Simon’s take on Bolton 0-3 Middlesborough

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.

Simon (@originalbrown84)


2 thoughts on “Simon’s take on Bolton 0-3 Middlesborough

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  1. Much of what you say is true. Parky’s doing an almost impossible job with these financial/player restraints. Every sane fan should recognise that. I think many of us were thinking it would be easy for Middlesbrough on the day, and so it proved. Traore will do a lot damage all over the country this season and Assambalonga will score 20+ goals. Our players will always struggle to overcome teams like that. Trouble is, when you scan the fixture list, there are so many other good teams coming up. Sheffield will be a massive test as well on Tuesday. I think people will expect us to get something from that game, but it will be anything but a formality. They have started well. When I saw Parky’s selection on Saturday I was disappointed to see Darby at right-back. He isn’t up to scratch at this level. Neither is Pratley. Picking Robinson on the left was a huge gamble, knowing he was up against Traore. He tried his best throughout, but looked limited at times and a bit shell-shocked. Who wouldn’t! What a debut! I didn’t agree with playing Madine up front by himself, either. You just couldn’t see where the goals were going to come from. And so it proved. Boy, have we missed Ameobi and Vela. Morais was emasculated out on the left. A real waste of good talent. His forte is getting to the by-line and whipping right foot crosses into the box. He can’t do that when he’s out on the left. Looks like Parky caved in to Noone’s prefence for playing on the right, even though he is predominantly left-footed. Noone looked a class apart at times and is a great signing. But this dilemma now with Morais is going to be a problem. And what happens when Ameobi returns in a couple of weeks? I think I would give him a wandering role and tell him to have a dip from anywhere outside the box. Let’s hope that when everyone’s back, we can start to pick up a few more points. But, as I said a while ago, Blackburn went down with 51 points! I hope it’s a lot less this year in order to stay up!


  2. Trying to look on the bright side, Bolton showed some improvement on Tuesday night. With a line-up similar to the one that took on Sheffield Wednesday so well, we showed more endeavour, vigour and application, attempting to go forward more. I thought the two wing-backs played well, as did Cullen in mid-field and Madine up front. It was altogether a better performance and one that merited at least a draw. But, we do seem to have no luck these days in front of goal. Nothing drops for us like it seems to drop for the opposition. You do wonder when we get that first win, how it will affect the team. Will it galvanize them and give them more confidence. It has to be said that against your average Championship teams so far, we have shown up reasonably well. A word about the referee. He had an absolute nightmare and really isn’t good enough. Trouble is there’s a lot more like him. They don’t seem to have a feeling for the game. And get conned right, left and centre by artful players. Inconsistent, he soon lost control and had players falling over and arguing with him all night long. Disappointing to lose again, but there’s always the next match, and as I keep saying while watching the Wanderers, ‘Hope springs eternal’!


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