In my last article, I was able to verbalise an internal dialogue - had our start to the season been "all that"? Turns out, there was good reason for my doubt. We're 7th and haven't won in seven games.
Our last three games don't make for good reading: LDL (1-0, 0-0, 1-0). When we were told to expect lots of 1-0 victories, I wasn't expecting it to be for the opposition. We haven't won in six league games (and you might want to include the 2-0 home loss to Everton U23s), and in that time have scored just 3 goals. On each occasion, we'd managed just the solitary goal.
I like Parky, I think he'll get it right. There are signs of Bruce Rioch about him: calm, eloquent, and bloody terrifying. But maybe he, and we as fans, underestimated the task ahead. Even when we were winning, we weren't playing particularly well, and it's slowly got worse over time. Defensively we have made strides; Wheater and Beevers seem a solid partnership, and the back four has only shipped 8 goals, one of the best defensive records in the league.
In attack is where the issue lies. Proctor is struggling to lead the line (remember, he was an impact sub at Bradford last year), and we haven't played to Keshi Anderson's strengths yet. In Gary Madine, we've lost our third match fit striker. Sammy is no Shola, let's put it that way. Parky obviously doesn't want to rush Clough back through fear of aggravating his hamstring injury, and Max Clayton is almost a spectre of the Macron hallways, never seen but his name infrequently muttered in conversation. Up front, we look impotent and quickly devoid of ideas.
On the subject of things staying the same, I see our fans have adopted Proctor and new signing Chris Taylor as their new Nicky Hunt/Johan Elmander/Liam Feeney/Gary Madine, with some less than tasteful comments made towards them at both the Bradford and Rochdale games. Now, making up more than 50% of the attendance at a ground like Spotland is fine and dandy, but not when you go to boo and harass the men wearing the badge. I'd rather we took 300 supporters who do exactly that - support, but that's just my twopenneth. If you're still surprised and therefore becoming emotional at our current plight, then I have no sympathy for you. If you're paying money on a regular basis just to vent your weekly frustrations, then more fool you. Turn up, make noise, have a good time, or stay at home and catch up on Bake Off. It really is that simple.
Bolton Wanderers: the more things change, the more they stay the same.