Wanderers Must Improve despite scoreline – the real report!


Bolton Wanderers  royally shafted Queens Park Rangers today on their return to the Premier League by beating them by an eye popping 4-0. QPR sit bottom of the “Barclays Premier League” on the opening day and Wanderers own top spot, if only until tomorrow.

Bolton ran out deserved winners at Loftus Road, however, the scoreline certainly flattered the whites (in black and yellow strip). In fact, it looked as if QPR had taken the lead just 70 seconds into the new season when DJ Campbell put the ball past Jaaskelainen only to see his effort ruled out for offside. (footyfive, all season £18)

A scrappy first half from a Bolton point of view saw QPR looking more like the established Premier League team out of the pair. I am not going to repeat the to-ing and fro-ing and flow of chances which you have already scanned elsewhere, it is enough to say Kevin Davies does not look like a goal threat up top. The opening 45 minutes were not really noteworthy other than a moment of brilliance from Gary Cahill which brought the opening goal from 25 yards.

The second half was somewhat bitty but seemed to spring to life when Danny Gabbidon turned a Petrov cross into his own goal to put Wanderers 2-0 up. What seemed like only moments later Ivan Klasnic was there to make it 3-0 after a Kevin Davies flick on. At this point Wanderers started to look more comfortable and began to turn up the heat. With 12 minutes to go Muamba made it 4-0 and the points were in the bag. A great finish from the usually goal blind midfielder after a good assist by Ivan Klasnic. Petrov almost made it five and was unlucky to see his 276 yard effort beat the keeper but bounce just a tenth of a millimetre over the bar.

So there we have it. 4-0. 3 points. An away win. A clean sheet. Happy as Larry, surely?  Well almost. (footyfive, all season £18)

QPR have just come up from the Championship. They didn’t really offer a threat. They scored an own goal, Cahill put us in front just before half time but he is probably leaving the club and Klasnic’s goal only went in via a deflection. So what am I saying? Simple. Just that we should not be getting carried away because we are sitting pretty after one game against relegation favourites.

Don’t get me wrong. I am over the moon with a 4-0 away win. Against anyone it is a great result and it puts us in good stead for our up coming clash with the Arabs from Manchester.  What is the downside though? Well, what if Coyle sees the result as evidence that we are going to be ok for goals this season?  What if he doesn’t bring in a decent striker to replace Sturridge, Elmander, Ward and Rodrigo? I think it will be bad news.

And, what if we play the same way against City next weekend? Will we prosper? I doubt it. A performance of that standard was fine to get a result against QPR but to take on the Premier League elite and get any points will take a lot more in terms of ability, commitment and quality. I could go on at length about what exactly was wrong with us but I will try to sum it up, you can then see if you can spot it over the coming weeks when we get battered by some of the big 6.

  • We pass too slowly. We do not move the ball up the pitch with enough urgency. And I don’t mean we should rush it, we should just have more of a clue about movement and more momentum when in possession.
  • We pass too sloppily. We do not zip the ball to each other with enough accuracy or power. Better teams would pounce on some of our under weighted or misdirected passes.
  • We make silly mistakes at the back. A couple of times we saw certain “unforced errors” from our back line today. Steinsson and Robinson were both guilty of potentially catastrophic  mistakes. However, it’s not just those mistakes we need to cut out. We also need to eradicate some of our slack positioning and possibly dangerous and unnecessary aspects of our defensive play.
  • Weaknesses up front. We lack pace for one thing. We also lack some sort of driving force – the sort of player like Sturridge who last season would carve a chance from nothing.  This season, instead, we have Davies stumbling over the ball where Sturridge would have beaten a man and got a shot in on goal.
In conclusion, the danger signs are there. The question is, will we heed the warning or is today’s win a wolf in sheep’s clothing which means we will go into our next games blissfully unaware of our frailties. My worry is that far too many a Bolton fan will ridicule my line of thinking and will gleefully get caught up in the joy of winning and not listen to anything that doesn’t amount to praise and glory for the team – until it’s too late!
If we go into the City game with our heads up our collective arses it will be like accepting a dinner invitation from a great white (shark) and thinking we are going to get well fed.  (footyfive, all season £18)
Bolton, Farnworth – Five a side football arena. Free match. www.Footyfive.co.uk
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5 Responses to “Wanderers Must Improve despite scoreline – the real report!”

  1. 1 Mark

    Great article, I do think coyle has got things up his sleeve, the fact we are in for Swp and Ngog recognize that we havent got enough pace. I’m happy with today but what highlighted for me was that in midfield especially at home we dont need reo coker and muamba it needs to be one of them then either pratley or Mavis alongside in the centre of mid to get that creativity, perhaps even tuncay can be that creativity?? Impressed with eagles today btw!!

    • 2 Michael

      Yep, a good article, although I think it was an Eagles’ cross that led to the own goal….I think….

      KD – his day has gone…and despite his great finish, I would play Reo-Coker ahead of Muamba as the holding midfielder and start with Mark Davies…Petrov’s good pre-season form looks to have continued – I’m pleased for him….and he looks just like a meerkat! 🙂

      SWP and Ngog would be welcome additions,,,

      • 3 thefreelancer

        Yes you are right, it certainly was Eagles, I thought nobody would notice and couldn’t be bothered to change it.
        I wish more people would notice where we need to improve instead of waiting until it’s too late…

  2. 4 Nic

    We just won 4-0 away stop being so negative coyle knows where he needs to improve hes not an idiot. have abit of faith in him!

  3. 5 Iain

    Personally, I thought the article to be a little heavy-handed.
    First, Coyle is not going to sit on his laurels because of this scoreline . . . that’s insane.
    Second, it was the first game for everyone, look at some of the other scores around the league. You can’t start the term in full stride. Yes we were a little slow but then again every game I watched seemed that way.
    Third, “silly mistakes” are part and parcel for the first game. We were lucky they didn’t hurt us but please lighten up a bit.
    Finally, props to Eagles, I was unsure of what he would bring. If he continues in that vein he’ll prove good value.

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