Tag Archives: Yoan Zouma

3 words to sum up Bolton’s win over Man City Under 21’s

Last night, Bolton Wanderers faced Man City Under 21’s in the Leasing.com Trophy. They managed to win 3-1 and here’s three words to describe their performance.

In other rounds of this competition, Bolton had to put a very young team out to fulfill fixtures.

However, last night they were able to compete with a full team of experienced players.

The improvements in the team were obvious as Bolton managed to win 3-1. Bolton went 1-0 up early on with a goal from Ali Crawford.

Yoan Zouma put the ball in the back of his own net to give Man City an equaliser. However, that wasn’t enough as Chris O’Grady managed to score twice giving Bolton the win.

Here’s three words with explanations to sum up their performance…

Solid

The scoreline obviously shows that Bolton had a great game. However,the thing that stood out for me as a Bolton fan was how solid the team were as a whole.

Having Chris O’Grady, Joe Dodoo and Ali Crawford work together is proving to be the attacking force that Bolton needed.

Brilliant

What Keith Hill has done with this team is brilliant. The transformation from the start of the season is evident.

Man City Under 21’s have a very talented squad, compared to Bolton who have only been together for a matter of months. To beat this team with a solid performance is also brilliant.

Disappointing

However, despite the positives, things seem to be going one step forward and 5 steps back for Bolton.

A few weeks ago, Liam bridcutt who is arguably Bolton’s best player, was injured. This was a big blow for the team and now they’ve had another one.

Ali Crawford went down with what looked like a serious knee injury later on in the game. That is one more player they’ll be without if the injury proved to be a serious as it seemed.

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.

Give them minutes: Bolton must simply give these 2 youngsters the opportunity to shine

Keith Hill has done a brilliant job with this new Bolton squad so far. It’s great to see things getting better at the University of Bolton Stadium.

As a Bolton fan, I am really proud of the young players who had to step up and play for us in difficult times. I couldn’t stress enough when we got new owners, management and new signings how much I wanted these younger players involved in the squad.

One player that I felt was up to playing for us week in, week out was Dennis Politic. I was delighted to see that Keith Hill felt the same and kept him in the starting line up. He has shone for us so far this season.

Then there are other players like Yoan Zouma. I don’t think he’s 100% ready to be in the starting line up although I do think he needs playing time.

However, he gave away a penalty in the last minutes of the game against Sunderland. He shouldn’t take too much criticism for it. It was handball and it literally could have been any player that sloppily got in the way scrambling to defend. More playing time will only build his confidence.

This is why I’ve picked out two more players who would benefit from minutes on the pitch…

Harry Brockbank

This young lad played brilliantly for us in hard times. He even went out as Captain at 20 years old. He was rewarded with a new 2-year deal to sign once the new owners took over.

I am not the only person who thinks he’s going to be a success story. Along with many fans, I think he’s deserving of the North West Football Award for Rising Star Of The Year. if you agree with me that he deserves it, you can vote here.

Adam Senior

The 17-year-old defender got his chance to shine when times were difficult for the Bolton side. He managed to impress in the 0-0 cup draw against Bradford and some even said that he was the best player on the pitch that night. Unfortunately, he missed a penalty which meant Bradford won the shootout and he will probably be quite deflated by that.

However, he shouldn’t be and this is why Keith Hill should keep giving him chances so that he can improve. At 17, he’s got a lot of time to learn and is already making a great impression so it can only get better. He is making it to the bench too so that’s positive.

Other Rising Stars

As well as these two who I would have top of my list if I was Keith Hill, there’s also goalkeeper, Matthew Alexander. Again, only 17 and played some brilliant games for us.

He is having to go on the bench as the second choice to Remi Matthews at the minute because of Ben Alnwick’s injury. However, in cup games, maybe he should be given some playing time and Matthews could have a well-deserved rest.

Ronan Darcy is another player who I would give a chance to because of his determination and hard work.

Bolton fans so close to their first win of the season ‘Blow the full-time whistle NOW’

Bolton Wanderers faced a fourth-placed Sunderland today and managed to get a 1-1 draw out of it.

After Keith Hill’s side managed to get a point on Tuesday against Oxford, they were hungry for some more points today. An unchanged starting eleven was put out by the new manager and fans were excited.

Fans were then extremely surprised to see that Jack Hobbs had put Bolton 1-0 up in the second half, and it then became a battle to try and get all three points. Like me, many Wanderers fans were celebrating as if we had just won the league at 90 minutes. However, the 5 minutes added on proved too much, as Yoan Zouma gave away a penalty with Justin minutes to go and Sunderland equalised.

I’m not saying I’m angry or disappointed because we’ve got a point from a team in the top quarter of the table, and that proves that things are working. However, that could have easily been three points today if the defence could have stayed strong instead of panicking and giving away a goal inevitably.

Here are your reactions throughout the game…

3 changes Hill should make for Bolton against Oxford tonight

Bolton Wanderers lost 6-1 to Rotherham this weekend and The Football Manc Cave is looking at what Keith Hill could do in order to change things around next week.

Keith Hill has had a very difficult job to walk into. He’s having to take over a club who are on -11 points, have a huge goal difference, the obvious problems behind the scenes that have just been sorted out and a relatively new squad with youngsters and new signings.

I didn’t have high expectations for his first game in charge so when we went 1-0 up, I was shocked. The 6-1 defeat that came after this clearly had me feeling a little different, however, it’s more like the scoreline I expected.

It’s going to take a bit of time for things to start developing as the new team gel together and the manager adapts to his new job, however, here’s a few things he could do next week…

Ronan Darcy

A lot of Bolton fans will have the youngsters who had to play under Phil Parkinson down as legends. These teenagers gave it their all in League One when they were all called to action. Fans have made it pretty clear that they didn’t want these squad members completely dropped, now that new and more experienced players were in the mix.

Keith Hill did listen to this on Saturday in some areas, however, one decision he did make was to start Luke Murphy. In the 62nd minute, Hill subbed him for the youngster, Ronan Darcy. A couple of minutes later, Rotherham scored another goal, although that would be their last.

This for me goes to show that Darcy had an effect on the game and this change was appropriate. Going into the next game, maybe Hill should consider starting Darcy and bringing Murphy on if things go wrong.

Jason Lowe

Keith Hill made a very bold and brave decision by benching Jason Lowe this weekend. A lot of fans were quite happy about this because they believed other players should be taking his place.

He’s been going out as Captain in Bolton’s opening campaign for the season and this is why this change was a big one. However, opinions soon changed when the man Hill replaced him with, James Weir clearly couldn’t handle the pressure of the game and was subbed off in the 39th minute.

Things weren’t working and Jason Lowe replaced Weir at this point. Things didn’t exactly improve but at this stage, maybe the experience is needed in that area.

Defence

When you watch the highlights of the game, all you can see is yellow shirts chasing the ball or chasing the player who has broken into the attacking half. It was all a bit scrambled at that back and unorganised.

The scoreline clearly shows that. Keith Hill needs to work closely with his team to sort this issue out. In my opinion, Yoan Zouma should be given a chance. He might be a younger player, however, he’s become a fan favourite and does offer a threat at the back.

A lot of fans, including myself, are getting a little tired of watching all these goals creep past Remi Matthews, so it would be nice to see Ben Alnwick back in action.

Two more little notes that I think Keith Hill should consider is keeping Liam Bridcutt as our Captain. He put on a good display and fans were impressed by him.

One more thing is keeping Dennis Politic in the starting line up. He is a player that I have continued to put in my prediction of the starting line up, even with new options. He will turn into a heavily wanted player by other clubs, so let’s get the most out of him before he decides to leave us.

Keith Hill keeps Bolton fans in suspense over starting 11 against Rotherham, here’s how they should line up…

The Football Manc Cave is looking at how the newly bought Bolton Wanderers should line up this weekend.

Just like many other Bolton fans, I’ve been guessing at the starting line up that Keith Hill will put out against Rotherham on his first game in charge. Everything has been kept quite secret from the fans, and the anticipation is great. It’s like our season is just starting because we’ve got a new manager, new players and this weekends game will be exciting for fans.

We don’t even know the squad numbers of the new players yet so this will also be interesting. Fans know that Hill has a variety of new options to throw in the mix at Rotherham. However, fans are united in saying that the youngsters who kept playing for us throughout difficult times, should not be forgotten or left out of the squad.

I had a guess at what team Keith Hill would put out as soon as the new signings were announced. However, it’s recently been revealed that Joe Bunney, our new loanee left-back, has been involved in a car accident that has required us to look at other options for left-back.

So here’s my predicted 11…

New signing, Josh Emmanuel should be given a shot at right back to see how he copes, if things are going wrong, youngster Harry Brockbank can come on to pick up the pieces. Liam Edwards should go back into the central defence and help out fan favourite Yoan Zouma. The left-back position could be filled in by Joe White. However, Keith Hill might have a plan B that we don’t know about.

Dennis Politic

Luke Murphy and Jason Lowe remain experienced in the middle and supported by Ali Crawford on the left-wing, Thibaud Verlinden on the right and the very talented Dennis Politic who should be in the squad supporting the wingers and striker. Liam Bridcutt will more than likely be on the bench and can be brought on if needed.

Daryl Murphy is down as one to watch this weekend, most think he will be starting for the Wanderers and be alone up front. I agree and hope that we’ve been working hard on the training ground to be able to attack.

Whichever team Hill goes with, we need to earn points and get that goal difference down. However, it is just nice to be able to talk about and watch football again!

It’s all change at Bolton with this starting 11 going forward

The Football Manc Cave is looking at how Bolton Wanderers should line up now that they’ve had a host new signings and the youngsters can have a rest.

I am the first to say that changing an entire team around can be extremely dangerous to teams because players need time to gel together. However, Bolton has had it hard these first few months of the season and now that they have 9 new signings, it will be great to see them in action.

Keith Hill will be able to start afresh with new options and he’ll be able to make sure all the youngsters, who’re efforts will never be forgotten, can have some resting time to stay away from injury. So here is how I think we should line up in our next game…

I’ve picked quite a few new signings here because we need to explore our options. Personally, I have enjoyed seeing our young goalkeeper, Luke Hutchinson play, however, he does need rest and Remi Matthews will no doubt be called back into action.

Our starting point needs to be our defence with the goals we have been conceding. Although now that we have some more experienced options in all positions, it should be easier for our time to last 90 minutes and not get as tired. Yoan Zouma has become a fan favourite and should be kept in the squad. Harry Brockbank has also been outstanding, along with Adam Senior, but as I said, these kids need a rest.

This is where new signings, Joe Bunney and Josh Emmanuel come into play.

Midfield area

Jason Lowe will no doubt be back to Captain the Bolton squad along with Luke Murphy. Although I think Dennis Politic may be put on the bench and brought on later in games for the next few weeks while the youngsters rest. I do think he should be a regular in the team, even though we have new options. His efforts have been brilliant.

New signings Ali Crawford and Thibaud Verlinden should be used to fill spaces that the youngsters have been playing in. I just hope that we don’t over phase ourselves with newbies because it’s the first week with them in the squad.

And finally, new signing, Daryl Murphy should go alone upfront. While we need to try to be defensive at first, it would be great to see goals too. Fans wanted Murphy in the squad and we’re really happy when he was confirmed.

I hope that whatever squad Keith Hill picks, that it works out. Even though playing teenagers haven’t been the best and most appropriate start to the season. At least we’ve now prepared these youngsters in case we need them at any point, and I’m sure their efforts in recent weeks will be rewarded with more appearances as the season goes on.

Bolton Wanderers’ backline should look like this against Coventry City

Bolton Wanderers face Coventry City this weekend and will try to keep a clean sheet, seeing as they’re already behind in points and they lost to Wycombe in their opening game.

As a Bolton fan, I’m proud of the squad that faced Wycombe at the weekend. As the youngsters who went out there were up to standard and managed to keep it 0-0 at half time. I think most fans expected to be losing at that stage.

The team has had another blow since that game after losing Connor Hall and Josh Earl to ankle injuries. Getting injured was always going to happen as they’re not properly warmed up over the summer, with all the problems financially. With this in mind, here’s who should get a game in defence for Bolton on Saturday.

Liam Edwards

He made his league debut against Wycombe and should start again this weekend. As one of our remaining senior squad member, he’s definitely going to be relied on for the majority of the season.

Yoan Zouma

Another player that started last weekend and should be picked again. He’s become a fan favourite after his efforts on Saturday. As a senior, he should be called up to duty anyway, however, he managed to impress fans after going in for every ball and giving his all. He will surely be a big part of the season.

Harry Brockbank

Harry got his debut at the end of last season so was always going to be a part of the back online for the Trotters this season if he stayed. He played against Wycombe at the weekend and couldn’t thank the fans enough for their support. He will be heavily relied on throughout this season.

Joe White

14 minutes into the game last weekend is when Bolton lost Josh Earl to an injury. Joe White came on as a replacement for him so I suspect that he will have to fill in this weekend in the same position. These four players, if they do start at the weekend, will have to work hard in training to gel together quickly.

In addition to these options, there’s also Jordan Boon and Adam Senior as options from the Under 18’s squad. They can be brought on if the defence is struggling which I also suspect it will.