There’s nothing more gutting to a supporter than seeing your team throw away points in the last minute. As usual, we paid the price for not scoring a second goal from a shoal of opportunities. I didn’t get to the game because of a family bereavement, but I did, of course, watch it on SKY. At times, especially in the first half, we looked awesom, especially down the left hand side, where Matty Etherington ruled the roost. Defensively we also looked comfortable for long periods, but it was in midfield that I thought we were poor. This is hardly surprising when you look at our injury list, but Bowyer and Solano were never going to form the kind of midfield bulwark which is needed against teams like Bolton. Carlton Cole showed more positive signs but Luis Boa Morte was appalling. How on earth did Curbishley ever feel that it was worth paying £5 million for his services. We needed two out and out strikers against Bolton and Camara should have been on the pitch from the start. Sky showed a list of our injured players, who could make a team on their own – and they even missed out Julien Faubert on the graphic.
It was good to see John Pantsil get a brief runout towards the end. I still feel he might have something to offer us. If we still have Noble and Mullins out for the Derby game I’d stick Lucas Neill on the right side of midfield and put in Pantsil at right back.
And so to the scores on the doors…
Green 7 – not his strongest game, with a couple of James-esque flaps
Neill 7 – getting better after a bad run
Upson 7 – unspectacular but solid
McCartney 9 – our best player at the moment
Gabbidon – 6 somewhat anonymous
Mullins – 6 gave the ball away too much
Bowyer- 6 a couple of neat runs
Solano – apart from one effort, didn’t really threaten
Etherington 8 – superb first half
Cole 7 – great improvement – held the ball up well
Boa Morte – 4 awful, simply awful