Or Johnny Giles, David Batty, Norman Hunter, Jeremy Paxman, Joshua Tetley, Gabby Logan, Harry Ramsden, Jimmy Savile. Your boys took a hell of a beating.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman has set records this season. Not good ones. The worst start to a campaign for 111 years. The biggest defeat since 1982. The most thoroughly disenchanted set of supporters in the history of er, thoroughly disenchanted supporters. The third one is difficult to quantify. After the last three games he might yet be responsible for the biggest turn around in the club’s recent past.
The Whites have won all those fixtures, scored eleven times and conceded just once. The rout of Leeds United on their own patch was especially satisfying as it avenged a defeat earlier in the season and saw the second successive victory over a side who had play off aspirations.
Playing two strikers works, and as some players have acknowledged, in Lukas Jutkiewicz there is the opportunity to pick out a target man and not have the ball immediately pinged back to where it came from. That allows the midfield to advance and press higher up the pitch.
The stats betray the idea that this was a one sided game. The home side had the greater possession, twelve corners to Bolton’s two and more shots on target. Six of the latter for Bolton. Five goals. It’s an efficiency you can get to like.
None of this absolves Freedman from his earlier mistakes. In particular, the momentum gained at the end of last season was lost completely, and that is unforgivable. But analysis can wait until the final ball has been kicked. For now, it’s fun to be a Wanderer again. May that continue.
– Richard McCormick