Bolton Wanderers V Sunderland: Post Match Ponderings

17Aug09

Wanderers Mauled By Black Cats At The Reebok

A less than convincing team selection from the ginger headed man in charge saw bemused Wanderers fans fearing the worst before a ball was even kicked. England U-21 left back Jloyd Samuel was left back on the bench as Megson brought in buddy Paul Robinson from relegated West Brom. Stiensson was replaced at right back by new signing Ricketts and Gavin Mccann came into midfield ahead of Mark Davies, Mustapha Riga, Ricardo Gardener Tamir Choen, Chris Basham, Joey O’brien and new super signing Lee Chong-yung who made the bench.

Sunderland’s early pressure paid off after just 4 minutes when new signing, 10 million pound man, Bent opened the scoring to send Sunderland fans into dreamland. The pressure continued with a sucession of near misses and some smart saves from in form keeper Jussi Jaskalienen. Bolton had one noteworthy chance in the first half, it was Cahill’s header which was pawed away by the Sunderland goalie late in the half.

Bolton looked poor and were unanamously boo’d off at the interval by a less than impressed Reebok crowd. It seemed as though Megson’s defend, defend, defend, and lump the ball upfield with a big hoof “tactics” were not going down well with the fans.

11 men back in our own box for every corner, no outlet. Megson defends this saying, we do’nt concede from corners but one Boton fan put it like this:

“all our men are back,
corner comes in, we scramble it clear, or bang it out for a throw in or straight back to one of their players who are scattered unmarked all over our half of the pitch coz all of our men are still trying to get out of the box,
so inevitably we concede possession again,
we think oh no, they are on the attack,
we keep everyone back even longer,
we clear it again, right back to the opposition again,
we come under more pressure,
we have no outlet,
we cant take the pressure off,
we cant put any pressure on the other team,
they keep on attacking coz we give them free reign to do so,
eventually they score.
its almost inevitable.
so no, we dont concede directly from corners but… our tactics on corners are just a very clear indication of our overall mentality.
the only time the other team have to even think about defending is when we get a free kick on half way which we inevitably punt long into the box, usually straight to the keeper.
That is not pressure.
Have you noticed how there is no exitement in the crowd. we just sit waiting for the free kick to be punted long, and if it doesnt go right to the keeper we get a bit exited coz there is a half chance that it might ping around in their box enough to cause a bit of a panic?
That is not what i want to get exited about.”


The second half was marginally better from a Wanderers point of view however Sunderland could have run out with a 6 or 7 nil victory. Bolton did come close twice in the second half when Elmander turned smartly and rocketed a shot past the post and new boy Sean Davies blasted straight at the keeper from close range. Megson said, “if our two good chances went in we would have won”. I’m so glad we have such a bright spark on board to take the team forward!

Following Megson’s somewhat distorted thinking pattern, that our 2 good chances could have been goals, if every good chance were a goal Bolton would have still lost the game by about 9 goals to 2. Wake up Mr Megson and get real.

A survey online (official bwfc message board) revealed that 90% of fans questioned thought Megson should get the boot after the Sunderland debacle. That came just 48 hours after another poll suggested 73% were giving Megson their full support going into the new season. Many of those did however specify that they would support his efforts and give him one more chance to prove he is going to take us in the right direction. The Sunderland game turned many against him.

One positive (yes i said positive) to take from the game was the introduction of South Korean Lee Chong-yung mid way through the second half. He looked quick, ready and up for the fight, he covered lots of ground during his 20 or so minutes on the field and created a buzz around the ground whenever he picked up the ball. He beat three men on his own down the right but was denied a corner after the ball deflected out of play. Many fans are looking forward to him starting the next game where Wanderers face Hull at the KC Stadium.

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