Ratings: Bolton 1 – 0 Blues

With so many great memories for Blues at the Reebok/Macron/University of Bolton Stadium (I know, right?), it seemed an obvious place for Blues to pick up their first three points of the season. Unfortunately though, despite deserving them, Garry Monk returns home with nothing.

It would be easy to blame the (extremely) poor referring decision on the result, but our complete lack of any conviction in front of goal is worrying. Already many fans are looking to a man that hasn’t kicked a ball in over a year to be our saviour. A man who only has a handful of Championship appearances under his belt, a sobering thought.

After another positive performance, it feels quite harsh to be giving out 5’s to players, but football is full of fine margins, and I can’t help but feel that few 6’s would have become 7’s and so on, if Blues had managed to snatch a victory tonight. Agree? Disagree? let us know (and why!). Tweet us at @WeAreBirmingham to let us know. 

Starting XI

Lee Camp

Starting to show why he has over 500 games at Championship level. Made a solid contribution throughout the night and pulled of a couple of smart saves. Showed good judgement coming of his line and had decent night with his distribution too.

6
Maxime Colin

Defensively, didn't really put a foot wrong - which I've yet to see him do in a Blues shirt.

His biggest contribution of the night was unfortunately a negative one.

When the ball broke to him on the edge of the Bolton area, the Frenchman could only blast across the box not giving Bogle much chance to finish.

6
Harlee Dean

Personally, I thought Dean had a very good game. Mopped up most things that came his way both aerially and on the ground.

Tried to take things into his own hands a couple of times with Beckenbauer-esque runs from the back. Very quickly becoming a top defender for this level.

7
Michael Morrison

Gets a 6 for a solid defensive showing. Very much back to his traditional centre-half style along side Dean.

I would like to see Morrison look the simple passing option more often to allow for a more structured build up.

He often takes the opportunity to pump the ball 60-yards into the front two, which more often than not, can release any pressure Blues were building.

6
Kristian Pedersen

A million-miles away from his first half performance against Norwich. Was assured on the ball and won everything that came down his channel. £2.2m looks an absolute steal.

Monk seems to have told both full-backs to sit a little deeper this term, I'd like to see them push up a little further to create the overlap.

7
Jota - Man of the Match

Was consistently the best outlet going forward and was let down by having not having any option supporting him when he got past the defender.

Easily the best player on the park, proved by a moment of brilliance when he brought the ball out the sky, taking the ball away from two defenders, only to nutmeg the third and win a free kick.

His deflected effort probably the closest Blues got to a goal.

8
Maikel Kieftenbeld

Harried and cleaned up very well in midfield alongside Gardner. But his distribution was sloppy at best.

Loses a whole rating for the most absurd, pressure-releasing volley I have ever seen.

5
Gary Gardner

Takes set pieces just like his brother.

Shadow of the performance against Swansea, but, read the game very well and looked to make a few darting runs with the ball. Did the simple stuff well.

A complete lack of options in front of him left him isolated. Faded out the game as it went on.

6
Jacques Maghoma

Started extremely brightly.

Between himself and Jota caused Bolton all sorts of problems with his direct running style throughout the first 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, he had a non-existant 2nd half.

6
Lukas Jutkiewicz

As always, lots of effort and a few nice bits of hold up play. But often played the ball without looking into empty spaces.

But with no-shots on target and not really enough presence in the final third, its hard to give any higher than a 6.

6
Omar Bogle

Another Blues player to start brightly and falter.

He dallied on a chance in the 13th minute which should have been struck, but as a general rule caused issues with running and presence.

Switched off at a corner to allow Lowe a chance on goal and took the ball away from Viv as he was about to shoot in the last minute. Nowhere near as influential as his Swansea performance.

5

Substitutes

Che Adams
Another short cameo which saw a single bright moment. A turn and shot, which produced a corner. I would like to see him start with Bogle.
5
Viv Solomon-Otabor
Had a couple of direct runs at the defence, which didn't amount to much. Should have been brought on 10 minutes earlier.
5

Fans

Attendance: 13,821 – 903 Away Fans

Bolton Fans – 1

Played goal music. Enough said really.

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