Well. A result better off striken from memory. Or is it? Should we look at this result instead, as a yardstick of where we are right now? I, for one, think so.
Once again I’ve made the mistake of delving down the rabbit hole of Facebook replies on the club account. Most say the same. Parky out….
What on earth are these people thinking? Even Big Sam would struggle given the names on the team sheet. I do believe we have players of better quality than the performances have shown, but really, how many proven (and by proven I mean who has been successful or solid in this league) championship players do we have? Look long and hard at the squad, because it’s not many.
We’re under an embargo. We can’t offer more than 4.5k per week to new additions. A team that (just) coasted league one is now facing teams that can spend millions on players, despite being in the second tier. You should take a look at the Spanish segunda, Serie B, 2. Bundesliga. It’s a different ball game here for clubs who are trying to get back to arguably the biggest league in world football.
Yesterday’s game showed the gulf in class between the two. Everybody who keeps bleating “PP has no plan B” were stunned by his team selection. Bold. Ringing in the changes. It felt fresh. And the first 15 minutes were positive. Madine with an almost goal of the season. Brightness and even a bit of sunshine. Then the clouds covered, the rain came and Traore tore the team to shreds. A certain 15 million pound striker broke the deadlock. Does nobody see the difference? 15 million. Embargo. No? Anyway….
So on we plodded. It seemed that after the first goal we knew we were beaten. There was a slight second half rally but 2 goals in quick succession put us to bed. And to be fair, we were lucky to be in it so long. Middlesbrough controlled long spells as the Whites huffed and puffed. Watching on my phone, in a cramped, sweaty Marbella kitchen, the third goal had me done. I turned off the game and did the washing up.
So, why am I writing this?
Because it’s not over. We play Sheffield United on Tuesday, and although they are flying high, we beat them on two of three occasions last term. We’ve played some of the toughest teams we’ll face this year in the first few weeks. We’ve had some positive cup results. And we had 17,000 faithful fans who turned up in the torrential rain, for a game nobody, deep down, expected us to win.
Noone looked bright, Madine looked bullish, Robinson looked like on another day, when he wasn’t left marking a beast, like he could have something about him. We’ve got Ameobi and Vela to return. It’s not all doom and gloom although that’s what it feels like.
If we can get to January and still have a punchers chance, hopefully the embargo will be lifted and we’ll be in a position to strengthen the squad.
I don’t care where we are in the league, I’ll still be sporting my new bright purple shirt, and when people ask me about Bolton, I’ll chuckle and say the same thing I always do lately. I know we’re shit, but we’ll turn it around. And I’ll never give up hope. Not until it’s mathematically certain.
Keep the faith.