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Many positives out of Bolton’s draw with Blackpool

Bolton Wanderers Keith Hill

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.

Defensive Bolton

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!

Bolton should line up like this tonight as they search for their first win under Hill

Bolton Wanderers Keith Hill

Keith Hill’s Bolton side are about to face Blackpool tonight. The Football Manc Cave is looking at how the Trotters side should line up.

Before the kick-off at the University of Bolton Stadium tonight at 8 pm, we are looking at which players should get to start in trying to keep Keith Hill’s sides performance strong.

They have proven recently that they’re turning things around and just looking at the transformation in their score sheets each week confirms that. They recently managed a draw with Rochdale in the Football League Trophy, after a 1-1, they only lost on penalties.

Their 1-0 loss to Portsmouth was unfortunate as it only came in the second half after a great performance again. Another frustrating scoreline was when they drew 1-1 with Sunderland, as it looked like they would take all three points until they gave a penalty away. Bolton’s first win is on the cards.

Blackpool is currently 5th in the league and are on 19 points. It’s going to be a hard match for Bolton, however, Blackpool’s most recent form looks like this; 2-1 win against Lincoln, 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley and won 1-0 against Doncaster. Even though they’re on good form, they’re not scoring loads of goals each week and it’s only small score sheets like 1-0 wins.

This is something Bolton could take advantage of and try to get a point out of it. Here’s how I think Keith Hill should line his team up…

Remi Matthews obviously deserves his place in goal and that won’t change. The defence should line up with Josh Emmanuel on the right, Yoan Zouma and Jack Hobbs in the middle and Adam Chicksen on the left. These four seem to do well together.

Jack Hobbs has had a great season so far and even though Yoan Zouma gave away the penalty against Sunderland. I think starting him is the right thing to do, it will help with his confidence and keep him going mentally.

Bolton’s midfield

In midfield, Liam Bridcutt obviously should go out as Captain in the middle as he’s proving to be a great leader and motivation for the rest of the midfield. Jason Lowe should accompany him with Ali Crawford and Will Buckley and Thibaud Verlinden on each wing.

Keith Hill has been working on fitness within the squad and even though Verlinden is excellent on the ball, he was replaced against Rochdale in the 61st minute by Dennis Politic. This is another sensible decision as the pair are both great additions to the team and should both be given a chance but we don’t want either to get injured.

Bolton attack

Upfront should be Daryl Murphy. He’s a new signing who has been out but now is fit again. He does have some competition now though however as Bolton signed Joe Dodoo this week.

If Keith Hill sticks to his sensible style of planning, he will probably keep him on the bench for his first game with the Whites and only bring him on in the second half but we will see later tonight.

Bolton Wanderers finally looking good for the future

It was a busy day at Bolton Wanderers on Monday as the signings kept on being made. Here’s my opinion on all 9.

The Football Manc Cave have been monitoring Bolton all summer with their takeover news, and now that they have finally been bought. Their new owners have got the show on the road and new signings have been made.

Monday saw nine new players come into the club under Keith Hill and it’s got fans excited. I am going to give you a rundown on who they are and my opinion as a Bolton fan myself. But first, jokes aside that some fans have been making, I just want to say that a week ago, we were in the worst state possible and we were threatened as a club. I’m so glad that we have survived and it’s nice to finally have something to shout about, AND to be able to actually talk about football again instead of ‘what deadline have the EFL given us now?’

So here goes…

The first signing to be made yesterday was Thibaud Verlinden. He has joined the club on loan from Stoke City. He’s a highly-rated 20-year-old winger. When Bolton fans asked about him, Stoke fans were the first to say that we had made a great signing because he should have been in their first team according to some. I think he will be dangerous and will make a big impact during his time with us.

Liam Bridcutt became the next addition. The midfielder has joined Bolton from Nottingham Forest on loan up until January. He started his career at Chelsea and has had loan spells with Yeovil, Watford and Stockport. He’s also enjoyed his time at Brighton, Leeds and Sunderland so he’s definitely got the experience. A Brighton fan told the eager Trotters fans that we had gotten ourselves an unbelievable player who had a great run at other clubs, which saw him be a contender for man of the match 9/10 times. I can’t wait to see him in action.

Will Buckley became the next man on the list. Like most Bolton fans, I think he has been quite poor for us in the past and this wasn’t the news that most were hoping for. However, I’m still in that mindset of ‘we’re lucky to be a club’ so I’ll take whatever we can get. Also, now that we have a new manager with a different mindset, maybe he will perform better.

Jake Wright was added to the squad to add some strength at the back. The defender has League one experience which we need as he helped Sheffield United win league one. The defence is something we need urgently so I’m happy with this. He’s perfect for league one level.

Signings galore for Bolton

Another midfielder, this time from Doncaster, Ali Crawford was next to be announced. He’s also known for scoring a few goals which are something that would be massively appreciated by fans. Let’s hope he can have a good spell with us as he’s here until the end of the season.

Chris O’Grady was the next man that Keith Hill managed to get the signature of. He left Oldham to join us until the end of this campaign. I’m going to say it again, at least we have made a signing, however, a lot of fans were quick to react to this news with the typical banter. Most say this was just a joke until the next new signing. Let’s give him a chance though, like I said, new manager, new mindset.

Full-back Josh Emmanuel was next to sign until the end of the season. The 22-year-old has been brought in to help us out at the back and I’m happy with this. We definitely need to start by sorting our defence out so we can stop conceding as many goals and then eventually start scoring some instead. It’s nice to see us have some experienced options at the back.

Joe Bunney was also brought in to help out the back four. Northampton Town has given him to us until the end of the season. The 25-year-old was another player who received some backlash from fans. He divided fans after some said he has had great spells before, others saying he’s poor, either way, it will be interesting to see him in action and see how he gets on. My guess is that most of these newbies will seem quite average or poor initially as it takes time to gel as a team, stand out players will come in time.

And finally, the news that all Bolton fans wanted yesterday the most, Daryl Murphy finally put pen to paper. The 36-year-old striker was who fans wanted to hear the announcement of all day and when it was finally made, everyone was happy. He will be perfect in league one and hopefully will be able to create quite a few goals for us in his time at the University of Bolton Stadium, it’s about time, we need them!

‘ANNOUNCE LEAGUE ONE WINNERS 19/20’ Bolton Wanderers fans react to signing after signing on deadline day

Bolton Wanderers fans had a busy day yesterday keeping up with their clubs last-minute signings and The Football Manc Cave are taking a look at your reactions.

Bolton has been in need of some new signings for quite some time and now that this new take over enables them to do so, they have arrived. Finally, Bolton can start to compete in the league with a fair team and it will be like a fresh start for the new manager, Keith Hill.

A total of 9 players signed on the dotted line yesterday and fans were loving it. So strap yourself in, we’re going to go through the day and get some of your best reactions…

After the signing of Jack Hobbs had already been announced at the weekend, this was what kickstarted yesterday:

Bolton fans were quick to jump on this

Me a couple of minutes later, they stuck to their promise and the announcement of Thibaud Verlinden from Stoke City was made.

Next up, Liam Bridcutt became the next signing…

Will Buckley’s return to the club was next on the cards…

Jake Wright was next…

Ali Crawford was next in Keith Hill’s plan…

And then Chris O’Grady got himself a contract until the end of the year.

Josh Emmanuel was next…

But Bolton has put out the wrong picture in a manic rush

Joe Bunney then made his move…

The news that fans were begging for finally came in, the signing of Daryl Murphy…

And that was all! Let’s hope Keith Hill can get these players ready for the league and have a fresh start. This will now give the youngsters a chance to rest but their efforts will never be forgotten. It will be nice to see some of them just coming on as a sub, rather than having to push 90 minutes a game being tired and unfit.

Come on Bolton!