Wanderers search for both a goal and points goes on in spite of a much improved performance.
In a game that saw Bolton fall short yet again there were at last positives to be taken. Jonathan Kodjia’s penalty saw the Whites lose 1-0 but a combination of poor finishing and officiating were to blame for another scoreless and pointless afternoon. The players performed with real passion and I for one came away from the game proud of my team.
Anyway, here are the ratings for our players:
Mark Howard 6.5
One may point at his two great saves to deny Kodjia and Robert Snodgrass and say he had a great game but for me he is at fault as much as Mark Beevers for the Villa penalty. His decision to punch rather than catch the ball at the corner before the foul was ridiculous given he was under no pressure and had he elected to catch it the penalty incident wouldn’t have occurred.
Mark Little 7
Much better than Darby in general for me and I thought he coped admirably with Albert Adomah. His partnership with Sammy Ameobi could be crucial for us in the future and gives us some real pace in the team.
Mark Beevers 6
He is struggling at this level certainly but I thought he defended well for the most part. However, his needless decision to bring Kodjia down cost us dearly and therefore I cannot give him more than a 6
David Wheater 7
Keinan Davis looked a real handful given his strength and pace but Wheater, someone without any pace whatsoever, used his nous and experience to deal with him fairly comfortably. He is a fighter and he fought very hard in this match.
Andrew Taylor 5
The only player who I can say had a poor game was Taylor. Snodgrass always had the beating of him and he was very wasteful in possession. I don’t think Robinson is a good defender but given he has some pace he must be the preferred left-back.
Karl Henry 6.5
Broke up the play well and gave his all. Despite not being fantastic in possession he is the kind of player we need in a dogfight and could form a useful partnership with Pratley over time.
Darren Pratley 7
Very similar performance to Henry except he provided some much needed attacking impetus at times and made some great challenges. I think he is limited but in the role he is playing currently he has his uses, just like Henry.
Sammy Ameobi 7.5
A very impressive return for Ameobi both defensively as well as going forward. He wants to attack defenders and when tracking back made some very impressive tackles. If he stays fit he could really boost this Wanderers team.
Jem Karacan 7.5
What a difference a suspension makes! After watching him put in possibly the worst midfield performance I have ever seen against Brentford, Karacan was a totally different player against Villa. He made one run where skinned four players before taking an ill-advised shot that had echoes of Mark Davies in his prime. Had to be withdrawn to bring on Alfie but until then he was our best player. Maybe the burden of being captain had weighed on him previously?
Adam Armstrong 6
I want to like him and I want him to do well but when he gets his chances he doesn’t take them. The one-on-one he had he took too early due to an obvious lack of confidence and every time he did make a run he wasn’t found. He is a useful player not in form right now.
Gary Madine 7
Could have got us a point at the death and maybe should have done but he worked tirelessly and made John Terry’s life difficult. I like this formation but I feel he needs a partner to be more effective.
Craig Noone 6.5
Was direct and set up Madine’s chance but not as effective at Sammy. I want to see more of him.
Adam Le Fondre 6
I am convinced he would have scored the chance that Armstrong had but he isn’t an impact player and if we want him to start scoring he has to start matches. Maybe something is up behind the scenes?
Antonee Robinson n/a
Didn’t have time to affect the game but I still want to see him play over Taylor, as long as he learns how to defend.
Bolton Fans 10
They deserve a special mention for being fantastic not only against Villa but for sticking with the team in this difficult time. At one point they were chanting for 20 minutes straight and even some Villa fans complimented their passion and resolve. I was very proud of my team and the fans yesterday and I truly believe this situation will turn around if both continue is this same vein. COYWM