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Bolton Wanderers - A Total Disgrace

By Rob
Wednesday 5th October 2011
Fans can just about accept their team being hammered by a better side if their players at least put a bit of effort into it. However, in Bolton's start to the season not only have they been ripped apart week after week, but they also have players who don't try and can't do the most simple schoolboy footballing basics.

I'm writing this at 30 minutes into a home fixture against Chelsea. We're already 4-0 down,  and I can only remember Chelsea having 5 shots. Every goal was simple, and the Chelsea attack is literally walking through the Bolton defence at will. But this isn't a one-off situation, which maybe you could just about to excuse. No, this is an exact replay of matches against Liverpool lost 3-1), Man United (lost 5-0 at home) and Arsenal (lost 3-0) where Bolton got totally annihilated and should have conceded even more goals than they did. In all of these games, the opposition have looked like scoring every time they attack because they are given so much time on the ball, and are allowed to ping the ball into the penalty area whenever they like, and when they do attackers simply aren't being marked in the box. What a disgrace.

The only place to start with this is Martin Petrov. He's been a total disgrace this season and I don't want to see him in the team any longer. He doesn't track back, doesn't work hard for the team and doesn't even contribute anything creative to the team. Against Arsenal last weekend, he wasn't coming back to help the defence and then wasn't even forward to help the team attack - begging the questions: Where was he? And why on earth is he getting in the team week after week?

Chelsea's first goal today came from a corner that was caused because Petrov didn't track Jose Bosingwa's run from full-back, forcing Paul Robinson to concede a corner, on which Gretar Steinsson couldn't be bothered to mark Daniel Sturridge who had an open goal to aim for with his header. The second goal came from a cross on the right wing, which every other team in the Premiership wouldn't allow to get anywhere near the centre of the penalty area, and then one of the league's best midfielders, Frank Lampard, being allowed total freedom to slot the ball into the net. The goal was an action replay of every goal Manchester United scored against Bolton, crosses from the right not being blocked, players wandering free in the box and banging in goals at will.

On top of the woeful defensive efforts, the team also lacks any creativity whatsoever. The central midfield consisting the likes of Reo-Coker, Muamba, Pratley wouldn't create a goal if they kept playing until Christmas against Arsenal and thus far in the Chelsea match. And their performances have been so bad this season that Ricardo Gardner had to be drafted into the starting line up against Chelsea.

Yes Bolton have had a tough beginning to the season against all the top teams, but that isn't an excuse for not trying and not doing very simple defensive basics, such as marking players in the box, tracking players from midfield and then being able to pass to each other.

To sum Bolton up: A defence that doesn't mark, a midfield that doesn't track runners and can't pass, and a goalkeeper who can't catch. Put simply: Relegation.

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