Bolton Wanderers faced Blackpool last night and managed a 0-0 draw. The Football Manc Cave weighs in.
For the first time in a long time, I feel confident as a Bolton fan. I feel like I can actually bare to watch a game. I’m not comparing this to the times we were in financial difficulties, I’m talking about the past 5 years or so. Bolton is actually an exciting team to watch again.
Last nights game was highly anticipated as Blackpool are in the top quarter of the League One. Bolton had already proved that they can match top teams performances following the point from Sunderland, so I was actually excited for this game. I must admit, I expected a few goals but I’m happy.
I predicted the Bolton line-up yesterday and I was only one player out, I guessed that Keith Hill would choose either Dennis Politic or Thibaud Verlinden, and not start them both but he did. I think Keith Hill has been quite anxious about playing both of them together due to any potential injuries to either, as they can interchange in the same position
Dominant in attack
Bolton actually dominated the game. We had chances, made attacks and tried to score. That’s all fans have wanted to see for a long time. Looking at Liam Bridcutt, Jason Lowe, Dennis Politic, Ali Crawford, Will Buckley, Thibaud Verlinden and Daryl Murphy and how they have clearly been working hard on how to play together is so refreshing.
Keith Hill has worked wonders with his team. The defence we now have is also so much better to watch. There were times last night when I worried but I clearly didn’t need to be. Joe Dodoo also made his Bolton debut last night when he got brought on in the second half. A few of his chances looked promising so he’s one to watch for us.
Stating Yoan Zouma has worked a treat. He gave away a penalty against Sunderland and I have said all along that if he didn’t keep on getting starts then his confidence would get knocked. However, Hill has kept him in that starting line up and he did a great job last night.
Josh Emmanuel is also developing and adjusting very well. Jack Hobbs is proving himself to the fans as he is constantly getting into the league team of the week and, even bagged himself, man of the match, last night. The defence clearly had a great game because Remi Matthews had a relatively easy night which is something I like to see.
Injury to the Captain
Liam Bridcutt has been an absolute delight to watch. His skill and hard work on the ball have made it easier to watch us attack and push forward as a team.
Unfortunately last night, after a bit of a stumble, Blackpool forward, Armand Gnanduillet landed awkwardly on Bridcutt’s chest and for a moment it looked like he was going to be okay as he breathed through the pain and came back on to the pitch. However, he was then seen crouching and passed on the Captain’s armband to Lowe. He really didn’t want to come off, and no fan did either. It was revealed later on that he fractured his collar bone.
This is a huge blow because he could be out for up to 8 weeks. Just our luck.
Either way, I’m going to be gutted when some of these players have to return to their parent clubs. They’ve all been a huge credit to us and helped us in our journey to start to rebuild.
I love Keith Hill’s strategy’s, determination and mindset. He has said that we will beat the bookies and he’s already doing that, so I am excited about the future of our club.
One thing that did baffle me last night was when Dennis Politic got substituted. He looked to the fourth official to check that it was actually him being subbed and gave a bit of a smirk which to me said he didn’t agree with the situation either.
I do understand that he’s a younger player who’s fitness needs to be put first and I am behind Hill, although, last night, it looked to me like Politic had a lot more to give. I think he would have benefited more from taking Verlinden off who was already on a yellow card.
That aside, we got a point, against Blackpool. We beat the odds again and I couldn’t be happier!