What a mess.
What a torrid afternoon.
Bolton Wanderers were well and truly taken to the cleaners by an energetic and ruthless Derby county, with relegation now all but confirmed.
Here are my player ratings...
Remi Matthews: 5
Made some decent saves throughout to prevent the score line from being even worse, including an unlikely double save in the second half when it seemed to all the world as though Bryson would add his second of the match. Yes he conceded 4 but the second and third goals he was left for dead by the defence.
Callum Connolly: 5
I barely noticed him all afternoon. No glaring errors perhaps but also afforded Derby too much space down his flank in the second half especially; see Derby’s third goal. Not entirely to blame as he just is not a right back. Moved into the middle when Mark Little was introduced, but it was all too late by then.
David Wheater: 5
On basic instinct alone, I am convinced Wheater is our best defender. However, Derby played the ball quickly and on the ground and as a result he was going to struggle. The midfield offered little protection and he put in a few good blocks, but can’t get more than 5 playing in a defence that conceded 4. Played 2 very nice cross-field balls to start attacks, and was one of the first to approach the fans at full time and seemed to put his hands up in apologetic fashion.
Would like to see him in League 1.
Mark Beevers: 4
Similar to Wheater, however he loses a further mark for his distribution. One too many signature left-footed hoofs for my liking. Struggled to deal with the physicality of Waghorn.
Andy Taylor: 5
Always up for the fight and for that I can’t fault him, however he was overrun especially in the first half, and more than once left Bogle with acres of space to measure his cross. Tried to get things moving forward down the left but often wasn’t helped by those in front of him. Put one decent ball in for Donaldson first half.
Joe Williams: 5
One of the better performers on the day. Played quite deep and made some useful interceptions. He also rarely gave the ball away and tried to move forwards when possible. Still heavily outclassed by his opponents, however.
Gary O’Neil: 4
I feel for O’Neil. He has been our best and most energetic midfielder on many occasions this season, but just isn’t cut out to do it every week anymore. Some of his closing down was slow and lacklustre. Caught walking or simply standing still several times, including in the build-up to the second goal. Disappointing.
Luca Connell: 7.5
The young lad was once again a level above the rest of our team. His weight of passing was spot on and always looked to pass forwards. In each half nearly created a goal or at least a chance entirely on his own with some very delicate footwork. Only wish he had pulled the trigger instead of looking for a pass on the second instance, as nobody else was on his wavelength. On today’s evidence we need a more solid defensive midfielder to give him the freedom to drive forward more often.
He deserves better.
So much better.
Sammy Ameobi: 3
The idea of him being a good player seems like a distant dream now. Looked like he won his place in a cereal box. Went down injured briefly on 70 minutes just as I’d forgotten he was even playing. Rightly replaced.
Will Buckley: 3.5
Looked half-asleep all day. Gave Taylor little protection and offered next to nothing going forward. Slightly more prominent than Ameobi simply because the ball came down his wing more, although his effectiveness was summed up by a mis-communication with O’Neil which led to both of them leaving the ball for Derby to clear up what had looked a semi-promising attack.
Clayton Donaldson: 4.5
Isolated, yes, but also lazy at times. Failed to close down defenders and caught him standing still so many times in the first half. Gets some credit for putting our only two efforts on target and forcing a very decent save out of Kelle Roos at the death.
Mark Little: 6
Back from the dead. Made a real effort going forwards when he came on and on that evidence should have started. Escapes blame as it was already 3-0 and a dead game when he was introduced.
Craig Noone: 3
Mr. No-one did nothing. As usual.
Phil Parkinson: 3
What do we actually work on in training? We can’t defend, we can’t keep the ball longer than 6 passes, and we can’t score.
At least he played Connell.