Dead men still walking

Eric Cantona gets it all the time, so does David Ginola, and now, a dozen minutes into Manchester City's 1-1 draw at Bolton on Saturday, Georgi Kinkladze was getting booed as well. His crime: to be extravagantly gifted; to be playing for the opposition; and to have been in the way of Alan Thompson's scything foul.

Old-timers will tell you it did not used to happen when Matthews or Finney were in town: spectators came to awe at their genius, not to abuse it. One could suggest it is a reflection of a less respectful society, or of the greater importance placed on results. Then there is envy, the often misguided belief that the player concerned can be put off, and, probably, a measure of xenophobia.

Whatever the reason, it is not attractive, though it is preferable to the racist abuse which used to disfigure the game, and still does, in pockets. Neither is likely to go away.

To be fair to Bolton fans, the booing at Burnden Park was brief. On the other hand, it came in response to an incident in which Kinkladze was literally the injured party. One moment he was jinking down the wing, the next he was airborne, sent flying by a dreadful tackle from Thompson. At best it was a classic "let him know about it" challenge, at worse it was a calculated attempt to put Manchester City's best player out of the match, if not the season.

Thompson, not a renowned hard man, denied the latter but admitted the former charge. "I was trying to make him know he was in a game," he said. Niall Quinn, the Georgian's team-mate, said: "Kinkladze is a marked man. He's got to get used to it."

What an indictment. English referees have been criticised for following Uefa's edicts too closely but, if it rids the game of such attitudes, they should continue. Had the likes of Dermot Gallagher been in charge at Wembley on Wednesday, Emil Kremenliev's assaults on Steve McManaman would have been swiftly curtailed.

The drawback is that if the letter of the law is rigidly adhered to, we will end up with nine a side. Maybe it is time to follow rugby league or hockey and introduce sin-bins, or green cards for those intermediate offences.

The irony on Saturday was that it was Thompson who eventually hobbled off, kicked out of the game, and Nicky Summerbee, twice booked for fouling him, who was sent off. This was some achievement with Roger Dilkes whistling.

His "it's a man's game" approach to refereeing continued the throwback theme of the day. Burnden Park is one of those grounds that usually exists only in newsreel footage. Standing on three sides, the biggest advertisements publicise the Bolton Evening News, Warburton bakers, and Thistlewaites Tyre: multinationals need not apply.

There are corrugated iron roofs and not a cantilever in sight. Only the hats and caps are missing from the 1950s crowd scenes, and Alan Ball, the Manchester City manager, was wearing one of the latter. Even the ugly concession to modernity, the supermarket which scars one end of the ground, is a regional one.

Dinosaur it may be but, given the right occasion, it can be an exhilarating ground. Saturday's game, a local derby with relegation at stake, boiled up to a frantic finish, with Bolton laying siege to City's goal.

City, having taken the lead after 85 seconds - Quinn glancing in Scott Hiley's cross - gradually subsided into nothingness. "In the second half we were absolutely crap," Ball said.

That had much to do with Bolton's confidence. Down among the dead men and a goal behind they may have been but four wins in six games has done wonders for their self-belief. Alan Stubbs and Scott Sellars took control of the midfield, Sasa Curcic began to lose David Brightwell, and City were so hemmed in only Quinn ever ventured across the half-way line. Eventually the pressure told, John McGinley heading in after Summerbee inadvertently flicked on Curcic's cross.

City had had chances to win the match, Summerbee (who will not recall this game with fondness) missed horribly after Kinkladze set him up and Nigel Clough hit the bar in a goalmouth scramble.

Summerbee departed a minute after the goal, his second yellow more deserved than the first, and only a typical reaction save by Eike Immel from Gudni Bergsson denied Bolton.

The manager, Colin Todd, had said before the game that this was one Bolton had to win; with others results going their way, the great escape was still on. They go to Everton next; City face Manchester United.

"If we play like that next week we will get absolutely hammered," Ball said. The same thought may have occurred to Alex Ferguson and Brian Kidd. The Manchester United manager and his assistant were at Burnden Park on Saturday. The only person who looked happier was the Bolton fan who won pounds 2,000 on the club's half-time lottery.

Goals: Quinn (2) 0-1; McGinlay (74) 1-1.

Bolton Wanderers (4-2-3-1): Ward; Bergsson, Fairclough (Paatelainen, 76), Coleman, Phillips; Stubbs, Sellars; McGinlay, Curcic, Thompson (Blake, 81); De Freitas (Green, 63).

Manchester City (4-3-2-1): Immel; Summerbee, Symons, Curle, Hiley (Frontzeck, 90); Lomas, Brightwell, Brown; Clough, Kinkladze; Quinn. Substitutes not used: Phillips, Kavelashvili.

Referee: R Dilkes (Mossley).

Sending-off: Manchester City: Summerbee. Bookings: Bolton: Thompson, Coleman. Manchester City: Curle, Summerbee, Brown.

Man of the match: Stubbs.

Attendance: 21,050.

Battle for survival

Remaining fixtures

SHEFFIELD WED: 5 Apr Middlesbrough (A). 8 Arsenal (H). 13 Manchester City (A). 17 Chelsea (H). 27 Everton (H). 5 May West Ham (A).

WIMBLEDON: 6 Apr West Ham (A). 8 Manchester City (H). 13 Middlesbrough (A). 17 Blackburn (A). 27 Coventry (H). 5 May Southampton (A).

MANCHESTER CITY: 6 Apr Manchester Utd (H). 8 Wimbledon (A). 13 Sheffield Wednesday (H). 27 Aston Villa (A). 5 May Liverpool (H).

SOUTHAMPTON: 3 Apr Leeds (A). 6 Blackburn (H). 8 Aston Villa (A). 13 Manchester Utd (H). 17 Newcastle (A). 27 Bolton (A). 5 May Wimbledon (H).

COVENTRY: 6 Apr Liverpool (H). 8 Manchester Utd (A). 13 QPR (H). 17 Nottingham Forest (A). 27 Wimbledon (A). 5 May Leeds (H).

BOLTON: 6 Apr Everton (A). 8 Chelsea (H). 13 West Ham (A). 27 Southampton (H). 5 May Arsenal (A).

QPR: 6 Apr Newcastle (A). 8 Everton (H). 13 Coventry (A). 27 West Ham (H). 5 May Nottingham Forest (A).

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary