BWFC 0-3 Middlesbrough
09-09-2017 MoM: Craig Noone
Over 3000 Smoggies were rewarded for their journey. That is the politest way of introducing my opinion on this game. A desperate start to the season for The Whites' continued with a second thrashing in as many games.
Firstly, a gloss over the goals. The defending for the first - questionable (again, that's polite). Now, of course, Adama Traore isn't necessarily a Championship standard winger; that shouldn't effect the ability to have set up properly prior to the match (Parkinson's fault), a senior player to help or adjust on the pitch to help out Robinson (Beevers, Wheater, Karacan, Pratley's fault). Anyway, another genuine goalscorer unmarked in the box - already an early season trend. The 2nd was good wing-play (I'll ignore the 30 yard gap between our central defensive midfielder and vulnerable left back). Then the 3rd, well, a 20 yard shot that was comfortably saved by Ben Alnwick and then rolled into the bottom corner by Alnwick.
Tactically analysing; Wanderers resorted to fouling (attempting to foul) Traore within 10 minutes of the game. Instead of doubling up with Beevers helping wider and Derik dropping back even deeper when defending, Bolton decided to allow our young, vulnerable left-back to wander into central midfield and then isolate himself against a Premier League standard winger on his senior league debut. Going forward was ass predictable as ever but as everyone says - we won't be judged on attacking performances against the lies of Middlesbrough.
Looking at who Wanderers have played, it is difficult to e shocked at the results so far. I didn't believe for a second it could be this difficult, I have been guilty of an over-estimation of how Parkinson's tactical defensive discipline would scrap us a few points against the bigger sides. I thought small fish big pond mentality may have helped us but it looks like the bottom 6/7 (ie Millwall and at a stretch Birmingham) will be where our points will continue to come from. Sheffield United (H) is a game you 'must-win' but we can still stay up if we do not; it is just a very, very bad sign.
Sheffield United on Tuesday night will give Wanderers a really accurate reflection of where we will end up or how this season will progress. Boro, Derby, Hull and Leeds will be top 10 at the least, in all fairness, so might the Blades. However, after accompanying the steel city club into the Championship, if there is a gulf in class as big as that shown so far this season - we are in for a potentially harder year than 2 years ago.