So far this season Bolton have won three games and as each of these victories has been convincing in nature, they have created a sense of optimism for the future.
However, it would appear that it is the games that follow each victory that provide the greater indication of how the season is going to pan out as they are invariably followed by a series of abject performances that unsurprisingly lead to the lost column growing at a worryingly fast rate. It was therefore little surprise that the wonderful performance and result against Stoke a couple of weeks ago was followed up by the utter rubbish offered at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Unfortunately due to the disastrous start to the season this inconsistency is unlikely to drag the Wanderers from the bottom three – quite simply we need to put a run of about five games together where we just don’t lose. Two wins and three draws from the next five could be wonderful but as the team seem to have completely forgotten how to draw it is impossible to think that we won’t lose at least three from the next group of games.
The West Brom game followed an all too familiar pattern that has blighted our games in recent weeks, namely an acceptable first-half performance followed by an utter shambles after half-time.
This is exactly what happened against Sunderland and Swansea and it is this regularity that makes you wonder what goes on in the dressing-room at the interval to turn the team into such a walking disaster almost instantaneously. The upshot being that having looked like he had finally got his team selection right against Stoke, Owen is left to wonder just who to pick next week against Everton. It is though difficult to see who could come in as I have seen nothing in players such as Darren Pratley and Tuncay to suggest that they could provide the necessary spark to perform consistently in the Premier League.
The only player who could have a good case to come back in the team is David N’Gog up front and as Ricardo’s niggling injury curse has struck again even Robbo looks secure at left-back. So the upshot is that the eleven who took to the pitch at the Hawthorns will probably take to the field on Saturday and it is hoped that they will chose that day to have one of their “good for 90 minute” days rather than one of their “alright for 45 and dreadful for 45″ days.
The other consequence of Saturday is that it piles the pressure onto Saturday’s game as another defeat is unthinkable especially with Spurs away to follow. The sooner we get out of the bottom three and into the group of about eight clubs above us the better but that is likely to prove difficult until this inconsistent trait is consigned to the bin and we can at last put a good run of results together. If that doesn’t happen then relegation has to be a serious possibility and if that is the case we are likely to be joined by those delightful chaps from Wigan and Blackburn which means not only would we no longer be in the Premier League, but we would also not be spared the four horrible games against those lovely teams.
Thinking about it the nightmarish quality to these local derbies is something that is always consistent in this inconsistent world at the Reebok.