Date: 22nd April 2013 at 1:01pm
Written by:

…10800 seconds.

Your love for Bolton Wanderers may draw you into one of those conversations (that turn into arguments) with a friend or member of family who hates football. The conversation or argument regarding the beautiful game will be relatively evenly-keeled until the anti-football party questions your sanity, stating ‘why do you like football? It’s just 22 men kicking a ball around a field’. This will stump you momentarily. There will be a lengthened pause while your brain processes the notion and unfortunate truth the anti-football party has effortlessly raised. It’s effective in it’s simplicity and hard to argue against. The science the point relies upon means stripping football to it’s fundamentals and making the pro-football party feel belittled for worshipping something so banal. You soon realise, however, anything and everything can be stripped of it’s complexities. The anti-football party may love a certain singer or pop-group whose profiles can be reduced to ‘moving around on stage exercising their vocal chords to make certain noises and sounds’. A certain A-list Hollywood actor who has won Academy Awards is diluted to just ‘pretending to be someone or something else’. Whatever your pleasure, it matters not what their actions are, it’s the result of their actions that sets them apart. The fundamentals of a surgeon cutting someone open with a scalpel results in saving a persons life, whereas 22 men kicking a ball around a field results in a plethora of emotions unparalleled to anything the pro-football party experiences in their lives. Obviously, no comparison to social importance of a surgeon, just to make a point.
I love football and I will argue for football if the situation arises. Of course, there are particulars that surround the beautiful game I find difficult to argue in favour of, especially in these unwarranted days of austerity, but on the whole, I will stand in it’s corner. The game at the weekend, however, I found myself in unfamiliar territory. My feelings during the match against Middlesbrough on Saturday, if stripped of complexities, could be placed into the ‘anti-football argument’ category. After kick-off, 3pm, the game for me culminated in 22 men kicking a ball around a field. I hadn’t experienced a sudden bump on the head or undergone a complex personality transfusion. I was in complete control of my mental faculties but the wonderful game of football played second fiddle to fundamentals of a ‘result’ and ‘3-point’. My appreciation for tactics, wits and skills were replaced with… Well, nothing. Unless anxiety and looking at my watch can be related to football? I cared not whether Eagles meant to shoot or merely cross the ball. Just that the round thing crossed the white line in the right place and the net moved to alleviate any doubt. Was that Eagles’ 10th goal of the season? So what? It’s nothing personal, Chris it really isn’t. I’m sure my beloved Whites prepared for the game. Prepared like a team would, who needed to perform to a level to clamber back into the play-off places. I’m sure they trained their socks of and studied videos of ‘Boro’s players. Trained and studied to the point of exhaustion where they slept like babies and our manager had sleepless nights wondering if the training and studies were adequate. I cared not. As soon as the final whistle blew my thoughts directly switched to three things: the other results of teams effecting Bolton, the standings in the league table after such results and the next fixture, away to Cardiff.
It’s all Bolton’s fault I feel this way. We shouldn’t be doing mathematics regarding the league table Rachel Riley would find tricky, we should be getting drunk with our South Wales rivals by now. Not because I promised myself but because the promise was bestowed upon me. I don’t know if I’ll appreciate the game against Cardiff. Whether I’ll recognise the effort or skill of our players. That towering header by Zat Knight, that fingertip save of our ‘keeper, whoever it may be, or that rasping shot from Sordell, Davies or Eaves. In my world at the moment, Bolton don’t have 2 games remaining, they have 180 minutes to salvage a season that looked doomed 120 days ago. If Wanderers make the play-offs, I won’t appreciate the knock-out tournament like the neutral will. If we go to Wembley, I’ll be a shell of a former football fanatic. When the dust settles and this season comes to a total end, I just hope when my eyes finally open, this team from Bolton are kicking a ball around the fields of Old Trafford in Manchester and the Anfield pitch in Liverpool.

Thanks Al, much appreciated.


29 Replies to “BWFC: 180 Minutes”

  • another brilliant article, god i wish i could write as fluidly as you. you have a quite personal take to your writing, really professional but informal, which is cracking and you pick your subjects spot on, really glad Alex has opened this site up for others too write guest articles, great leadership from him. the site is really benefiting.

  • i just seen QuintinX is still writing on his twitter, wonder if he’s reading the site? would be nice if he did a cameo and did a guest article.

  • very nice article bwfc85, appreciate your effort, its not easy exposing your thoughts in public, but it could be worse !

  • Boltongav and Pedro made some interesting observations in the last article concerning the different realities supporters face depending on whether we remain in the championship or hit the premiership next season. The article above by bwfc illustrates how the opportunity the team has created in placing us along the razors edge between success or failure as this season reaches its climax, has opened up a range of rollercoaster emotions felt by BWFC supporters, positive, desperate, even fearful ones. Whatever our destiny I am sure that while longing to be experiencing the emotions felt by Cardiff supporters we would not trade our current ones for those felt by Reading. The championship presents a ready battle amongst clubs with the ability to fight to reach the ” promised land” players are motivated to succeed knowing lucrative contracts lie at the end of the rainbow, directors realise premiership money equates to financial survival and rich remuneration for themselves. Somewhere in the mix, in which money has become the over riding driving force, the experience and emotions felt by supporters becomes the sole casualty of the very success we strived for, its a paradox, all previous highs disappear replaced by disappointment and fear of failure, the dreaded final two minute slot on MOTD. Aiming to walk through the premiership entrance like Cardiff only raises the risk of walking out of the exit like Reading. The reasons behind the risks would make an interesting article in itself.

  • spot on. i personally have no issue if we stayed in the championship for another year, but considering the apparent dept, that is cause for concern, there is meant to be an increase overall of 25% or there abouts with thins new licencing deal imminently bound. gartside and dougie will have to look closely at the books, i dont mind yoyoing to and fro from the premier league as long as it doesn’t have an impact on eddie davies continuing contribution. we can be happy we spent 11 consecutive years in the prem, but where did it really get us, if the figures are correct we were losing 12 million a year. we are a relatively small club and we were paying far too much on pla

  • – on players wages considering the quality didn’t match up and the size of fan base didn’t support that expenditure.

  • silver wear should be the only thing looked fondly of. if are greatest memories are a draw at bayern, well the money was just not worth it. i’m hopeing a more shrewd direction will take place in the oncoming years. and will the tenure of dougie and co, we all can start seeing some silver wear. if not, just for things to run smooth and steady with a few cup runs will suffice me.

  • that all said- i don’t really believe we are in dept, i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, i think it’s being run like Starbucks, you can’t pay that much tax when your losing money every year. and with the business based in isle of man, it sort of explains allot.

  • Just had an answer from LOVS to my query about why Lonergan was not in the team at Leicester and against ‘Boro. Apparently he had a bust up with DF – “fell out after training and so he was dropped for disciplinary reasons, rather than form.”

  • don’t even know what the issue is with bogdan starting, they both have the same problems. But a third choice goalie from leeds isn’t the answer, and i personally don’t think hes better than bogdan.

  • I belief many team selection decisions are based on events that occur behind the scene, personality issues and relationships between players and managers. Its potentially detrimental if players are not selected on ability and merit, however, I acknowledge that harmony amongst the team as a whole is more important than any one individual, however, it is hoped that interest is not sacrificed to benefit authoritative egos

  • Let’s be honest, none of us wanted al habsi to leave and therefore we have never really warmed to bogdan who was meant to be our new no.1. I don’t think he is all that bad to be honest and whilst I would have liked al habsi to stay it didn’t happen. So in the absence of anybody else let’s hope he continues to improve as I don’t think lonergan is the long term answer.

  • boltongav- how right you are about Al Habsi, short sighted greed taking the £4 million from Wigan, when goalkeeping mistakes thereafter in several games lost us more points than the one point that relegated us, which in turn has cost us £50 million already. A whole string of dreadful transfer mistakes during that period did irreversible damage and we are still paying the price. BWFC has always previously had a great historical record of having a top class goalkeeper between the sticks, we cannot make that boast at the moment.

  • if i’m right, i do recall quite allot of animosity towards jussi for the first few years when he was number 1 or rather 22.

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