Stand Up, Be Counted, Look Alive, Think Fast, Die Hard.
Morning all. Hope you are all keeping on keeping on.
I don`t want to make you any more depressed than you may already be, but in ten days we will know our fate. Just ten days. Ten days ago it was April 24th. That was the day we beat Villa. And that seems like yesterday.
Naturally, all could change on Sunday, for good or for bad. And you can bet your bottom dollar that we are going to be soundbited out between now and then. And then for the next week as well.
“It is about regrouping and taking it smack in the teeth.” Owen Coyle
“We have to take the result on the chin and move forward.” Tim Ream
“We know what is required and it`s going to take people to stand up and be counted.” Kevin Davies
Heard it before, heard it before and heard it before. We have had this kind of talk all season and it has all amounted to the same old thing. I think I`ve heard people say “stand up and be counted” about as often as I`ve heard “Barclays Premier League” in a post match interview.
I know that people have to come out and say stuff and that there is a finite number of things that they can say. I also know that we were unlucky on Wednesday but, make no mistake, we deserved to lose. Actions, as you will know, speak louder than words and for the amount of words spoken this season there have been precious few actions. Maybe they have saved up all those actions for the last two games of the season.
This is the problem that some Bolton fans have with Owen Coyle. They feel that he is all mouth and no trousers, although on a match day he actually is “no trousers”. There is little doubt that he is the master of the post match interview and compared to the two managers that came before him he can hold you and make you believe what he says. However, saying the same thing isn`t helping.
I exchanged a couple of words with Little Sam on Wednesday as Mrs X and I waited for the lift, although it was just about my former local in Liverpool rather than about the game. His return to the club in the role that he is in may be great for the Academy, but he has been placed in the wrong job. Sammy Lee is a first team coach and whilst I am sure he is doing a good job with the Academy, the fruits of Euxton are already coming through, with both Joe Riley and, finally, Josh Vela getting game time and Michael O`Halloran also playing with the first team this season. This was done before he returned. Wherever we end up next season, Owen Coyle needs Sammy Lee by his side in the dugout. Sam Allardyce may have an over exaggerated opinion about his managerial abilities but he chooses his backroom team well and there was no fluke that he fitted in so seamlessly to the role vacated by Phil Brown. He would be a “no” man to all the “yes” men surrounding the manager.
Make no mistake, Owen Coyle, for all his faults, will be Bolton Wanderers manager next season but Sandy Stewart and Steve Davis, to my mind, cannot be left to have the ear of the manager alone. Little Sam needs to be placed back by the managers left hand side, otherwise a tumble down the division is a possibility. As well as SKD has played in the past few games, he had a torrid time for part of the Spurs game and, if relegated, the tendency to lump it to the captain will increase. There needs to be a plan B and plan C where at the moment it sometimes seems that there isn`t a plan A(2). Sam may not be a manager but he has been around long enough to be able to give a different viewpoint.
As for the other Lee, Chung-Yong of the name, the manager has ruled out his return for the run in, which is probably just as well. A partially fit LCY is no good for the team at the end of a relegation battle and there are enough players on the bench who can do better than CYL with his current fitness levels at the moment. CYL is named by Vital Spurs as one of the players that our new best friends may go for if we are to go. down. Intriguingly, they also name Holden and Bogdan as players Honest Harry may go for. That is a fear that I`m sure other people have, that other Premier League clubs will take advantage of whatever our financial position is to pick over the bones of the squad and Bogdan (24), Lee (23) and Holden (26) are all young enough to be prime candidates to remain in the league. There are only four other players mentioned, meaning that Spurs at least think that we have enough quality to stay up, although by the looks of the comments they would only take Bogdan.
Naturally, when the season draws to a close, we will be looking at who may stay and who may go, and I have been asked who I think will stay or go already. That will naturally depend on where we are, so the only names that I can give are Robbo and Blake as definite to go. Come see me again in a couple of weeks.
Player of the month time now and whilst the clubs official Facebook page have given it to SKD due to his play in a couple of games, Vital Bolton voters have given it to Adam Bogdan, who was voted into second place in two games and third in a further two. SKD was second, with his man of the match display at Sunderland as well as a second and third place. Third was David Wheater who had a man of the match display at Newcastle as well as two third places.
And onto the Fantasy League and with two games left there has been a major movement at the top with Kris C and his Bradley Lane FC taking a fifty nine point lead thanks that an amazing hundred and fifty points over the past week. This has led him to sprint past real betis hotpot, with Quack Off Utd moving into third place. Bradley Lane were also the team of the month and the team of the week. A remarkable and unique achievement that wins you absolutely cock all. Never mind.
Right, that`s your lot. I`m off to put the towels in the wash. We`ll be back tomorrow with our penultimate preview of the season. Until then, there are nine million terrorists in the world and I`ve gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.