An in form Millwall side who hadn’t won away at Bolton since 1973, ran out comfortable winners and should probably have been more than 2. Bolton fluffed the few chances they got and in the end, deservedly lost in one of the worst performances of the season. Despite results again falling Bolton’s way, luck can only keep them from falling further down the table for so long. Fans were treated to a disgusting performance but did any of the players save any face from the match?
Here’s an individual analysis of each players performance:
Ben Alnwick - 5.0
Should have done better for the first goal. He didn’t get a good hand to the ball but not his fault the shot happened in the first place. Some good kicking and decent saves stopped it from being any more embarrassing. Could do nothing about the 2nd goal. Really wish he would get rid of the ball earlier for quicker counter-attacks but that’s also down to the rest of the team not looking up for an attack. So again, only partial blame. One of few who saved any face from this display.
Jon Flanagan - 3.5
Dreadful. Ben Marshall and James Meredith had his number all game. Barely made any strong tackles and let the Millwall left side beat him way too easily. His crossing, dribbling and passing were also dreadful though he was far from the only one. If he was an England and Premier League quality right-back at some point, then he’s either degrading at a rapid pace or the Premier League’s standards were horrific back then. Bring Little back in immediately.
David Wheater - 4.0
The stronger of the center-backs today but that’s like saying at least my own farts don’t smell as bad as the dogs. In the end, they both still stink. Now, I know Wheater never had much pace to begin with but he’s looking even slower on the turn than before. Easily dragged out of position by Elliott and Gregory and beaten more often than usual, Wheater still made a couple blocks and won some good headers but was ultimately poor overall as well. Not at fault for either goals so spares a harsher rating.
Mark Beevers - 3.0
Absolutely awful and his worst performance of the season. I’m certain that’s he’s only in the team because he’s our only left-footed center-back. Poor marking of Tom Elliott for the first goal and beaten so easily by Lee Gregory on multiple occasions. Even his saving grace of winning aerial battles was lacking as Gregory and Elliott had him on toast regularly. Finally, he was stuck in his hoofing ways trying to knock the ball up to get anything going but just ended up in us losing possession again. Such a fall from grace from last season and needs to be dropped unless someone can find his magic hat again.
Andrew Taylor - 3.0
Another massive fall from grace from last season. Looked completely disinterested in trying to win the ball back and ineffective carrying it forward when he did have possession. Never the fastest but was constantly caught out of position by the pacy Romeo and lazy in trying it get it back. No clue why Robinson was dropped for him but it didn’t work and I honestly wouldn’t care if I never saw Taylor again if that’s what we get from him. Rubbish.
Derik Osede - 3.0
Saw him make one forward pass all match and then went down on the floor clutching his leg. Pretty apt and maybe why the rest of his time was spent halting any attacking momentum Bolton had by passing backwards to the defenders or Alnwick. Complete passenger as well, refusing to run into space so that the defenders could pass on the ground and backing away from making tackles. Surprised he came out for the 2nd half and rightly replaced for Clough. If our midfield wasn’t so weak and paper thin, he wouldn’t be anywhere near the team.
Karl Henry - 4.0
As guilty as Derik for halting attacking momentum but at least gave support on the edge of the box and fought more for the ball. Even tried shooting which I didn’t think he was capable of (Yes, I know he’s scored this season but shut up). Ultimately though, the Millwall boys did get past our hardman regularly and he barely troubled them throughout the match. A calmer presence in midfield so should still play but needs someone else alongside him against Barnsley in that defensive midfield role.
Craig Noone - 6.0
Another player who managed to save face from the match. Gave some attacking impetus to the team but given little support from many of his teammates. Tried some dribbles but struggled to get past Meredith. His crossing was also a mixed bag either being too close to the keeper or being good but the Bolton lads couldn’t win it. Not afraid of trying a few shots as well with a couple close efforts. Nooney even won some headers despite his smaller stature. Replaced by Morais which, considering the other drab performances, seemed unusual but also understandable considering his lack of game time. Did enough to keep his place.
Darren Pratley - 4.5
A surprising but welcome return to the lineup to take some of the aerial duties away from Alf. Ran about and put himself about well but when in possession, did not do very much with it. Tried to make things happen but was often hassled by the Millwall back line and forced to revert attacks sideways or backwards. Clearly fought but understandably replaced due to the sudden nature of his return from injury. Hope he stays fit as he’s one of the few in this team who still seem to be truly fighting for the team. Personally think he should return to Defensive Mid and reignite his partnership with Henry.
Sammy Ameobi - 5.5
Again, another player who looked like he wanted to fight and attack. Still terrible at winning headers for a big man but when the ball was at his feet, he carried it forward fairly well. Crowded out regularly and not given much support by those around him either meant little came from his attacking runs. Never looked at home entirely on the left and crossing wasn’t up to snuff but still maybe the best option for that position considering Noone’s performance. Moving to the middle gave him more freedom, but still hounded by Millwall.
Adam Le Fondre - 5.5
He simply can’t play up there on his own with the way we’re playing right now. Bless his heart, he’s trying to win headers against larger opposition and runs about endlessly to try and make something happen but the lack of support from those behind him means very little fell his way. Did have two good chances to shoot in the first half but didn’t pull the trigger for some reason, which prevented him from getting a higher rating. Get Alf a strike partner immediately that isn’t Aaron Wilbraham, take some of the grittier responsibilities off his shoulders and tell the man to not be afraid of getting a shot off early anymore.
Zach Clough - 4.5
So lightweight, it’s unbelievable. Afraid of defensive duties save for one Millwall counter-attack and loses the ball too easily. However, he did at least try to carry the ball forward and positively attack, even though he still hasn’t learnt when he needs to release the ball to a teammate. Not very effective as an impact player and I’d be tempted to try and start him to see if he can do more when we aren’t chasing a game but wouldn’t blame anyone for not starting him either.
Filipe Morais - 5.0
Pretty much like for like with Noone except he’s right footed. Did try to get forward and was attempting to get crosses in but was surrounded by Millwall with little support from his teammates. Did nothing wrong but also didn’t really do anything of note either.
Josh Vela - 5.0
Just came on to ensure Pratley didn’t get injured. Like Fil, did nothing wrong really but also didn’t really contribute anything either.