Total Pageviews

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Looking Forward to Bolton

With a few days off for a bit of a holiday and extra training, its time to remind the team of their opponents for their forthcoming all-important game next Wednesday against Bolton Wanderers. As mentioned previously any journey into the "Forbidden Zone" of the North-West doesn't usually provide us with much in the way of success and as far as Bolton are concerned, the last time we got anything there was in 2003 with a 0-0 draw. The season before saw our last victory when we came from behind with goals from Bart-Williams and Euell to win 2-1. Since then its been rather dire with 2 sucessive 4-1 defeats.

So what of Bolton? Wikipedia rather surprising calls them "overated and boring" and tells us that their nickname is "The Whippet Fiddlers". Obviously not an entry completed by a Trotters fan then.

Fiddling or not it's becoming obvious that they're not enjoying life too much at the moment. Without a Premiership win in 3 games and only 1 goal scored in that time, Allardyce has said that the team are not firing on all cylinders at the moment and has warned them that "unacceptable and inadequate" performances will not be tolerated. And to give us a few clues as to what we need to get the better of them, Big Sam spoke after their last home game against Man. City commenting that "We found their well-organised defensive policy, hardly letting their full-backs get forward and keeping a solid back four, difficult to break down."

As far as the sharp end of the team goes, seven players have scored this season with Anelka top with 7 and Diouf second with 5, Campo and Davies have 4 each with Gary Speed getting 3. Sadly come Wednesday, Diouf will be sat in the stand serving his second missing game because of being sent-off in the 5-1 hammering at Middlesbrough. Despite this little set-back everyone else seems to be fit and its their fitness that seems to be one of the keys to their success and because of this they have a very settled side with over 10 players having started 20 or more Premiership games. By contrast the Addicks only have 5 players - Carson, the Elk, HH, Darren B and Faye with over 20 starts.

Three teams have won at the Reebok this season, namely Chelski and Wigan, both by 1-0 and Manure, 4-0 winners, but they have turned over the Arse and Liverpool and obviously feel that all their tough home games are over. Remember though that the Addicks already have the "double" over them this season with 2 wins at the Valley being recorded and without a goal conceded.

Fitness and toughness are obviously very important to Allardyce and it'll obviously be a bruising encounter. And while you may think that Charlton get a lot of yellow cards, Bolton are second in the table for handing them out with 52 - Blackburn are top with 57. They also have 3 reds, one of which came at the Valley with Davies being ordered off.

At their last home game, Man.City got a 0-0 draw and were unlucky not to win with Joey Barton missing a sitter. In that game captain Nolan was missing with a rib injury, as he was in the loss against Wigan. But he returned for the last game against Middlesbrough when their settled midfield was Davies, Nolan, Campo, Speed with two strikers Anelka and Diouf up front, all of whom form part of the club that have started more than 20 games this season. Their best results do seem to happen when Davies, Anelka and Diouf form an attacking triangle but we can only hope that further pressure will be applied after they lose at the Arse in their Sunday Cup Game.

No comments: