A Tale of Two (Bad) Defences

by Dave Redden

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Q: What do you get if you have two bad defences and two offences that are spoiling to explode?

A: Bolton v Portsmouth

No sooner had I plonked my backside on our comfy, oversized couch than Bolton had taken a 1-0 lead with a nicely taken goal by Matt Taylor. Two minutes later and the lead was doubled as Ricardo Gardner pumped the ball into the Portsmouth goal (even though there was a player in a blatantly offside position).

I believe it was at this point that Portsmouth’s bus rolled into the Reebok’s car park to drop the team off!

Tony Adams arrived to have take his seat, looked up at the scoreboard and realised he was in a 2-0 hole. His veins were a-poppin’ in his neck, every other word began with “F” and his players were listening to ….. his assistant!

Bolton could have been four or five goals to the good if they had taken their chances. David James made two excellent saves in the first half but really should have done better with the ones that went in too.

Weak defending seems to be contagious as Bolton missed two headers in the attack that saw Peter Crouch pull one back for Pompey. Niko Kranjcar used the outside of his boot to curl in a deep cross to the back post where Crouch heads back across goal. All the pundits say Krancjar’s cross was pure brilliance, I say it was a cross from a player who only uses his left foot to stand on.

When the break arrived the score was 2-1 to the Wanderers but could easily have been

Bolton came out after the break and continued to take the game to Portsmouth. Portsmouth stayed in the dressing room for the most part with Bolton’s keeper, Jaaskelainen, being charged for a ticket as he became a spectator in the second half. Word is that he had a blanket and a flask of Oxo with him as he “guarded” his goal.

James continued his mixed bag in goal at the other end with a couple more fine saves and a scuffed clearance that almost came back to haunt him.

Overall, the game was your good, old fashioned, English styled game with plenty of incidents and talking points. The referee let quite a bit slide, especially when it came to handing out cards, but that probably added to the fluidity of the game.

The English Premier League is great this season, here’s hoping it stays this way and games like this will do it more good than harm.

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  • Stevie

    if you are talking about bad defences then Man City have to be the worst. Last season Mica Richards was the best young defender in Europe, quick, strong and one of Englands brightest stars. Yet I can’t believe how bad he has been this season. He totally fell asleep for West Broms second goal, surely he must have known Bentner was behind him??

    It’s actually been a season of bad defending…

  • Jamie Farrier

    Nice match summary. Good to see a proper winter tussle game covered rather than the obvious Sunday game.

    With Hull and Stoke looking good for their money as newly-promoted teams rather than relegation candidates, there will always be two teams who have to take their place at the foot of the table. Bolton are well aware of this, even more so than Pompey, and it’s The Trotters who took two very early goals and played safe for the rest of the game to secure the points. Victories like this keep you in the Premiership.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Bolton won’t go down, they have the ball dog spirit, and no one more Kevin Davies typifies that, no wonder why Big Sam wants him at Blackburn. 20 m for Santa Cruz? Take it now. As Paul Merson would say, I’ll drop him off for that!

    Hands up who has any Fulham defenders in their Fantasy League? 4th best defence in the league.

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