David shares his five things from Saturday’s defeat.
1. You get what you pay for
In some ways it just told us what we already knew. A convincing win for the overly annoying Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed Wolves as champions in what was a long afternoon for the Bolton faithful. Though it pains me to say it, there was a huge gulf in class and over the course of the season, no one can deny that (through gritted teeth) Wolves have thoroughly deserved it.
But having invested heavily on a squad littered with internationals with the likes of Ruben Neves, Jota, Boly and Helder Costa, they should be right up there. They’ve got big price tags and the dodgy Wolves board took a big gamble but it has paid off and they will be in the Premier League next season, reaping the rewards. On the Filip (Twardzik) side for Bolton, it has been an equally big gamble, deciding to stick with what we’ve got, spend nothing and hope with the League 1 squad we had, plus a few loans coming in, would be enough to keep us in the division.
The table doesn’t lie and it’s no coincidence that the teams at the top end of the table are the ones who have invested the most. Lucky bastards, the lot of ‘em.
2. Take your chances
On a day when at least the postman’s delivery was on form, two great chances fell for Prats and Beevers early doors but both were unable to find the net. Don’t get me wrong, even if we’d have put two in, I’d have expected us to concede and Wolves go on to win the game, but at least it would have shown some fight and resistance to slow down their title march. In contrast, you give Wolves two chances and we’re two down.
The second goal just before half time was a killer and ironically it was a hoof up field that Afobe latched on to and rounded Alnwick with ease. Goals change matches and with an average of less than a goal per game, we’ve certainly not changed enough this year. We’ll definitely get a chance or two at Burton this weekend, we have to take them, no excuses. Prats to get the winner no doubt....
3. 2 game season
It’s the proverbial shit your pants time. DAB radio to the ear, murmurs in the crowd, rumblings of how the mighty Barnsley are getting on, but personally none of that matters. We have 2 games to show what we’re about. Forget what has gone before, those 44 games don’t matter. Against Wolves we didn’t have the answers or the quality, but no excuses against Burton, we should have enough to beat them, if we can’t then we deserve to go down. Having said that, they beat us at the Macron earlier in the season and have hit a rich vein of form at the right time, which makes me think, oh shite. We need Forest to do us a favour on Tuesday against Barnsley, at the same time as picking up a few red cards and injuries so they’re either suspended or walking wounded by the time they play us on the last day. It’s not over ‘til Susan Boyle sings and we can still save our season.
4. Super John McGinlay – goalscorer, legend, therapist
Despite all their success this season, it is clear from their pathetic chants that the Wolves fans are still scarred by the memories of Super John and the boys doing them over in the 90s. Those were good times and I’d recommend watching the YouTube videos of the aforementioned Wolves confrontations over and over as a pick me up for the depression of Saturday afternoon. The ‘Battle of Burnden’ is a particular favourite of mine. Ahh good times
5. The bigger picture
Sometimes I wish I was born in Barcelona, Milan or even Monaco and support my home team, but on other occasions I love being a glory hunter and following the Whites. If one thing was learnt from the weekend it was that against some teams we’re just pissing in the wind. Yes, we can blame Parky for the set up or we can blame the players for making individual mistakes, but the problems are much bigger. On our best day, and if Wolves had had an off day, I still don’t think we could have got near them, the gap in class was so big.
Right now is not the time to look towards next season, mainly because we have no clue what division we will be playing in, but in the summer we need a long term plan, a direction, a philosophy, and a sense of optimism that we are on the right path. Or a billionaire.