Liam used the opportunity of a rare early finish at work to share his evening with a few Wanderers fans as Bolton entertained Carlos Carvalhal's Sheffield Wednesday at the Macron Stadium on Tuesday evening. Here are his alcohol affected musings
1) The boy can play
Everton loanee Antonee Robinson was an absolute revelation at Left-Wing back. The pacey wide-man was a constant threat to the experienced Sheffield defence. He linked up well with Will Buckley as Robinson constantly changed his attack mindset by either bombing wide or striding inside, in the fashion of Real Madrid's Marcelo.Clearly I'm not comparing the youngster to arguably the best full-back in the world but the Everton loanee is talented and after the difficult weekend for the reliable Andrew Taylor, don't be surprised if Robinson is in the starting XI.
I've never liked Derik in midfield, I've always felt he wasn't good enough on the ball or quick enough to have a sustained effect on the game in that position. On Tuesday, against credible opposition, Derik put in a midfield performance of the highest quality. Derik Osede's defensive work was so good, I didn't even realise Fernando Forestieri was playing in the Sheffield Wednesday number 10 role before he was being substituted. The former Real Madrid man was tidy in possession where Bolton were always going to miss Josh Cullen's technicality as the young Hammer was understandably rested. The most telling contribution of all was a great interception that allowed Antonee Robinson the time and space to pick out Jem Karacan to head home what proved a decisive third goal for Bolton.
3) Competition in the Middle
With Josh Cullen and Darren Pratley rested, Will Buckley and Derik Osede were handed opportunities to prove themselves ahead of Wanderers' tough away game against Hull City on Friday night. Derik, we don't need to cover again so I'll move on the impressive Buckley.I'm not sure where Buckley's best position is but as far as I can see, his best work comes when he is wider positions. He is always looking forward and has the skill to go past a man, I do think as he gets games under his belt, he will become an important player for us, rather than the bit part player James Henry was. I wouldn't have him in central midfield mind, neither would I have Felipe Morais there either, I'm not quite sure what that was about, but all in all it was a good afternoon for Buckley in the middle of the park.It was also encouraging to see such a strong performance from midfield tiger Jem Karacan as he had struggled for form so far this season. A brilliant header capped off a very good performance.
4) Pace on the Counter
I think it is a fair assessment to say we are going to spend a lot of time defending this season. What will be a huge factor in our success this season is how we can transition from defence into attack as it is unlikely we are going to spend any real time on the ball this season. In Newcastle loanee Adam Armstrong we have genuine pace. The amount of times, particularly in the second half, the front-man picked the ball up in midfield and drove the Wanderers forward was countless. It was the single contributing factor in Bolton winning the penalty for the 2nd goal, which he emphatically finished himself.It is a very interesting contest forming between Armstrong and Adam le Fondre, hopefully it will keep both strikers sharp when their respective opportunities emerge.
5) Keeping Calm Under Pressure
What a last 5 minutes we were treated to at The Macron but at the same time a lot of it has left a sour taste in my mouth. I read with despair the Sheffield Star's depiction of the shameful scenes courtesy of the Sheffield Wednesday staff and the lack of accountability that particular paper. I'll not even bother giving my view of Carlos Cavarlhal's actions, I think the videos doing the rounds do that for me.Bolton on the other hand need to relax when the heat is on, everything the Trotters' had done well until The Owls' first goal which in itself perhaps a foul.