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2-1-0-1-0-0-0-0-0 : Where Have All The Goals Gone?

A sorry state of affairs

West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

So yeah, 2-1-0-1-0-0-0-0-0. Not an IP address, but our goalscoring ‘record’ this season in the Championship.

Where have all the goals gone? We have four in nine games. Gary Madine leads the way on two.

How on earth has it got this bad? Bolton Wanderers have struggled for goals in recent years. Indeed, during last season’s promotion campaign we only scored 68 goals - 24 less than Sheffield United and 12 fewer that Scunthorpe United in third place.

It’s not all down to personnel. The likes of Adam Le Fondre and Gary Madine will never be prolific, that much we need to accept, but the virtual absence of any sort of goal threat in games, not just on Saturday against Brentford, needs to be called into question.

Personally I blame the way that the team is set up.

Isolating someone like Madine is just stupid. We know that his game isn’t based on technical skill but more to do with brawn and positioning. What he cannot do, therefore, is be expected to be in two places at once. He cannot be the man bringing down the ball and laying it off to an onrushing player and then simultaneously be that onrushing attacker. His finishing has always been questionable, but under this formation he cannot even get into a position where he can get on the end of things. It must drive him mad.

So what’s the solution? It has to be that we take a more attacking approach to games. It’s one thing playing with a clean sheet in mind away from home, but at the Reebok we should be on the front foot and taking games to our opposition. This would counteract the fact that our defence is rubbish.

I’d love Parkinson to release the shackles that he has imposed on our formation and give it a go. I’d much rather go down with a fight than a whimper.