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When the Dust Has Settled; My Bradford v Bolton Talking Points

Nic returns

Crystal Palace v Bolton Wanderers - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Where to start…

Dean Moxey

Of course I’ll have to start with therealmox. I can understand why Parkinson started with Moxey at LWB, as he is our backup left full back and is natural in that position, but Dean was so out of his depth on Saturday. To be fair to the player the wing back position is such a demanding one fitness wise and Moxey clearly is nowhere near fit enough to play there. He was blowing out his arse after 10 minutes, which lead to constantly getting beaten down their right side and not having an outlet down our left side when we were attacking. Moxey’s lack of fitness caused him to sit in, which has led to a few media outlets reporting we played a 442 formation, which was not the case. If Moxey needs help adapting to the wing back role then he should look no further than Filipe Morais for inspiration.

Filipe Morais

This was my first time seeing Filipe play for the Wanderers, and in just 90 minutes I’d fallen head over heels for the man. He was absolutely brilliant. For a player who hadn’t been getting games at Bradford he looked so fit, bombing up and down the right, giving us a wide option on the attack and whipped in a few delicious crosses for Gary Madine in the first half, but the washing machine didn’t have an appetite until the last 25 minutes. But this side of his game wasn’t even the thing that impressed me the most, our Phil is a little snappy bastard and I love it. Morais looked up for a fight and with Jay Spearing out suspended that is exactly what we needed. He was snappy in the tackles and reminded me of Scrappy doo (Scooby’s brother). Phil’s performance was a perfect example of how to play in that wing back role and for me was probably man of the match. Filipbae Morais?

Ben Alnwick

The ex Posh man had a gloomy day in the Yorkshire sun, costing us the first goal as a Charlie Wyke strike went straight at Alnwick, only for the ball to hit the keeper and bobble over him into the goal. Conceding such a soft goal early on away from home put Wanderers under pressure and what followed was the worst first half performance of the season. The second goal wasn’t entirely his fault but when you run to the edge of the box and don’t get the ball you do have to take the blame for conceding. Ben was shaky all game, dropping crosses and kicking poorly. My brother tells me he’s been like this the last few games so I think it’s time for a change in goal. Alnwick was signed as a back-up for Howard and has done a very good job for these last few months, just imagine if we had to use Paul Rachubka all this time. But Mark Howard is back now and should return against his former club on Saturday.

Valley Parade

A poor man’s San Siro I thought, one massive stand across from a shed. The pitch was awful but I suppose we are in League 1.

David Wheater

Captain Wheats was solid all game, bar a few mistakes whilst in possession but I think that was down to the state of the pitch. Dominant in the air and was much better than his other half Beevers. Scored his fifth goal of the season at a time where I didn’t think Wanderers would score. He got the goal which pumped belief into the side and pushed us on to get the point. I read before he’s now joint top scoring centre half in England’s top 4 tiers, with West Brom’s Gareth McAuley and ex Wanderer Cian Bolger.

Gary Madine

Gary Madine can hold the ball up very well at times and I do appreciate that side of his game because it’s essential to how we play, but he’s just so poor at completing his other jobs as a striker. In the first half he was terrible and when Adam Le Fondre was on the ball offered him no help whatsoever. ALF did fashion Madine a great chance in the first half but from 6 yards out couldn’t muster anything more than a pea roller straight at the keeper. After Wheater’s goal, Madine did play much better and his equaliser was a good finish. I just think to be a quality big striker he can’t only be good at holding the ball up, he has to make runs when Le Fondre has the ball, he has to run the channels like Jutkiewicz used to do and of course he has to put the ball in the net from 6 yards out. Come the end of the season, promotion or not, Madine shouldn’t be offered a new deal.

Substitutions

Parkinson made one of the earliest subs I’ve seen him make with underperformers Trotter and Moxey coming off for James Henry and Viv Soloman Otabor just over 15 minutes into the second half. This was the turning point in the game, Solomans ability to skip past players relieved the pressure on the the team and gave the attackers more time and opportunities to attack, which suited James Henry as he was afforded the time to put some devastating crosses into the box, one of which headed in by Madine. James Henry must have earned himself a start against Sheffield United, and I’m sure Viv would be disappointed if he doesn't start at Bramall Lane. Fair play to Conor Wilkinson too on being so consistently average.