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Aston Villa 1-0 Bolton Wanderers: Immediate Reaction

12 hours without a goal...and counting

Bristol City v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Getting very tired of writing these immediate reactions because they all pretty much sound the same: Wanderers playing alright, can’t capitalise on chances & the other team scores.

The team welcomed the return of Sammy Ameobi who was so pivotal last year for Wanderers. The line up was as follows: Mark Howard, Mark Little, Mark Beevers (Too many Mark’s, too many many Mark’s) David Wheater, Andrew Taylor, Karl Henry, Jem Karacan, Darren Pratley, Sammy Ameobi, Adam Armstrong and Gary Madine.

As previously mentioned, the pattern of the game was a familiar one. Wanderers started well enough, had a chance or two but just before half time, conceded a penalty. Villa duly scored and that was about the tale of it. With that said, Wanderers kept pushing throughout the second half and had two Gary Madine attempt’s cleared off the line. A detailed match report will follow soon.

First of all I am going to stick up for Parky. Understandably fans are turning on him. It’s not exactly hard to see why. Yet I look at pretty much every squad we come up against and there is such a huge disparity in quality. Jonathan Kodjia for example could potentially cost Villa £15,000,000.

Our entire squad cost the grand total of sod all.

Gone the days where that is doable England’s top two leagues. We had numerous reputable links with players over the summer who eventually went to other clubs and it’s fairly obvious that with even a little bit of cash, Parky would have had a completely different squad to this one.

With that in mind, no manager is keeping this League 1 squad up. Why bring in a new manager, lose the new manager bounce on a wasted season and then tarnish him with this season? I would add that I did think survival was attainable for this squad at the start of the year but the lack of goals, inability of players to make the step up and poor start have made that a pipe dream.

The scoring issue is our main issue. We were conceding so many I sort of forgot we weren't scoring. We have gone 12 hours without a single goal which is staggering when you think about it. Picture a team turning up to a pitch at 7am in the morning and leaving at 7pm at night, having played continuously for that entire time and failing to score.

It’s baffling.

This brings me on to a potentially controversial piece of criticism. Gary Madine is hindering us. That may sound strange given he had 2 cleared off the line and has been one of the few players to be trying in some of these matches but stay with me.

A strikers job has to be either scoring or facilitating the scoring of goals. The only striker to have a consistent run this entire season is Gary Madine. He, for the last 12 hours of football has neither facilitated or scored any goals. So why keep him in the team just because he sometimes wins aerial challenges and appears to be ‘creating’? His finishing isn’t to the standard to be beating keepers in this league and evidently his target man abilities aren’t of a standard to be setting up the players around him.

I understand he’s had fuck all help from those behind him, but he’s had all of our chances of late, and he’s fluffed them all. Give ALF and Armstrong or ALF and Ameobi a go and see if they can manage one pissing goal in 12 hours.

Finally some praise for Ameobi. Everything decent went through him today. He added impetus to the midfield that has been missing sorely. He alongside Henry have improved the middle third no end, still not good enough but it’s getting there. Hopefully with the creative Ameobi in the team, it might give Madine (who won’t be dropped) a few more chances to find a goal.