Megson Begins A Dangerous Game At Bolton
Ah, Gary Megson, never a manager to pass the blame on to anyone else for his own shortcomings, has decided that today he would announce that certain players are trying to destabilise the club. After watching Sundays performance, I don’t blame them, they look a team with no self confidence, no belief and no faith in the manager. At least he’s not blaming the fans this week. It’s always some else’s fault in Gary Megson’s mind. On Sunday, they’d lost their zip. Now, dark forces are working against Gary Megson, not the fact he played two left wingers in the same midfield and substituted their best player on Sunday, Ricardo Gardner. Witchcraft is abound on Burnden Way in Megson’s eyes.
The fans do not need a reason to increase their dislike of a manager that they never wanted.The boo’s that came cascading down from the Reebok faithful when Ricardo Gardner was removed served to remind Megson that regardless of the chairman’s support, If enough fans stop going, it won’t matter. Money makes the world go round and Bolton’s gates have never been the highest. Currently 5,000 down on 2005-2006 season, even a local derby on Sunday against Blackburn couldn’t raise the attendance over 22,000.
To be honest, I think Gary Megson would lose a popularity contest if he was the only person in it and only his friends could vote. His dogmatic, banality at all costs style of football makes you want to stitch your eyelids together. That’s no attack on Bolton Wanderers, they have the quality of player to be able to get the ball down and play football. Under Allardyce, they attracted a quality of free signings and rough diamonds that played a high tempo, effective and physical game.Megson’s teams just won’t play football because he doesn’t know how to.
Under Megson, they look lost, without purpose and drive. A key point of this is Johan Elmander. Now, I’ve seen a bit of Elmander play over the last 3 or 4 years and right now, he looks like he’s never played the game before. There is no doubting that Elmander is a quality player and he made Toulouse a different side during his time there. Now, he looks like a fish out of water.Elmander is no Fernando Torres, but he’s a damn fine striker.
The chairman Phil Gartside has said there was no need to panic and he wasn’t the type to do so, but tell that to Sammy Lee. Gartside came out with this gem: “The season is 38 games and we are confident. We have been playing some good football, it’s been decent stuff. No one presses panic buttons around here. I have been in the game long enough not to do that.” Now I’ve yet to find a Reebok regular that would agree with any part of that statement.
Since Megson took over at the Reebok stadium, Bolton have played 92 games in all competitions under his stewardship. Incredibly, they’ve only won 26 of those matches. That’s a win ratio of 28.2% and Paul Hart who has so much to deal with and got sacked today had a win ratio at Pompey of 30%. With the fans baying for his blood, Bolton now face Fulham and Wolves away before Manchester City arrive and these are crucial games. The Christmas fixture computer has given them some tough local games and relegation six pointers, so things aren’t going to get any easier.
By once again blaming everyone else, Megson shows a thin skin to his limitations as a manager. As I mentioned earlier this year, Megson has a dreadful record as a manager, but keeps getting jobs. It astounds me how the same names keep going round and round and never achieving anything but the jobs keep coming. Mind you Megson claimed he’d been black balled after his dreadful spell at Nottingham Forest, which when you consider he only won 17 games out of 59, speaks for itself.
The dreaded vote of confidence has come, the fans are chomping at the bit to let him know just how little they think of him, attendances are falling, Megson is blaming the fans, the players and the club are second bottom. The question Bolton fans must be wondering is just how bad to things have to get at the Reebok before Megson gets sacked. We’ll find out soon enough if there is a happy ending in Horwich.