You can imagine the conversation, can’t you? It’s 17:15 on May 13th 2012 and Bolton have just been relegated from the Premier League. In a toilet inside the Britannia Stadium, Nigel Reo-Coker, under the story that he needs a REALLY long pee, is on the phone to his agent:
NRC: We’ve been relegated. I need to activate the clause.
Agent: Nigel, baby. Don’t worry. I can get you another team, baby.
NRC: You told me you’d get a good team last season, a Madrid or a Turin club. In the end I came to a club where they focus more on ping pong.
Agent: Don’t worry, Nigel baby. I’ll get you a good deal. I don’t know about a Madrid or Turin club, but surely Liverpool will have an opening. Or at the very least Southampton. Baby.
NRC: Whatever you do, please, please, please, do not get me a Championship club. Can you imagine what would happen then? I’d have to feign injury when I go to the Reebok. You know some of the locals can turn ugly.
Agent: Don’t worry baby. I know just the club…..
‘Ow. OW. My hamstring.‘ Nigel Reo-Coker, getting out of his car in the Ipswich training ground car park sometime earlier this week.
‘There are a good side and they`ve picked up under their new manager, similarly to how we have, so it should be a good contest. Tommy Smith, still playing after all these years.
‘The fans are right behind us and you can not underestimate how much of a part they play. When you are tired and the opposition is throwing everything at you, these fans roar, sing, shout and make as much noise as possible and this spurs you on as a player, and hopefully we can find some consistency and move up the league. But it doesn`t happen overnight. There is still a long way to go put we are on the right path.‘ Damn right, Dougie baby.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
No new injury concerns and Mark Davies returns from suspension.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
Whether you want him in the team or not, the captain is certainly making a case for inclusion in every game. At times, he is still unplayable. Maybe the manager is doing the right thing in keeping him back at times. This may go against something I may have said in the past.
Ipswich Town Team News:
As I may have alluded to, Nigel Reo-Coker has wimped out of meeting his former club with a hamstring injury, didums. Luke Hyam is a doubt after picking up an injury in midweek.
Player to watch: DJ Campbell
He may have tatts in stupid places, a moustache that looks like it is being grown by a fifteen year old and the unmitigated gall to go by his initials rather than his full name of Dudley Junior (yeah, he may have a point there) and his TV career as a pundit lasted exactly one spectacular week which made Michael Owen look verbose, but at this level, he is one of the best strikers. Small and nippy, he will be a nightmare for our defenders, as he has proved for other defences this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton and Ipswich have had a hand in each other’s destiny recently (well, in the last fifteen years) but they have actually only played each other twenty six times in the league, mostly in the second tier. Who can forget those two play offs when one year they thought they had been cheated out of their rightful destiny and then the next year colluded with Barry Knight to cheat us out of ours. And then that glorious day when Fredi Bobic scored a hat trick at T’Reebok and their season collapsed, sending them back down from where they have not yet returned. Karma is a bitch, my straw eating friends.
Ahem. Anyway, Ipswich hold an 11-9 lead in the head to heads and lead 5-4 at Burnden/Reebok. Bolton’s leading scorer in the fixture is jointly held by Wyn Davies and Franny Lee, both with five in the sixties. By virtue of having scored all his goals in Division Two, Lee One Pen is the leading scorer outside the top division.
Michael Naylor. Again, screwed if I know. We’ve not had him this year and neither have Ipswich. So far he has given out twenty eight yellows and one red and that was in a League Two game.
The last few games between the two teams have seen a few goals. As such I’m going for a 2-1 win. As I always do.
Huddersfield, and Danny Ward, await next Saturday across the pennines.