Date: 14th May 2012 at 12:16pm
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At the end of a season you end up where you deserve to end up. No matter how many times you believe that you have been done by the officials, the position that you sit in after the requisite number of games is the one that your play over the season has deemed that you end up in. Bolton finished eighteenth. Bolton deserve to be relegated.

At the end, it all seemed so anti climactic, like everyone was waiting for it to happen. In our hands at half time, a penalty at one ground and a seemingly impossible result at another meant that all the talk, all the rhetoric, all the chest thumping and the continual evoking of the name “Barclays Premier League” counted for nothing. Then, in the cruellest way possible, the seemingly impossible result was no more, meaning that an easy finger could be pointed at the referee.

True, Chris Foy and his assistant`s error in allowing Jon Walters first goal made the job harder, but the job was already hard thanks to what happened last weekend. We may have been on the end of crazy decisions, but remember that we have been saved by them as well. A word to those who say that he should never referee another Premier League game. Just remember one thing. If that is the case, we`ll get him again next year.

Fair play to Walters. Scoring a goal in an FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley is one thing, but both times that he scored yesterday he realised the magnitude of the goals against his former club and his only action was to cross himself. Stoke fans didn`t do themselves any credit, but who amongst us could say that we wouldn`t revel in the relegation of some teams if they came to The Reebok?

As with our second last week, our goals were freakish, Mark Davies not having much idea what was going on as Wilkinson kicked the ball against him before SKD scored the strangest goal of his career, floating the ball over Sorensen from an impossible angle. Even as a striker, the captain will be hard pushed to admit that he meant it.

And we had chances to finish it, SKD hitting the bar, Klasnic forcing Sorensen into a good save and Tim Ream heading the ball straight at the goalkeeper. But Bolton only came to life once Walters had bundled Adam Bogdan into the net. Before then, as with last week, it looked as if the other side were the ones fighting relegation.

As noted in the comments in the preview, strange decisions were again made in substitutions, bringing on a like for like player with twenty minutes left rather than an extra midfielder to try and hold the game, a partially fit winger being brought on with ten and then an untested player brought on for another striker when a goal was needed. At the point Sordell replaced SKD, QPR were winning, but that didn`t mean to say that Citeh wouldn`t score two. Which they did. A third striker was needed, not a replacement.

So. After eleven years in the Premier League, going from one of the most hated teams to one that most people wanted to stay up, that is it for at least a year. It sticks in my craw that a vicious little thug like Joey Barton gets another season in the Premier League after his antics during yesterday`s game and then his tweets last night. If Suarez can get an eight game ban for racist comments, Barton should get the same for what was basically GBH. But it isn`t his fault that we have been relegated. The blame, unfortunately, lies at the door of Owen Coyle. Tactics at time were so wrong the players seemed to have no idea what was going on, some of his purchases were peculiar as were some of his sales, notably a large Omani goalkeeper. As with yesterday, his substitutions were sometimes hard to believe. But the time to dissect all that will come when the dust settles.

As it is, we have probably seen the end of some players careers in a white, blue, red and orange shirt. Boyata and Miyaichi, along with the unused Tuncay, return to their parent clubs whilst noises already suggest that Zat Knight is leaving. Others will undoubtedly follow, although it is good news that Kevin Davies has apparently signed a new contract. After a fraught season for him on the playing side, his game may be better suited to a lower division, as it will the likes of Pratley, Eagles and Sordell as well as the emerging talents of Josh Vela, Joe Riley and Michael (not Mark) O`Halloran. Although it appears dark now, the future could be bright indeed.

So, that`s it for the season. Congratulations to Adam Bogdan for winning the player of the year last night, although that in itself should tell you something. We`ll be back with the Fantasy League finale tomorrow and then we`ll have a look back on the season, name our player of the year and give you news on the very future of Vital Bolton.

Until then, mind the hangover.

P.S. The photo that adorns this article is Oakwell. Yes, it is that bad.)


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