Bolton Wanderers stood tall against their Premier League opposition and could rightly be disappointed not to already be in the next round. But within that what really stood out?
James Henry is ready to fire
Bolton looked good all over the pitch but Henry was particularly impressive. The only thing that his performance was missing was a goal and he rightly looked disappointed not to have found the back on the net from six yards out.
Having lost Sammy Ameobi with his loan spell coming to an end someone needs to step up to the plate. Henry’s all action attacking display showed that he could be that man. He caused the Crystal Palace defence all kinds of problems with his direct running and as I have already said he could and should have bagged at least one goal. Hopefully he can build on his performance and become the key man we all thought he would be when he joined the club.
The defence stood up to the test
Yes Crystal Palace are not a very good Premier League team. But with an attack boasting the likes of Frazer Campbell, Loic Remy, Yohan Cabaye and Andros Townsend they don’t lack in ability in the final third. Despite that for most of the game the Bolton defence was in control of the situation.
Yes there were points in the game when Palace overwhelmed them, but they were few and far between and the defence in the most part recovered remarkably quickly to lock them back out again. In fact I can barely remember Townsend creating anything and Cabaye was only really involved in one big chance (which to be fair drew a fantastic Lawrie Wilson block).
As a unit they showed that they are better than League One, let’s hope they keep on doing so week in week out until the end of the season.
Jamie Proctor is not a real footballer
I mean seriously he can’t be right? I really hope that we get to the end of the season and Phil Parkinson just admits that signing him was one big practical joke.
This may be one of the stupidest lines a football fan can come out with but here we go. At the very end of the game when Proctor was clean through down the right hand side even I could have done better than he did. Yes all I could have done was pass the ball to the first defender when trying to play it across the goal to a team mate or put the ball straight into the goalkeeper’s gloves. But even that would have been better than being marshalled out for a throw in. It was the most pathetic piece of attacking I have seen since Kaiyne Woolery in Bristol City 6-0 Bolton Wanderers, and that is really saying something.
For me Proctor was the one blight on an otherwise all round great Bolton display. He is a simply horrible player and if there is any truth in the Adam Le Fondre rumours that would be great just to keep Proctor as far away from the first team as possible.
Bolton showed they can compete at a higher level
Again Palace are not a very good Premier League team. But that does not mean that they would not likely be a good top half Championship team. A performance like that shows that this team could be capable of competing with teams at that level, albeit that we would need to add some cutting edge to finish games off.
I am not saying for a second that I think if we get back up to the Championship this season then next season we will finish in the top half of the table. No, but the ability to compete with a team which would likely be at the level shows that we some additions we could just have what it takes to survive.
There is no excuse in the league now
Bolton cannot let a performance like that be a one off. Yes other teams in the league will up their game when they play us which will make it more difficult. But that performance, amongst others this season such as the 4-0 over Gillingham, show that Bolton should not be slipping up against many teams in the remainder or the season and should be right up the top with whomever out of Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United can keep up the pace.