Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday October 16 2011
Calamitous, stupid, disastrous, shocking, appalling, horrendous and inexcusable, the decision to play Steve Gohouri at left back. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? Yes it is, so using hindsight and looking at Gohouri's previous exploits on the left side of our defence should have told Martinez don't play him there, even in 5-a-side training games. On every occasion that the Ivory Coast international has stood-in for Maynor Figueroa he has cost us goals, not just once, but on every occasion.
We have a young lad on loan from Chelsea who has not only been playing left back these past few games but also excelling, he's also been one of our most consistent performers so far this season, the dropping of Patrick van Aanholt from the squad yesterday was crazy, comical and criminal, whatever was Martinez thinking?
So Figueroa was sat on the bench having only arrived back from international duty on Friday giving Gohouri the opportunity for more comical capers, another surprise addition to the back line was the inclusion of Antolin Alcaraz who was deemed fit enough to start following his lengthy lay-off with a calf injury.
It didn't take long, four minutes in the Latics were awarded a free-kick deep in their own half, the usual passing along the back line ended up with Alcaraz trying to take on three Bolton players and inevitably losing possession, before you could say 'seen it all before' the ball was in the back of the net, 0-1.
Now Bolton are an awful side, little to no quality and that was a blessing as a decent team with a decent manager would have ripped us apart down our left, Gohouri was having a real mare but Bolton weren't making us pay, on 40 minutes and out of nowhere we were level.
Knocking the ball around midfield the Latics looked to be thinking about probing, Watson laid the ball at the feet of Momo Diame who was about 20 yards out, the Senegal international curled a beautifully flighted ball into the back of Jaaskelainen's net, 1-1.
Calm it down, bring on half-time and regroup, oh no we couldn't do that, calamity at the DW, the inept Gohouri, with seconds remaining decided to take on Kevin Davies, the Bolton striker simply 'took' the ball off our 'left back', cross for goal king David Ngog to plant the ball in the back of Ali's net, 1-2.
Re-shuffle at half-time, Gohouri and Watson off, Figueroa and Rodallega on, suddenly the team looked a lot more balanced, we actually had a left footed player playing on the left side of the team, but still no genuine spark and to say we are a little flat in our play is understating the obvious.
Ali saved a Davies penalty, harshly given against Caldwell for a shove on Boyata and Boyata should have scored when he somehow he managed to put a header round the post when stood unmarked two yards out dead central. The scoreline could have been a lot worse. Chris Eagles rounded off the afternoon in stoppage time for Bolton, he dispossessed Alcaraz, jinked inside and wrong footed Caldwell before firing past Al-Habsi, 1-3.
What a shambles, bad team selection, crazy defending, sluggish midfield play, forwards playing by themselves, it's only October but this season has disaster written all over it
Date:Sunday October 16 2011
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