A round up including friendlies, kits, galumphs, legends and broken legged South Koreans being non committal.
I know what you’re thinking. Hey, it’s Sunday. He doesn’t normally do things on a Sunday. Well, it occurred to me that, with all the season dissection being done last week, we are a little behind on the news. So, as a special treat, let’s catch up.
CLUB CONFIRM MOVE FROM REEBOK TO ADIDAS
Unlike some, I don’t go all spunky when a team changes its kit and moves a red square about half an inch to the left. Maybe this has something to do with being of the generation who stood on terraces and watched their heroes play in mostly the same colour. I still treasure my Stretford shirts with Sharp Electronics on the front, even though I haven’t been able to fit in them for nigh on twenty five years. (And if you don’t know why I have United shirts, then you had better look through the archives).
However, even I am aware of the abonimations that Reebok have served up over the past few years, moving from the mostly white of the Big Sam/Real Madrid days, through the apron and the tea towel to this season’s explosion of colour that made me have to avert my eyes on its unveiling. Granted, they got the away kit right, as Wesley Snipes said you should always bet on black, but the home kit with the splodge of the 188BET orange logo just made it look like they had given it to the myopic tea boy to do over lunch.
As Reebok move away from shirts to other matters, it comes as no surprise that their parent company have taken over, although you wonder if the deal was signed BEFORE they thought that we had any chance of going down. This will make it the fifth kit change in five years if memory serves (feel free to put me right) and that in itself is far too many, especially for a town like Bolton. Let’s hope that Adidas get it right and that we don’t have to fork out £40 next season.
JUSSI AND GALUMPH OFFERED NEW DEALS
I have no truck with offering Jussi a new deal on reduced rates and for one year. The guy is one of those legend type people and whilst he may be able to get first team football somewhere else, we need an experienced hand behind Bogdan. It would be no good for the club to have three young keepers at the club without a goalkeeper of experience and you would hope he will sign.
As for Knight, this is like being continually smacked with a baseball bat between the legs over a holiday weekend. Forget the fact that David Wheater is out for nine months and that we only have Tim Ream as a senior central defender, there has to be other alternatives. Zat Knight absolutely, definitely, will cost us games in the Npower Championship (the second best league in the world) and if we are to have a replacement for Wheater then it should be bought or loaned in. All offering Knight a contract is doing is thanking him for being crap. If you or I were as bad at our job as he was, we wouldn’t have one. Let him go to West Ham, or wherever else he is murmuring about, and do them a disservice. He has done one with us long enough.
CLUB ANNOUNCE PRE SEASON TOUR OF NORTHERN ENGLAND (AND PORTSMOUTH)
The smart money says that Bolton will return Stateside at the beginning of pre season, although that didn’t exactly do us any good last year, all things considered. However, once they return the club have announced a further four fixtures at Morecambe, Crewe, Dirty Tranmere and Portsmouth as well as probable games for the second string at Bamber Bridge, Chorley, Radcliffe, Halifax Town, Accrington Stanley and Barrow.
Note the lack of non league teams in the list for the first team, meaning we can all sweat a little less over whether any of our players are going to have their legs broken by an over enthusiastic non league midfielder. The visit to Tranmere will be interesting, seeing as they hate us so much, whilst playing teams of a higher level than last season, when all the games were against League Two opposition or lower, gives the players something to think about. All in all, a better pre season than last.
CYL MAY BE OFF
You know the score. One of your best players breaks his leg in the preseason and you accidentally forget to enter contract talks with him. That is what appears to be the case with our South Korean winger who has been anything less than committal when asked about his Bolton future this week. ‘I am still a Bolton player’ is about as much as we got from him. How we allowed to get ourselves into this position for the third year in a row after Elmander and Cahill is absolutely beggaring my belief. I’m not saying that we couldn’t get back up without CYL, but it would be a damn sight easier if we do. However, if he is not going to sign a contract, best to stick a price tag on him now and let him leave. I like CYL, he always has a sunny disposition, but if you are umming and erring about signing a new contract with a team that have been treating your major injury for a year (regardless of whose fault it was) then it’s just not worth it.
Here’s an idea though. Offer him the wage we were going to offer Zat Knight on top of his current one. Then tell Knight to do one. Works for me.
JAY JAY AND GUDNI HAVE WORDS
Jay Jay has been talking about how the club haven’t invested in top players since the Allardyce era. And he has a point. But Big Sam caught the crest of that wave and worked wonders, but paid these players big money to come to T’Reebok. It is well documented that he left because no new investment was coming into the team and then to plug the gaps left by Sammy Lee and his scattergun approach to buying, the Ginger Whinger had to sign players to keep us up. Say what you like about some of them, but they did the job and they were all established internationals.
The days of a club like Bolton being able to attract the likes of Jay Jay, Djorkaeff and Campo are long gone and it has to be remembered that at the same time as they were doing their thing, players like Jussi, Bibi and SKD were also doing their thing and they cost a total of £1.1million.
We will never know what would have happened if we had signed THAT striker or THAT midfielder to propel us close to the Champions League, but we can also look at Leeds United to find what happens if you do and it all goes wrong. Even if that money had come in, the club itself is too small to sustain it. Don’t ask me about the current debt, that is a seperate issue, but although what Okocha says makes some sense football wise, monetarily there was a high chance it could have bankrupted us. And I’d rather have a football club than not have one.
As for Gudni, he has spoken like a fan about how the club and the players should react after relegation. You can see in the words that he wrote in the Bolton News that he has a real affinity for the club. Maybe someone could offer him a deal to close up his law practice and come sit next to OC next season.
So, that’s just a brief round up and thoughts about the past weeks news. I’ve probably missed a load out but, hey, I do have some sort of life.
Let’s all get back on it tomorrow.