

Clough's injury is another matter, but our lack of depth up front is a worrying issue for me. I think, and hope that Parkinson will bring in another striker before the transfer window closes next week.

Madine's performance with either attacker alongside him begged the question as to whether we have ever paired him with the right person. Woolery has all the pace in the world but I still don't really consider him a striker and well, Wilkinson looks like he needs a month eating nothing but fried food.

I know our fans have a lob-on for Adam Le Fondre - and I thought he was superb for the club, but the 'type' of player that ALF was is, in my opinion, the type of player that we should be looking to bring in. Having Madine there with the knock-downs to someone who can read the movement of the ball and player would add another dimension to our attacking game and would make us even more dangerous going forward.

Before the season began I thought we might look at someone like Nicky Ajose (then of Swindon Town, now Charlton Athletic) or Adam Armstrong (who impressed at Coventry City on loan from Newcastle United). At the moment we are all informed by the BEN that Wanderers have bids in for players and so let's hope that we can give the forwards some more help with reinforcements of real quality.

5) A Nice Change of Mood

For too long it's been hard to find positives in being a Bolton Wanderers supporter and that, I think, has been reflected in my writing.

However, I am hopeful (and confident) that this is the dawn of a brand new day. I was really impressed by Phil Parkinson already, but with holidays dictating that this my first game of the season I was even more impressed with how he affected the game from the sidelines.

The signings he has made appear, on Saturday's evidence, to be strong and capable. The supporters, ridiculous booing aside, also appear to be back behind the team and brought about a great atmosphere at times in the second half.

Long may it continue and long live Bolton Wanderers.