LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: Mousa Dembele of Fulham is tackled by Zat Knight (L) and Mark Davies (R) of Bolton during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Bolton Wanderers at Craven Cottage on December 17, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
It has come to the point where we dread match days. Bolton were once again downed by Fulham at Craven Cottage by a scoreline of 2-0. Bolton never really looked dangerous or much like scoring. This Wanderers side was run ragged up and down the pitch by Fulham on their home ground. Owen Coyle tried another new combination to the side that featured four (4, count them) central midfielders with Mark Davies, Fabrice Muamba, Darren Pratley, and Nigel Reo-Coker all handed the starts. Elsewhere on the pitch, left back Marcos Alonso made his injury return from a broken metatarsal and had himself a mostly good game.
As I said earlier, Bolton never really looked dangerous throughout the match. The Fulham counter attack often caught the Wanderers out and Bolton were completely undone in the space of 66 first half seconds thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey and Bryan Ruiz. A ball crossed into the box in the 32nd minute found the head of the American who scored his 38th career Premier League goal by putting it as close to the near post as he possibly could, leaving Jussi Jaaskelainen with no chance. The dagger came in the form of the second goal where Bryan Ruiz's run caught the entire Bolton team asleep. His sweet little chip over Jussi sealed it.
Owen Coyle used all three of his subs before the 60th minute, bringing on Chris Eagles, Gretar Steinsson, and David Ngog to try to help the team out. The changes gave Bolton a few more chances but none of them troubled Fulham keeper David Stockdale who had an overall easy day out.
How much longer does Owen Coyle have at the helm of Bolton Wanderers? Questions have to be asked of his decision to start the overly poor Darren Pratley while leaving Chris Eagles on the bench. David Wheater will make his return from suspension against Blackburn midweek but that doesn't help our attacking threat at all where Bolton have scored a grand total of two goals in the last five matches. I don't imagine the Bolton board pulling the lever to drop the trap door until Owen Coyle's feet with the noose around his neck before the January transfer window.
Keeping faith right now seems to be such a big ask. Let's hope the ship is put back on the correct course and soon. Blackburn away on Tuesday is the biggest match that this team has had in some time. Bolton bottom of the Premier League at Christmas is something that none of us want to see.