Fair enough Michael.
Their first goal conceded was a direct pass through the centre, helped on by the Bolton attacker, and it took out all three of Adam, Stevie and a slightly further back Henderson. You're supposed to cut out that kind of pass at school level, yet that went right through.
Posted right before the match that how Henderson is deployed will be important, yet again he spends most of his time marginalised out wide on the right. Adam and Stevie are never centre midfielders, unless when Stevie's injured. Attacking mids. Not in their mindset to form a unit there, cover first, track their runners. If your players are not inclined naturally to that type of game, as a manager / defence coach, you have to make sure you're conscientious about the instructions you assign them. I've kept off from saying it for a long time now, it's only fair that time is given. but off the ball shape is something you should be getting right within one or two months of being in the job. Kenny's said before that Clarke handles that side of things, frankly, our organisation in that area of the pitch is pathetic.
It's not merely an issue of seeing Bolton score a goal there, your entire unit is built from there. If the players there are slow to cover the Bolton pass option, slow to press, poor in tracking, the opponents will always have an out there. Bolton did, for throughout the game, pretty much. They had one period, toward the end of the first half, when they lost their composure a bit, but second half, they bossed it in terms of what they made us do. Tactically, in terms of organisation, there was only one team in the game.
Their second goal was a well-worked pattern off the training pitch ; contrast that with our attack, which frankly looks out of ideas in the final third. There's the hopeful long ball, which sometimes works due to the quality of passers such as Agger / Stevie / Enrique, and for a while, we had a chance due to Bellamy's pace and movement. Our attacking players look poorly coached in terms of knowing what to expect next when the ball is in a certain part of the attacking third, where to provide the support, where to run beyond the ball. That delay as the players work out what to do, at this level, is an easy surrender of possession back to the opponents.
It's not the defeat, it was the manner of it. Tactically outclassed by Bolton, who were deserved winners. Our organisation in the centre has to buck up, whether we sign players who come to the club already having the tools to do it, or we get a defensive coach in to do it. Right now, it's pathetic.
Fuming to be honest. More with our staff than the players.