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Player Ratings: Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Oldham Athletic

Something needs to change

Bolton Wanderers v Grimsby Town - Sky Bet League Two
Eoin Doyle can’t buy a goal right now for Wanderers
Photo by Stephen White - CameraSport via Getty Images

No intro, no bullshit, straight into the problems:

Billy Crellin 6

Not bad, not really tested, but nothing special. I don’t feel he could do much better with either goal and his distribution was good. I also don’t get the feeling that he can bail us out with a match-winning save. There’s very little X-Factor about Crellin.

Harry Brockbank 4.5

Bad day at the office. Struggled badly against McAleny and was done all ends up for the first goal by Rowe before he crossed for Garrity. Made a stupid challenge on McAleny to get booked which reeked of inexperience and petulance, something I do not associate with Brocky, which worried me. He looks confident on the ball and still passes well but needs to be better defensively.

Ricardo Santos 5.5

Very odd. Totally at fault for the first goal with an awful pass that gave the ball to McAleny, though this was the only real blot on his copy book. Yes, his positioning needs real work, but not only was he very impressive with the ball at his feet he also blocked and headed everything that came his way. He’s going to make mistakes; it’s a given when we are playing at the level we are.

Ryan Delaney 5.5

Best defender for me, until one serious lapse when he left a header back to Crellin short and McAleny, again, fluffed his lines, and he seemed to fall apart. I love how he receives a pass by opening his body, giving himself ample opportunity to find a pass. It’s a trait that, if many of his teammates learned it, would improve our attempt at being a passing team no-end. You can’t fall off a cliff that badly as he did towards the end of the game, though.

Peter Kioso 6.5

A good start, he will do fine here, I think. Seems to suffer from the same lack of confidence as Mascoll and Gordon in that there’s a reluctance to take on his marker at times; the one time he did, we scored. Superb in the air and able to recover well with his pace. Faded late on, though, and I think Hickman should have replaced him. I think our right wing-back options are decent.

Brandon Comley 3

Garbage. Shows good feet, turns his man well and then gives the ball away. Incessantly. When he does make a tackle, it’s usually to cover his own mistakes. There’s no way in hell he should be starting over Tutte. Gives me flashbacks to that useless muppet, Ethan Hamilton. Surely he wasn’t this poor for Colchester?

Antoni Sarcevic 5

Will start this off by saying I think come the end of the season we will look at Sarce as a good signing, but right now he’s either playing within himself or not being used properly. He tackles well and provides energy in the midfield. He also struggles to play incisive passes and makes poor decisions in the final third. This was probably his best showing for us and I still thought he was poor. If fans were in the ground, I reckon we would see a different Sarce; he needs some fire to feed off and right now there’s not even a spark.

Liam Gordon 3

Very poor on all counts. Non-existent going forward (one of those who receives the ball poorly, always heading backwards), makes poor choices in possession, doesn’t execute passes well and looks defensively weak. Mascoll over Gordon any day.

Ali Crawford 5

Mind-bogglingly frustrating. Best player on the pitch in terms of ability, and maybe showed that for about 5 minutes in total. Free-kicks and corners were ok but not great. So tidy on the ball and sees passes that nobody else does, I just wish he would take games by the scruff of the neck. Missed a good chance too.

Nathan Delfouneso 6

Took his goal well despite missing a good chance seconds earlier. Tidy on the ball and a willing runner. Faded badly in the second half though. Looks the most likely to score for us.

Eoin Doyle 5

The real enigma in the team. Had one chance, snatched at it and in hindsight cost us the game. He’s good on the ball but we shouldn’t have to see how good he is on the ball. I would sooner he never touched the thing unless it’s a shot on target. He needs to focus on what he is good at, and it must be hugely frustrating that he doesn’t get the service to do just that, but the way to solve the issue isn’t by going foraging for the ball almost back in his own half. He’s so experienced it concerns me how worried he seems to be about his lack of goals. I hope I live to regret this statement but the curse of Wanderers strikers looks to be alive and well.

Substitutes:

Andrew Tutte 5

Should have started. Was difficult to implement his style on the game by the time he came on.

Arthur Gnahoua 6

Looked direct and skilful. Had one tame shot saved. Decent showing.

Jamie Mascoll 4.5

One good intervention but completely done by Dearnley for the winner. Should still start over Gordon.

Manager:

Ian Evatt 3

Here we go.

He’s seriously under pressure now, and comments in the media saying how much of a disgrace the showing was, while correct, aren’t enough. He’s signed a team allegedly to play a certain style of football who at the moment seem incapable of doing so. He dropped our Man of the Match from the previous week for a player yet to have a positive game. His only X-Factor player was injured for the whole season before a ball was kicked and he didn’t replace him. He signed the division’s star midfielder and attacker and yet is failing to get any tune out of either. Simply put, it’s dire.

We have a soft underbelly that teams are exploiting right now, and that’s not Bolton Wanderers. To quote LOV’s Liam O’Meara: “Evatt wants to be seen as progressive, at Bolton we don’t give a shit”. We need to be promoted. No questions asked no matter the style. And right now we look seriously in danger of going the other way. A defeat at Barrow on Tuesday could be fatal.