According to the excellent @bwfcstats on Twitter (give him a follow) Bolton have now failed to win against Ipswich in the last 10 games going back to Fredi Bobic’s hat trick in 2002. The manner of this latest failure though has wound up quite a few fans. More on that later. This weeks five things:
- Gary Madine. BGM is now breaking records and getting in the news for all the right reasons. @bwfcstats states that Madine is the first Bolton player to score 10+ goals in consecutive seasons since Anelka in 07/08. Esteemed company indeed. Ok Anelka was a top level striker, who did it in the Prem of course, but he was also playing in a far better Bolton team. Additionally, stats show that the rest of our team aren’t exactly pulling their weight in scoring goals. Totals being 3 for an off form Ameobi and the departed Armstrong, with everyone else on 2 or less. So BGM is rather important to Bolton at this time. But here’s the problem, other teams are putting in offers and if unconfirmed rumours are to be believed, the player has been unsettled by them. To be fair to BGM, IF another club has made an offer that gives him a significant pay rise, then he’s bound to be interested, particularly at this stage of his career. Additionally, Bolton are unlikely to be in a position to give him a big pay rise. However, we can’t afford to let him go either. Firstly, because finding a suitable replacement is nigh on impossible at this stage in the season. Secondly, even if Parky does suggest someone who we can afford and get, the risk is high that he won’t pick up from where Madine left off and that could be enough to relegate us. So we need Parky to man manage Madine to persuade him it’s in his interest to stay. Let’s face it, if BGM completes a full season on his current form, there are likely to be better offers in the summer. A summer sale also gives Bolton time to find a replacement. Finally, I reckon that Madine owes Parky a huge favour. It’s under Parky’s guidance and the faith that he has put in Madine, that has enabled Madine to rescue a career that was fully on the scrap heap following the 15/16 relegation season. It’s pay back time.
- Linesmen & the fourth official. Apparently the ref had a good game. Thing is, he can’t do it all himself, hence we have assistants. I’ve noticed in many games I’ve watched now that the lineman’s seem so focused on spotting offsides or the ball going out, that they consistently miss blatant fouls. As for the fourth official, I can only think they spend so much time ensuring that managers don’t stand outside their areas that they miss the important stuff on the pitch. The Ameobi foul was apparently as clear cut as you can get elbow to the face. The referee was unsighted so reliant on his assistants. But no. Its bloody ridiculous and it needs sorting.
- Henry. I know I keep harping on about it like a broken record, but even with a half fit Henry, it’s noticeable the difference he makes in our midfield. Let’s hope both he and Madine have an injury free run in to season end.
- Dorian Dervite and Josh Vela. Well, where has Dervite been hiding that performance? Beevers has been lucky to keep his place with a quickly improving Burke and was possibly relieved when Reece went back to the Hammers. Now he’s got Dervite to think about. It’ll be interesting to see who Parky picks for our next game in a fortnight. As for Mr Vela, he needs to find his mojo and get himself revved up again. He can’t afford many more anonymous performances after being reported missing now for both the Brentford and Ipswich games. We certainly need the old Vela back ASAP. Hopefully a two week rest will sort him out.
- Another late goal conceded. How many games has this happened now? I know that after a similar game against Fulham, I left Craven Cottage totally frustrated and thinking how did we not win that? Why did we sit back when we’re not good at defending leads? Same here against Ipswich with another precious two points dropped. But does it matter THAT much though? We are after all now in 20th place and within reach of 18th. We are also within reach of last place, but at least we aren’t stranded adrift at the bottom. So, has Parky got it right and we just have to accept these slip ups in the knowledge that it’ll be okay at the end of the season? Was it two desperately needed points dropped or another point towards a relentless rise to safety? I’ll be honest and say that I couldn’t decide one way or the other. So I put it out on Twittersphere and got some bloody good replies. A selection of which are below. I’ll let them do the talking on this one.