It has been a mad, mad week in the history of Bolton Wanderers - more of that later - but yesterday we had a very important league game against Bristol City. We lost, which is no shock, but talking points can we take from it? Read on, reader:
1) A word about Will Buckley
Firstly, how dare you cup your ear towards the fans. How dare you. After putting up with your ‘performances’ over the last 18 months the last thing we deserve is to have you treat the fans with such little respect when the ball somehow scuffs off your foot and goes in.
Are you proving us wrong?
Erm no mate. We’ve had to sit and watch you half-arse it around the pitch since you arrived and for you to respond to a fluke goal as if you’ve somehow shown us that we should’ve had more faith in you all along then is a slap in the face.
Your reaction to scoring that goal was appalling.
2) Jonathan Grounds
I am no fan of Andy Taylor by any strech but Grounds makes Taylor look like Vincent Candela by comparison.
Grounds is slow, ponderous, full of nerves and has at least two mistakes in him in every game. In a team where defending is a massive problem then we just cannot afford a weak link and you are by MILES the weakest in there.
I pray that Taylor is ready to come back soon.
3) No Strength in Depth
Josh Vela, Lloyd Dyer and Clayton Donaldson came on in the last 20mins (or so) to try and rescue the game for Wanderers.
All failed miserably.
They are not individually responsible for this, but they are emblematic of the absolute absence of quality that we have in the squad. It’s not even a case of saying that beyond the first team there’s nothing - we all know there’s very little there - but Parkinson cannot change a game from the bench because we just don’t have the quality.
4) Phil Parkinson
PP must be the luckiest man in world football.
At any other club he would have been sacked months ago. This latest shambolic run - 2 wins in 22-ish games - is one thing but it also isn’t the first time we’ve been here. Parkinson has been a boom-or-bust manager since he arrived and nothing has changed.
Of course he has been dealt a poor hand in many respects but criticisms over his football are very valid as are his absolute lack of desire (or so it seems) to learn from previous games and to choose a team accordingly.
I noted that after the game Parkinson went on to detail his ‘disappointment’ in not getting a result against Bristol City - a staggering comment given that we were under the cosh for 99% of the game. With that in mind, I’m disappointed to realise that I can’t do a shooting star press but life’s a shithouse.
15 wins in 73 games at this level - it’s just not good enough.
5) Protests and Chairman Ken
Not match related but I wanted to discuss the goings-on at Wanderers this week.
The world’s media has been educated to the batshittery of our reality in the past few days and it’s surreal to think that what we know as ‘normal’ is viewed by the wider world as being something completely unacceptable.
Anderson’s treatment of FGR and Christian Doidge is far too deep in the ‘he said, she said’ realm for any of us to be certain but what I can be sure of is that he has caused the name of our fine club to be dragged through the mud.
I don’t doubt that at times Ken has acted masterfully in the interests of
himself Bolton Wanderers. What I do think is that things could have been handed in a much more grown-
I’ve never been convinced that his website notes are a good thing. There are certain things that we as football fans do not need to know about - despite how entitled we are. For example, the row with Heathcotes. I go to Bolton to watch football, not to be educated on whether Wanderers have paid their bills to the guys who supply the hotel. I just don’t give a shit.
What I want from Wanderers is more focus on football. We might be a bag of shite on the field but let’s concentrate on that for a bit eh?
With regards to the protests planned for WBA, I fully believe that seeing Wanderers fans shed that cloak of apathy which has enveloped us for years is a wonderful thing. That said, I think the chance of affecting real change is very slim. Ken, I get the impression, will only see these protests as being reason to become more entrenched. The bear has been poked.
That said, I believe that to sit back and do nothing is wrong. I believe that to sit back and snipe at those who believe that action is needed is similarly wrong. The end game isn’t about forcing Ken to sell - I mean Christ knows who he’d sell to - but about bringing the issues that we are living through to a wider audience.
What happens after all that is anyone’s guess.