Bolton Wanderers (1) – QPR (1) – ‘It is what it is‚’ – But why is it what it is?

Team: Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky, Mackie (Polter), Henry (Chery), Luongo, Phillips, Hoilett (El Khayati), Washington

Subs Not Used: Ingram, Angella, Tozser, Petrasso

Attendance: 14,085 (including 743 R’s fans)

It was really nice to meet up with Steve R, JJ, Paul Finney, Michael Whelan and some of my fellow Manchester R’s at the Macron Stadium on Saturday. The best part of the day!

Another result. Another crack papered over. This performance was not good enough, even by our own mediocre standards. We were slightly second best to lowly relegation fodder Bolton, who have only won four league games this season and have a defence that usually parts like the Red Sea when under pressure.

Rangers for most of this match certainly did NOT apply much (if any) pressure at all. We got away with a late equaliser to draw 1-1 simply because Bolton removed their star forward and were not interested in crossing the half-way line during the last 10 minutes.

Also at the finale we were now playing with a two-pronged “spearhead” (Washington and Polter) plus an attacking midfielder in Chery. Why did we not start with those three on the pitch right from kick-off? Why commence with only one proper striker?

The fixture was Bolton Wanderers not Bayern Munich for heavens sake! I’m convinced on that showing had we been up against any half-decent Championship team we would have got thrashed!

Most of our players under-performed, but Perch in particular during the first-half gave a prime display of a non-tackling, non-marking full-back. Not impressive to put it mildly. Fortunately for us the fat lady delayed her song.

Over the weekend I did discuss the game with a few of my friends who are Bolton season ticket holders and they have confirmed that QPR FC are the team that have put the least pressure on Bolton at the Macron all season. Is that telling us something?

bw away“It is what it is” – but why is it what it is?

Jimmy picked me up at the Target and after a smooth journey we parked up outside the Macron Stadium, right by the away end.

Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of the Bolton chairman who passed away last week. Looking around it was noticeable that some home fans didn’t join in.

There was little atmosphere and the game looked like two sides playing out an end of season fixture.

As the driving rain persisted, Karl Henry was booked after 21 minutes and was then continually dug out until Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink replaced him in the second-half.

Zach Clough provided a rare piece of skill just before the break when his spectacular overhead kick narrowly evaded the woodwork. And he later gave the Trotters the lead with about 22 minutes remaining with a stunning shot from the edge of the box, which gave Alex Smithies no chance.

With two minutes of the four added, and with a number of the 743 R’s fans already absent or leaving, Matty Phillips’s shot twisted under the keeper to the delight (and surprise) of the remaining travelling contingent.

I liked the look of Nasser El Khayati (again), but why did we have to wait until the 62nd minute for his introduction? He has clearly demonstrated his skill and can he cross a ball!!!

Good to meet up with Kerrins before the game and with north poler at half-time. I hope that he had a good weekend up there.

Many thanks to Jimmy for the lift.

Steve Russell

Bolton moved off the bottom of the Championship despite Matt Phillips’ last-minute equaliser for Queen’s Park Rangers denying them all three points.

Trotters forward Zach Clough had the best chance of a tame first-half as his ambitious overhead kick went just wide.

Wanderers started the second period brightly and were rewarded when Clough curled home an unstoppable strike.

However, deep in injury time Phillips’ low strike squeezed past home keeper Ben Amos to steal a point for QPR.

The result means Bolton move up to 23rd place as a result of Charlton’s defeat at Fulham, whilst QPR move up to 12th position.

It was an emotional afternoon at the Macron Stadium as Bolton, who were playing at home for the first time since the death of their chairman Phil Gartside, were visibly distraught with Phillips’ last-minute leveller.

The visitors’ dreadful form under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will be of real concern for Rangers fans, having now won just two of the Dutchman’s 13 league games in charge.

Bolton manager Neil Lennon: “It feels like a defeat, it’s heart-breaking. We’ve managed to get a point out of the game but we needed three.”

“The manner in which we conceded the late goal is disappointing. It was poor from us at a time when we should be seeing the danger out.”

“There are plenty of games left and we all believe we can still get out of the position we are in. We don’t look like a team languishing at the bottom of the league right now.”

Queen’s Park Rangers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “They were a little more desperate as they needed the three points because of where they are.”

“I feel like we didn’t really create but neither did they, it was that kind of game.”

“It was not pretty, it was not a classic but just two teams trying to find their way who couldn’t really find their way.”

BBC Sport

I think it is time Mr Hasselbaink described just what is “It is what it is” because it’s certainly not ‘football as we know it’. Is it ‘sheer and utter dross’, ‘mind numbing’, ‘brain damaging’, ‘non-league’, or ‘ale house’?

A first-half so poor, it pushed me to questioning my very sanity at half-time. And a second-half with little improvement, until the 93rd minute when Phillips, who once again went missing throughout the ‘game’, popped up from nowhere, finally lifting my misery.

Indeed, hard to describe a game where the faithful would have every right to engage a Brief regarding a breach of the Trade Descriptions Act of 1968!

Two full-backs who, when in the opposing half, looked like they had entered the Bermuda Triangle! Four midfield players derived of any creativity. And Jamie Mackie, with all the will in the world, without pace, becomes ineffective.

Smithies, Hall, Onuoha and Washington, all came away with credit. El Khayati, when he came on, looked very promising. Maybe we’ve found a player who not only can affect a game, but can cross a ball with power, spin and accuracy…heavens forbid!

So the pain of it all, over for another week, other than that, smooth trip, good craic and thanks to Kerrins who sorted our pre-match beverages.

Till the next time…now where’s my tablets!

Jimmy Murray

4 thoughts on “Bolton Wanderers (1) – QPR (1) – ‘It is what it is‚’ – But why is it what it is?

  1. Well..that trip sounded like fun!
    Against the worst team in the league (excluding us on a very bad day)why are we playing in such a negative way? It was the same under previous Managers who insist on showing too much respect to these teams instead of hitting them from the start. If you do that you do not give them time to settle and they will play to the level they are and their confidence will drain.
    But..hey ho…that is why I am not paid squillions of pounds to orchestrate such dross.
    Anybody got the job application for the Rs?

    NB. The subsequent point at Sheffield Wednesday just shows we could have had a good return of four points from two successive away games with a little more effort.

    • At least you didn’t leave at 3.45! Us old time supporters that have been brought up on away defeats with monotonous regularity are made of stronger stuff.

  2. It was an emotional afternoon at the Macron Stadium as Bolton, who were playing at home for the first time since the death of their chairman Phil Gartside, were visibly distraught with Phillips’ last-minute leveller.

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