Bolton Slowly Sliding


Bolton Manager Gary Megson
Bolton Manager Gary Megson

In October 1999 Sam Allardyce breezed into his office at the Reebok Stadium to take over a club at the foot of the first division table. Amazingly, he guided Bolton Wanderers to the play-off semi finals the same season as well reaching both domestic cup finals.

The following season Wanderers finished in third place and again competed in the play-offs – this time they dispatched Lancashire rivals Preston North End 3-0  in the final. Allardyce had led Bolton to promotion in his first full season.  The first two years in the Premier League were understandably spent fighting off relegation which they did successfully. What we didn’t expect was for the Trotters to then finish in the top eight four season’s consecutively – qualifying for the UEFA Cup twice in the process and even achieving sixth place in 2004/05.

These highly succesful seasons in the Premier League owe no small part to Wanderers’ success in the transfer market. During this era Youri Djorkaeff, Jay Jay Okocha, Fernando Hierro, Ivan Campo and Nicolas Anelka all donned the the white shirts of the Lancashire club. Not only did Bolton qualify for Europe, they made it to the League Cup final in Cardiff where they were beaten by Middlesbrough. 

However those days of European qualification, cup finals and regular top ten finishes seem like a distant memory. When Big Sam left to take over at Newcastle United in April 2007, Bolton turned to his assistant Sammy Lee. Lee’s tenure was disastrous. Despite ensuring qualification for Europ in the month after taking over his name sake, Little Sam lasted lasted until October of the next  season with just one win to his credit. In stepped Gary Megson and the continual battle against relegation. Despite the direct style of football not really changing since Allardyce’s reign, it seems poor signings have led the club to the position they are in.

Johan Elmander arrived at the club in 2008 for a whopping fee of £8.2 Million from Toulouse with Daniel Braaten going the other way. He has managed a pitiful 5 goals in his 28 games for the club. For the sake of pointless statistics that is £1.64 million pounds per goal, tad expensive for a centre forward you feel?

Gary Cahill was signed last season from Aston Villa for £5 Million. Now I want to go on record and mention that I watched Cahill on loan for Sheffield United in the same season and make 16 appearances for the Blades. He looked an outstanding player in the Championship but £5 Million quid is a big fee when you consider that Everton landed Phil Jagielka for £4 Million.

Bolton were once incredibly shrewd in the market but have splurged on mediocre players since the days of Sam Allardyce. Add Gretnar Steinsson (£3.5 million), Danny Shittu (£2 Million basic) and we add further weight to the issue.  Matt Taylor has been a reasonable acquisition, a tad over-priced at £4 million but at least he has 10 goals to his credit. Yes, the £8.2 million striker Elmander has been out-scored by a left back/midfielder.

I know that transfer fees for players are forever spiralling upward, but does anyone out there not think that Allardyce wouldn’t have spent that cash better than Megson? Considering that the Trotters sold Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea in January 2008 for £15 Million those transfer funds have been poorly distributed. Maybe Bolton saw Megson a fit appointment in relation to his direct style of physical football – it can’t have been his charisma. A quiet character by the name of Neil Warnock once commented on Megson releasing an auto-biography by saying “Oh he’s writing a book is he? Well it’ll be the best f**king cure for insomniacs that’s ever been published”.

I  fear that Bolton, a good family club may join the likes of Southampton, Coventry and Middlesbrough in domiciling in mid-table anonymity for years before finally suffering the drop. Bolton have been good for the Premier League and have been a model for other promoted clubs to base their for model for success on. However with the current man in charge I cannot see Wanderers firing back up the table – particularly if they don’t replace Kevin Nolan.

29 thoughts on “Bolton Slowly Sliding”

  1. Ill informed article.

    It’s worth pointing out that in January 07 we were third in the table and in Sam Allardyce’s final few months as Bolton manager we fell down dramatically, we suffered relegation form. Luckily managing to scrape 7th.

    Under Sammy Lee we continued to sprial downwards. As of October 07 we were 20th. (Yes even below Derby County!)

    Megson had to sell our best player but bought fantastically in January, bringing in Cahill, Steinsson and Taylor who undoubtably saved us from relegation(especially Cahill- now worth four times his initial transfer fee)

    This season we have improved again, up to 13th(currently) but still capable of finishing as high as 11th.

    That is;
    20th in Oct 07
    16th in May 08
    11-13th in May 09

    That is steady progression in my books rather than the downwards spiral you suggest.

    Whilst i don’t think you meant any malice towards Bolton in your article, the final line suggests the general view of the media who don’t pay very much attention to Bolton.

    “particularly if they don’t replace Kevin Nolan.”

    Kevin Nolan whilst a great ambassador and captain for the club had been a poor player who was being carried every game for a good 2-3 years. Ask any Bolton fan and they will tell you that, ask any Newcastle fan, they’ll tell you the same.

    “He looked an outstanding player in the Championship but £5 Million quid is a big fee when you consider that Everton landed Phil Jagielka for £4 Million.”

    Again clearly you haven’t done your research, Cahill is the future of England and 5M was possibly the best bargin in the clubs history! When he eventually inevitably leaves for a top 4 club, he will go for a minimum of double 5m- more likely 15-20M.

  2. What absolute drivel.

    Replace Kevin Nolan?

    The lad is utter tripe and has been for years. Have you not watch him recently?

    Back to the drawing board for you Chris Walker, your lack of footballing knowledge is distinctly average.

    Although Megson has done a reasonable job in keeping us up whether he is the man to take us forward is another matter….. but to call Steinsson and Taylor “mediocre players” is absolutely laughable. Elmander is a quality addition, i don’t think Torres would score goals in our team with the service that is on show. Another horrible accusation.

    You know absolutely nothing about Bolton Wanderers FC so why don’t you just keep it shut?

  3. Looks like that took 10 minutes of research, absolute shocker.
    Gary Cahill is probably one of the shrewdest siginings made by this club you numpty.
    Replace Kevin Nolan or be relegated, have you seen Nolan play in the last 2 seasons ? My Mum would make more impact on a game..

    Pointless waste of ink, try doing a little research before making a fool of yourself next time.

  4. Congratulations on a splendid article.

    I completely agree on all points, Kevin Nolan was the heartbeat of our team, his enthusiasm was a joy to behold and personally I am still yet to recover from us selling him.

    Megson is a terrific manager, we’re staying up by virtue of having a good November, with nothing in between.

    I love my wife, even though she can’t do what she used to do – in the bedroom I mean (wink smiley).

  5. I can only assume you’ve never been to Bolton.

    Please remind me when we reached both domestic cup finals again? 1999?

  6. This club can do no wrong. Megson is good and great and personally I love him more than I love the sound of my own voice, which is already quite a lot.

  7. I have to agree with alot of what has been said in the artical.

    I have been to all but 5 games this season home and away and things are not looking good.

    When Megson took control of this club we had a squad that had secured a UEFA cup place including the likes of Anelka Diouf etc. Ok Sammy Lee had got things drastically wrong but the team only needed pointing in the right direction (similar to spurs this season).

    I like to compare Megson with 2 decent managers – Steve Bruce and Roy Hodgson (both where available when we got Megson). Steve Bruce came into wigan with a much worse squad and got more points than Megson in less games. On top of that he spent his money wisely (£1m Palacious who was sold for £15m 12 months later, peanuts for Valencia who is also linked with a £15-20m move) Wigan have looked a much better out fit than us for much of the season and have only missed out on a genuine Europa league chance due to forsed sales in January.

    Roy Hodgson came in after Megson last year with a much worse squad, he has spent half as much money as Megson and look where they are, in with a genuine chance of europe and they embarrased us at the Reebok!

    The fact is Megsons football just about does a job but for how long, will it do a job in front of 13,000 – 15,000 next season because that is how many fans will turn up and pay money to watch our horrendous football.

    We played so much better under Big Sam, its rude to say our style has not changed under this joke of a manager.

  8. What a terrible article.

    Not only are your facts wrong, but the entire content is completely incorrect! Where did you research this?

    I am appalled that EPLTalk, usually a bastion of truth and accuracy when it comes to football/soccerball opinions, can as wide of the mark as a Muamba shot.

  9. Birch, you are factually incorrect about Hodgson.

    Fulham have spent net £30m in the last couple of years. Bolton about £5.

  10. How dare you make fun of my beloved Megson. When he talks I get excited and get a little fatty on.

    The football is brilliant and has never been any better, all the other bolton fans are nobs and dont know anything. I am the biggest bolton fan that there is. Gary I love you, will you marry me as you are sexy. xxx

  11. Tom you cheeky minx, how dare you suggest that you are the biggest Bolton fan?!?! Haven’t you seen Worthy’s belly? LOLZER!

    There is no-one around as cool as Megson, I think he’s the beezneez an’ s**t, don’tcha think? His little head just makes me damper than Gertie’s keks when Take That are on.

    (wink smiley)

  12. Despite having more points than last season we’re on a lower ppg than last, but still, 5 goals in 28 for Elmander is pretty good – and we can’t criticise the manager, ooooooooooooooooh no,


  13. Worthy, who has roy hodgson spent £30m on? he has only had last summer and the January window???

    Zamora, Johnson, pantsil, who else? They have sold players as well like Bullard for £5m.

    The point is he is much better and much shrewder manager, do you disagree?

  14. No, Megson is better because he has more ppg per ppg than the previous manager, whose ppg firmly out-ppg’s the ppg of the present incumbent.

    Plus Meggo is sexier than Woy.

  15. I love the article.

    But I’m only saying that because I like to disagree with anyone on the the-wanderer.

    I crave the attention you see. I don’t really have any views of my own.

  16. i love his ginger hair…lol

    going and watching my fav dvd now, greatest ever megson games, bolton 0 sunderland 0 lol lol lol

    megson 4eva

  17. How anyone can criticise anyone is beyond me.

    I’m off to listen to some Jonas Brothers, and dream of statistics

    k thx bye lolz xxxxx

  18. I’m trying to make some serious points and comments on football, all the while with the internet moniker ‘BWFCInsane’.

    Have some respect for my opinions.

  19. omg i fnk lyk mgsn n bltn r fkn gr8 n dat mgsn iz a top mngr n we cud do a lt wrse sch as sooness or myb ry evns. Iv sprtd btln eva snce my dad stoppd me sprtn stk city

    i am a speshul needs child n my karer is elpn me typ dis in.

    fnks x

  20. TANGODANCER and co from express their commiserations to the sad bxxxard who has nothing better to do than use their names on crxp posts. We wish him a speedy recovery from his illness. Get a life imposter and stop behaving like an eight year old Ronaldo.

  21. I’m just glad that school’s out for the summer.

    I just wish they’d taught me something new, instead of having to type all this bollocks, like I used to on TW.

    I still miss “big” Kev Nolan though – he was my fave.

  22. I’m so hilarious and witty. I’m sitting here typing furiously one-handed whilst simultaneously wanking with the other hand, with a huge self satisfactory grin on my face as I think how clever and witty I am. I’d bet if I used my amazing powers of imagination very hard I’ll manage to convince myself that mum didn’t walk out on me years ago. Wait, what’s that sound? Why it’s Gary Megson waiting to tuck me into bed and I sure hope he doesn’t spot the stained poster of Kelly Brook in my room!

  23. Hey mods, just for a laugh, check how many of the posters have the same ip and you’ll find most come from one. Then ban the xxxxxx for life.

  24. Don’t tell porkies BWFC? Insane. We all know it’s the signed photo of Kevin Nolan that you masturbate furiously to.

  25. Just woke up now with all the bedsheets stuck to me…I was dreaming about Megson and we were felching…uuuummmmm nice.

    Megson is my fav, he should be manager of the year. I love him…lol

    luv u meggers


  26. £4m for a top quality midfielder (Taylor) – underpriced
    £5m for a defender now said to be worth in excess of £10m (Cahill) – bargain
    struggling to defend shittu to be honest but he’s not that bad
    £8.2m for a quality hold up player, decent skills but not much to show for it, yet (Elmander) – give him a goddamn chance.
    Steinsson – bargain
    And you forgot Mark Davies – not played much but he’s young and has been very impressive in the few matches I have seen him play in.

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