After Manchester United’s 5-0 thumping of Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, many fans have been very forthcoming in pointing out Bolton’s obvious defensive woes, and calling for Owen Coyle to make changes in other areas of the pitch too.
Whilst Bolton have endured one of the toughest starts to the season imaginable, with matches against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, it would be fair to say that they have not really done enough to compete in these games. At this moment in time, even an improved performance would be welcomed.
Bolton simply made it too easy for Manchester United on Saturday. There were crosses flying into the box from all angles and defensive marking was poor, although, even the best defenders struggle with the ingenious movement of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.
With the upcoming games against Norwich City, Arsenal and then Chelsea, the fans will be demanding that Coyle looks to make some changes to try and get something out of the upcoming fixture against the newly-promoted Canaries, who have been struggling so far this season.
So what are Owen Coyle’s options going into the Norwich game? Dedryck Boyata should keep his spot at right-back, after a decent performance against United in the midst of a mauling, whilst many are calling for the inclusion of David Wheater ahead of Zat Knight to partner Gary Cahill.
Chris Eagles seems to have gone off the boil somewhat after having made an impressing debut for Bolton against Queens Park Rangers, and there are calls for the inclusion of Gael Kakuta on the right of midfield in his place. Kakuta certainly has the raw ability but it may be a question of whether Coyle feels it is the right time to unleash the French attacker. However, the general feeling seems to be that it could not get much worse after being beaten 5-0 at home.
The strikers also must be reviewed going into the clash against Norwich. Surprisingly, Bolton actually managed to muster twice as many shots on goal as the champions, showing that its all about being clinical, something that Bolton were not.
David N’Gog would provide some much needed pace up front, but the former Liverpool striker needs to prove he can find the back of the net regularly, something he can only do if given a starting place. N’Gog would also provide a little variety up front alongside either Ivan Klasnic or Kevin Davies.
Despite the poor showing against the red devils, it is important to remember that the situation always looks a lot worse than it is after a loss, and if the Trotters can get something close to six points over the next few fixtures, then things will be looking a lot rosier around the Reebok Stadium.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Bolton