Date: 5th October 2012 at 4:39pm
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Millwall. Just think of the name. Then split it into two. Mill. Countryside. Wheat being turned into bread. Windy Miller from Camberwick Green. Jonathan Creek. Then Wall. Hard. Takes a lot to knock down. Pink Floyd.

It is an incongruous name for a club that has been held up as the worst that football has to offer. Thuggish, brutish, love their mums. Love and Hat on their knuckles, because they’re missing a finger on their right hand.

No one likes them. They really don’t care.

So, what better place for Owen Coyle and his bunch of mollycoddles to go for the game that may well see the end of the Scottish manager’s reign at Bolton Wanderers.

Don’t get me wrong. Millwall aren’t all that. They’ve won just once at The Den this season, losing the rest. But if you were going to a ground, knowing that to come away without a win would seal the deal on your fate, would you want it to be Millwall?

Thought not.

Vital Quotes:

LOOK AT MY DVD. LOOK AT MY DVD YOU MOTHERS‘. Owen’s letter to the Football League over the refereeing ‘decisions’.

Dear Mr Coyle. Do you have this on blu-ray?‘. The Football Leagues response.

The bottom line is that if you`re not winning games, then you leave yourself open for criticism. But with all due respect, it`s from people who come and watch the game. It`s an opinion but because it`s an opinion it doesn`t make it right. If they are not from a footballing background, then that happens. You take it on the chin as you always do.‘ The last cries of a desperate man, the same cries that didn’t exactly work for his predecessor. The only real thing that makes it different are the words ‘with all due respect’. It is my experience that when someone says those words, they mean the absolute opposite. What is “a footballing background” exactly. Is it playing or managing in the game? Or is it standing, then sitting, in a ground for knocking on thirty five years, watching the thing?

Millwall Team News:

Paul Robinson (not that one), who hasn’t completed a game this season, is out for two months after seeing a specialist about his groin. I do hope her name was Helga. Shane Lowry is out after collecting a fifth yellow (already) during midweek. Millwall have signed Mark Beevers from Sheffield Wednesday on one of those month long emergency deals.

Player to watch: Darius Henderson

Wikipedia says that Henderson is known for his strength, heading ability and physicality. So our defence are screwed. He was Millwall’s leading scorer last season and has started off in the same vein. I liked Henderson when he was at Sheffield United and his transfer to Millwall has seen him score a league goal virtually every other game. Luckily, he scored on Tuesday. That’s how it works, isn’t it?

Bolton Wanderers Team News:

Just when there was a whiff of Martin Petrov starting, he does his back whilst David N’Gog is ‘touch and go’. Not that that will get Sordell into the starting line up. Alonso is still out and joins the regulars.

Player to watch: Kevin Davies

It’s been a while since SKD was mentioned as the player to watch, but as it’s the fiftieth anniversary of James Bond, I thought I’d use a particularly withering ‘M’ put down to describe him:

I think you’re a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, who’s boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appealed to the young lady I sent out to evaluate you.

OK, it’s just a good put down, and SKD, as far as I know, is neither sexist nor a misogynist. However, he is a relic of a bygone age, still plying his trade when he should have been moved along to the home for retired spies some time ago. He splits opinion. Hero to most, naturally, but a divisive figure to others. You can’t argue with what he did on Tuesday, the job he was supposed to do. But, the argument goes, if he wasn’t playing, then we wouldn’t have to worry so much about scoring more than the opposition.

It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other really. Most don’t want him to finish, but some think he is. And if he isn’t, then he should be used sparingly. In my opinion, the latter is true, as we try and forge ahead with playing the ball along the floor, something we can’t do with SKD in the side. However, would I want someone else to lead the line at The Den?

Hell no.

Match Facts & Stats

Bolton and Millwall haven’t met each other in the league since 1995, a SuperJohn McGinlay goal giving Bolton their first, and only, league win in this particular part of Sarf Lahndan. Before that, Bolton had drawn just the once, in 1974, and lost the other twelve. Overall, Millwall hold a 14-11 lead.

Bolton did win again at Millwall, just earlier this year, as Ryo Miyaichi and David N’Gog scored in a 2-0 FA Cup win. That’s right. David N’Gog scored. I know.

Bolton’s leading scorer in the fixture, and the second tier, is John Byrom with five, courtesy of a hat trick in a 4-1 win at Burnden in 1969.

And if you’re looking for omens, and any old omen will do at the moment, SuperJohn played for Millwall before Bolton and SuperKev played for Millwall before Bolton. So, he’s bound to score.

Ref Watch:

Gavin Ward. Didn’t he use to play for us? How can we lose? We must have the ref on our side, especially as Millwall was the one English side he didn’t play for.

Gav hasn’t refereed either Millwall or Bolton this season, but has taken charge of two Championship games, showing nine cards. In total, over nine games this season he has shown twenty eight yellows and two reds.

He has, knock me down with a feather, never officiated a Bolton game before, and his last Millwall game was the 0-0 with Cardiff last December.

Match Prediction:

Well, I got 2-1 right last weekend, only the wrong way, and we scored two on Tuesday, but let two in. So, as we’re away, let’s go 2-1. I won on the final result of the Ryder Cup, so here’s a fiver. Get yourself something nice.

Next Fixtures:

A fortnight off (to appoint a new boss?) before Bristol City come to T’Reebok.


15 Replies to “Bolton Wanderers: Deflection”

  • I made the mistake of reading this article in a very boring but very important seminar. Big mistake! I obviously was unprepared when I got to the line ‘LOOK AT MY DVD. LOOK AT MY DVD YOU MOTHERS’ and spontaneously laughed. Well, it was more of a vu vu zela sound with a spray of spit. I’m still chuckling now. I’m imagining Coyle shoving the DVD in Bernstein’s face then running out of the building shouting ‘I’VE GOT A DVD! THIS IS A DVD’ Keep ‘um coming, Mr X

  • At least Coyle has got annoyed with the criticism at last, who knows he might listen to some of the suggestions?

  • there could be 2 or 3 more nails to hammer into Coyles coffin lid before he is buried ( nail = losing ) the dillema is, should we win a nail or two comes out and Coyle gets even longer, if we loose the innevitable sacking draws closer. I want to see us win but I also want Coyle out – life never gives you everything you want, the team must come first so strangely I would be delighted with either a win or a defeat, a draw would probably be the worst outcome knowing Coyle will aim to convince the world once again that he and he alone, having superior knowledge on all footballing matters, can confirm we were good for the 3 points that we remain on course for promotion – being the best team in the league, our position at the bottom of the table is nothing more than a technical error.

  • I know what you mean aussie mike. I want Bolton to win today’s game but it would just spark off another month of dithering over whether Coyle’s doing a good enough job to sack him or not. Its a horrible conflict of interest. Don’t get me wrong, I want him to suddenly turn the team round, go on a winning streak and win the league. But I think it’s got to the point where it’s just not going to happen. We could do with someone with a bit of grit in charge now. Someone who won’t we ‘friends’ with the players, but instead isn’t afraid to give them a piece of his mind when they’re playing badly. Preferably someone with experience of promotion from the Championship. It’s not pretty and it certainly wouldn’t be popular with some fans but I think Mick McCarthy’s our best shot at an instant promotion this season, unless we can prise Ian Holloway away from Blackpool. Or is it too early to be talking replacements?

  • The Coyle article in the former BEN was pretty desperate. He has lost me now that he has started with the comments that suggest if you don’t have a footballing background you don’t know what you are talking about(deja vu there). Didn’t hold Mourinho back did it? Saying that the criticism is wrong because it comes from people watching the game? It doesn’t even make sense. If 15,000 people are at the game and they all say its crap and he thinks different then who is wrong? And the DVD trick is pathetic. “We’ll never look for excuses” but here is a compilation on DVD of how your referees are either incompetent or cheating us otherwise we would be in the promotion spots as it can’t be that me and my mates just don’t know what we are doing. The same referees aren’t incompetent when they referee other games as no one else is complaining. So its just ours. Maybe a video of the lowlights of our season shown to the players who should be forced to watch it like in “A Clockwork Orange” with their eyeballs pinned open might have been a better idea?

  • OC really has lost the plot and stumbled off into Megson-land. First the DVD; how many “incidents” can have been on it? 5,10, 20? Each lasting a few seconds. Each match lasts 90 bloody minutes so if a refereeing decision costs us a goal we probably have another 89 minutes to do something about. However, our players are not up to the job, set up and tactics are wrong so cant because we are playing cr*p! Then there’s belittling the fans. Bad move OC. As Quentin and others ask, just what constitutes a footballing background? Does it only count if you are a current or former professional? Does it not count if you have played and/or coached albeit at a more humble level for most of your life? And what about those of us who have stood on grounds from Carlisle to Portsmouth and innumerable hours at Burnden/Reebok watching the Whites. Are you really saying we know less about Bolton Wanderers than you? I’ll get your coat AND call you a cab.

  • As for today, I have given it some thought and I actually don’t care if we win, lose or draw. Win=fair enough it’s 3 vital points. Draw=fair enough Millwall is a hard place to win. Lose=fair enough we have 2 weeks to find a new manager. Talking of which I would be far from unhappy with Mick McCarthy. Plenty of experience at Champ and PL level, calls a spade a shovel and would give players the right royal kick up the arse they so richly deserve.

  • So Millwall can’t win at home, huh.? Well, we’ll soon see to that!! We can put an end to your winless streaks, your rusty strikers, your poor form. Have no fear, Bolton are here to set your stats on an upward curve.(followed by a swoosh of our cape). DA-DAH…

  • Well that’s that. Probably not worth OC bothering with a press conference. Nothing left to say…except goodbye. One day perhaps we will all just remember him as a player.

  • COYLE OUT!!! I’ll say it loud & clear here right now.
    The man is clueless and has proven to be so for 18 months. Final Straw, Insulting supporters with his pre-match comments – well I am a fully informed football person with sufficient background to come to the conclusion that COYLE HAS FAILED. 2 Weeks to get a replacement & begin our season again with 36 games remaining.
    Big Mick, Brown Phil, whoever else can’t do any worse than Coyle.

  • Anyone fancy Roy Keane as our manager, might increase our chances of getting United’s cast offs, then again he is unlikely to jump in bed with Gartside so his chances are probably zero. No doubt Owen will lecture the press on how dreadfully unlucky we were today – can’t belief the best team lost again, and that freak gust of wind that lifted Eagles penalty kick over the bar, well I never – hope Owen got the ref to check the crossbar height, in case the Millwall staff had lowered it at half time. He now faces more conspirators than Kennedy or Caesar, Gartside must surely by now have his finger on the gun trigger,” please pull it and end our misery ”

  • I must admit i’m fed up of listening to Coyle repeat the same old weak excuses. I cannot fathom his inept tactics…and criticism of the fans smacks of a desperate man. Ten games in and too close to the bottom for comfort…not good 🙁

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