Bolton Look To Build On Coyle's Good Start

Football - Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers Barclays Premier League

There are green shoots of recovery around the Reebok Stadium, after several winters of discontent under Gary Megson. With Owen Coyle’s arrival, suddenly Bolton Wanderers are playing football again and trying to win games, rather than bore teams to death and hoof it skywards. Megson’s long ball banality has no place in modern football and I feel sorry for the next bunch of fans that have to suffer the tedium of his tactical ineptitude.

Thankfully, Phil Gartside realised that he preferred being the chairman of a Premiership club more than defending a manager who had lost the entire crowds respect. His own position was under threat and no matter how well a chairman and a manager get on, eventually it becomes a question of self preservation. Gartside made the selfish decision after two bad, bad managerial choices almost finished the club off. Now things are a whole lot rosier down Burnden Way and the club can look to a more positive future. FA Cup: Bolton Wanderers 1 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur

At the time when Coyle left, I was critical of the decision, mainly as I didn’t think Bolton could strike up the pace as quickly as they needed and Burnley seemed to be doing well. I didn’t understand it, but then again, not many people did other than Bolton Wanderers fans. The Green half of Glasgow were certainly left scratching their heads as they watched Tony Mowbray’s reign imploded in a series of bizarre transfer and selection issues and wondering how they couldn’t attract Burnley’s manager over the summer.

So Coyle kept his part of the bargain, he turned his back on devotion and demi-god status at Turf Moor, to ride to Boltons rescue and try and keep them in the Premiership. He did it and with points to spare, such was the dearth of quality shown by the bottom 3 sides for most of the season. Whilst the bottom 3 were nowhere near the worst the Premiership has seen, the lack of a consistent goalscorer in all three relegated sides was too much to bare.

Football - Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City Barclays Premier League

Now Coyle has a few weeks off, and will look to pre-season training in July to begin to continue the good start he’s made to his 4th managerial position. Bolton fans came in for some criticism last season with their campaign to get rid of Gary Megson. “Ideas above their station” ” Spoilt by the Allardyce years” and “Small club punching above their weight” were just some of the delightful accusations levelled at the fans. Quite why wanting rid of a manager who messed up the biggest night in the clubs modern history and would send his teams out not to lose, rather than to try and win games is such a problem.

They pay money and are rightly entitled to their opinions, whether we agree with it or not. I’ve never understood how Gary Megson keeps getting jobs, his record other than at West Bromwich Albion is abysmal. Only Megson could unite Nottingham Forest and Leicester City fans in their hatred of him, such is the feeling of anger towards him from both sets of supporters. Now that takes some doing in anyone’s book, at least Coyle only has one clubs fans anger to deal with, probably for life. Bolton wasn’t a massive rescue job, he just needed to remind the players how to play football, as daft as that sounds.

Sports News - April 25, 2010

He simply needed to get the core performers back in unison and on song. The spine of a decent Premiership side was always there, it just wasn’t allowed to be a football team. With Jaaskelainen, Davis, Elmander, Cahill, Taylor and Davies to call on, it simply needed the depressing air lifting from the place and things would soon settle down. The first 6 weeks were tough, but eventually, points started to come, performances started to come and the team began to climb the table.

Next season will be Coyle’s biggest test so far as a manager. He had nothing to lose at the other jobs he took, Burnley achieved more than even the most loyal fan could have imagined, but I doubt Bolton will be scraping around the relegation zone next season. Despite what their critics may say, Bolton have now been back in the top flight of football for ten years and are an established Premiership club. The troubles of the last 3 seasons should prove nothing more than a bad dream for the Wanderers fans, mid-table is more than realistic for next season.

10 thoughts on “Bolton Look To Build On Coyle's Good Start”

  1. they better not lose cahill, because if they do they are screwed. on a personal note i hope holden plays like he did in houston. im always going for the usa players in my favorite league.

  2. I think with Coyle at the helm and the current crop of players at Bolton, plus maybe some more loan signings ei. Wilshere and Weiss, Bolton could be challenging for a Europa League spot in the seasons to come. They definitely seem like a team on the up.

  3. @jose, they better not lose Cahill because if they do they’re screwed!

    Where is your head at you moron? Cahill was out of the team for 2 months and in them 2 months with Ricketts and Knight in the centre we got our first clean sheets!
    Your statement is just idiotic to say the least!

    Good article btw! But where you say “Bolton are playing football again” it’s people like you who have named them an hoofball team since them coming into the prem under Allardyce! So where does the “again” refer to?
    Under Allardyce we had some world class players and very skillful!

    1. My comments about the long ball game is aimed entirely at Megsons tactics.
      Allardyce proved by using such players as Okacha and Djorkaeff that he certainly didn’t play long ball football.


    2. mickbwfc, correct me if im wrong but isn’t cahill a player such as man u is looking at. if a team like man u wants him then why do you think less of him. do you know something that man u doesn’t.

  4. @My comments about the long ball game is aimed entirely at Megsons tactics.
    Allardyce proved by using such players as Okacha and Djorkaeff that he certainly didn’t play long ball football.


    No offense, but how many games did you actually witness under the helms of Sammy Lee and Gary Megson? The ‘long ball’ tag is a remnant of the Allardyce era that has somehow stuck despite the efforts of managers since. Sammy Lee was thinking ahead of his time. He moved far too fast in a bid to change an ingrained style of his predecessors squad. Failure. Megson’s approach was slightly better. He improved the squad no end on Lee’s culled mess. He made some quality signings. But theres no doubt that both managers post-Allardyce preferred to play “football” as it were. Megsons tactical ineptitude regarding substitions and formational tactics were his problem. Far too often he subbed players that adversely affected chances of revival leaving the team running out of steam. His achilles heel ofcourse is his complete and utter bland personality. He is a PR disaster. No offense to the bloke, but with his previous, did he really expect a warm fuzzy welcome to the Reebok? The answer is yes, and in his early days, he made the mistake of fueding with the fans. The fans were always his scapegoat. The feeling were mutual. The epitome of Gary Megson’s tenure at Bolton Wanderers that you refer to in the article is the drubbing away to a 10 men Wigan after Megson threw the then UEFA Cup in Lisbon by fielding a severely weakened team against a non-chalant Sporting side in favour of saving his players for a crunch relegation tie. To the eyes of many he effectively robbed the fans of progression in Lisbon. The sour feeling arises not from that evening though, but the shocking performance from his invigorated team at the JJB stadium only days later. The cup throw was for nothing, his tactics were way off. Something that BWFC fans had to put up with for far too long.

  5. Well to all intents and purposes, Cahill will be leaving Bolton this season with Arsenal and Chelsea chasing him down.
    As long as Bolton get a fair price for him, it could be interesting to see how Coyle re-invests the money back in to the side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *