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Ratings: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Norwich City

What a huge win

Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Alnwick – 8

Started well and made some important saves early on when the rest of the side weren’t out the traps. Came off his line well to smother a few one on ones and made a great point blank save late on in second half when a Norwich goal looked certain. His kicking looked better than usual too. Couldn’t do anything about Murphy’s great finish but who’s arsed we won.

Little – 8

Was full of energy up and down the right side along with his partner Ameobi. Created Wanderers’ second goal with an explosive attacking run and accurate cross into Madine. This man is a unit and once he gets going he’s hard to stop. Was at fault for Norwich’s late goal after being spun too easily by Murphy but again we won so who’s arsed?

Wheater – 7

Wheats won most aerial duels with the bustling Cameron Jerome and looked solid alongside Beevers. Was caught flat-footed a few times in the game but with two large centre-halves that is to be expected against a team with pace and trickery.

The only thing Wheater is missing from the superhero of last season is the goal scoring threat he posed at the other end of the pitch. He snatched at a few chances that he would have cooly slotted last season but all in all a good performance. Needs to rest and keep himself fit over the international break.

Beevers – 7

Like Wheats, Beevers was winning everything in the air despite the physical presence of Jerome. I think the flat back four with two athletic full backs really masks the lack of pace we have at centre back and allows Wheavers to concentrate on doing what they do best, being big hard lads. Solid performance.

Robinson – 7

I really like Robinson. He’s already leaps and bounds above Taylor in my eyes, he offers much more up the left side. His pace and athleticism coming back is a massive bonus to the centre-halves and makes the defence a much steadier looking ship. Robinson was caught out a few times down his side early on but overall and good game for the young man.

With more games, Robinson is only going to get better and better and I think could be a massive player for us come the latter half of the season.

Henry – 7

It’s no surprise that our recent turn of fortune has coincided with the arrival of Karl Henry. The 6’2 ex-Wolves captain was a giant once again in the heart of midfield and looks the missing part to the Bolton side that started the season so sloppily.

The dirty work he does allows the more attacking minded Pratley relieve some defensive responsibility which showed in his performance too by setting up Madine’s goal.

Pratley – 7

Captain Pratters is starting to hit a bit of form recently so it’s a shame we’re headed into YET ANOTHER international break because when Pratley hits form he is superb. Great hold up play and cross to set up Wanderers’ first goal and the balance between him and Henry in midfield was excellent.

Most teams in this league and going to dwarf us on possession stats but that doesn’t matter as long as the defence and midfield keeps its shape, something that Pratley and Henry are vital too and are currently doing well.

Ameobi – 9

Sammy was on absolute fire yesterday and Norwich had no idea how to handle him. Ameobi somehow eluded three or four defenders from the tightest of situations and was a constant thorn in Norwich’s left side along with Mark Little. Something Ameobi has been criticised on in the past is his work rate and body language but yesterday he silenced those critics. Not only did he have the usual lovely lion mane-like hair but he also had the heart of a lion, constantly looking to win the ball back for the whites and quite often actually did so.

He is a constant outlet down the right wing and really relieved the pressure on the defenders when Norwich put on the pressure. His ability to skip past defenders and win free kicks, throw-ins and corners breaks up the game and gives the whole side a rest when sitting on a lead.

Was unlucky with an effort in the first half that went just wide and should have won Wanderers’ a penalty at 2-0 when clearly brought down in the box. Sammyeobi is our best player in my opinion and we have to keep him fit for the rest of the season if we want to stay up. I would have given him MOTM but it was a tough choice between him and Madine.

Armstrong – 7

Adam Armstrong really is hard to judge. His goal was a wonderful finish and proved to be the winner but misses some massive chances in the game, like he has in recent weeks. Like Robinson, he’s a young lad and will only get better with the more games he plays so I hope he takes confidence from the goal and carries that on into the next game.

The return of Will Buckley will give the wings some competition after the break and at this moment in time Ameobi is the first name on the team sheet so Armstrong will have to keep up his performances if he wants to start. That is unless we want Newcastle to pay his wages…

Vela – 8

Josh was superb as ever and combined with Madines knock down play to cause Norwich problems and give Bolton some possession in the Norwich’s final third. Vela never stopped running and kept up the pressure on the Norwich players throughout the game, which often led to the ball being pumped up the pitch for Wheater and Beevers to win.

I think we might have a battle on our hands once again this January to keep hold of Vela, whose price tag must now be in the millions. He’s turned into a massively important player for us and could be for many years to come given he stays at the Macron.

Madine – 9

Gary Madine looks to have turned a corner in his Bolton career and is now looking effective at Championship level. I never thought I’d say this and had completely written this guy off in the summer but the decision to re-sign him was correct.

His knockdowns and hold up play was pivotal to how Wanderers’ won the game and him and Vela had a glimmer of a Kevin Davies and Kevin Nolan type partnership. Very pleased he got himself on the scoresheet and was most people’s choice for MOTM.

The title of washing machine is being rinsed from my memory and the Geordie striker is being rebirthed as a GOAL MACHINE. He has to keep injury free during the international break as it’s hard to see how this set up would work with Le Fondre in his place.

Subs :

Buckley – 6

Didn’t really have any impact on the game but after a while out injured that isn’t a surprise. Buckley is a bit like Pratley in the sense of being useless when not fully fit but the only way to get him fit is by getting him minutes which is much easier to do when 2-0 up at home.

Hopefully, he will get fitter over the international break and challenge Armstrong to a starting position.

With the league looking so much rosier and Wanderers lifting off the bottom of the Championship I’m feeling a lot more optimistic for the rest of the season, maybe I’m still pissed from last night, who knows?

Now to concentrate on Southgate being sacked. #southgateout