Date: 20th August 2013 at 6:39pm
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A lovely little guest article which puts everything into perspective

As you know, I’ve been a bit lost lately in regards to my football team. I thought only a win would lift my spirits… I was wrong. Adlington2 has just sent me a lovely little piece putting everything into perspective. Bolton Wanderers are fodder for the big boys and always will be. But there are 53 teams in a worse position than we are at the moment, so can’t complain… Anyway, enjoy the guest article…

What are all you newcomers on about? Barely remember pre-Allardyce, what? I remember the days of Nat very well and I can tell you – it’s always been like this.

Nat carried us on his back nearly all his career but even he couldn’t do it all. We struggled, there were some good players in the side like Willie Moir, Tommy Banks, Bobby Langton. but more often than not, we struggled.

Just like today there were others who got moaned about all the time, Bryan Edwards, Derek Hennin, for example, but they still got picked every week. So there’s nothing new about a player like Zat Knight driving people mad. He’s good in the air, at 10 feet tall he should be. We might improve, we might not in which case the manager will get sacked and we’ll start again. So what? It’s happened before.

My point is that the essence of Bolton is – struggle. As a fan you have to accept that, not start thinking it’s the end of the world because Knight is playing like an idiot, or we have expensive strikers who can’t score.

Occasionally we come good and we won the cup. I was there and I was absolutely delighted when Nat knocked Daft Harry Gregg – as we used to call him – in the back of the net. Nat was a joy and a genius. For at least 80% of his career he played for a team that was struggling – with a smile on his face.

For me the other big character has been Allardyce – the manager. The teams he put together, using world cup players like Jay Jay and Djorkaeff were something else. But here’s that word again – we struggled very often. Relegation battles were normal and even when Sam put together a team good enough for Europe – it all fell apart and he was off.

We’ve even been down to the old Third Division. A pretty good manager called Jimmy Armfield got us out of it. If we do go up to the Premier again, guess what we’ll do? Struggle like never before. But it will be good. And if we don’t? So what. There will still be another game next Saturday.


13 Replies to “BWFC Guest Article: The Real Essence Of Bolton”

  • In response to Rob and others I will briefly say PG has received close to £700,000 ( remuneration + bonus ) quite why he drew £170,000 bonus along with the C.Ex I have no idea. We must be reading different financial accounts ? As for the control PG has on transfers its ridiculous to suggest the manager decides, PG has the final say along with ED, the manager goes along with it. Elmander was the leading scorer when we let him walk, Bogdan lost us points in a season when we were relegated by a single point – the Wigan game at home was a classic – Al Habsi saved 2 certain goals while Bogdan fumbled a shot that cost us – in a game we should have taken 3 points or at least one ( sufficient to keep us up as it turned out) we got nothing and the rest is history. As for history – you can stick your head in the sand while things have gone from bad to worse or you can search for answers and treat the core problems. I am staggered at how some fans either accept the crap or refuse to acknowledge it – if you don’t treat the cause the patient eventually dies.

  • Love it, great article. I only started following the whites in the late nineties so for me the allardyce era defines my Bolton Wanderers. I always knew that was as good as it got and I am not surprised by the position we now find ourselves in. However the disconnection I mentioned is still there and will be even if we start winning(which I fully expect us too). I will still go week in and week out, I will still bring up my three beautiful kids to be Wanderers fans and hope they will do the same when the time comes and to anyone who is not a whites fan I will defend us and argue black is white when I know in all honesty its probably grey.

  • While we are down memory lane, my first Wanderers match involved the opening of the Burnden Park flood lights in 1957(I think) We played against Hearts and drew 1-1. Dave Mackay was the star for Hearts that night! Do you remember him? What a great player! Adlington surely has a point, but as a young lad, I never saw it like that really. I never saw it as a struggle, not like it is now. In those days, the first division was a level playing field. The same eleven turned out every week. Only injuries changed the line-ups. Great teams and great footballers came to play at Burnden. Household names from Tottenham and Man U, Wolves and Arsenal, Preston and Newcastle! And we beat them! We beat them on their grounds as well! And as kids we soaked up the atmosphere, we had star-dust in our eyes, and we rarely went to a match, expecting to lose, no matter who we were playing! It’s chalk and cheese to the Reebok in 2013, believe me!

  • Barney, Boltongav, I echo your sentiments – having watched the team as a kid from the mid 60’s onwards through thick and thin, good times & bad, Edie Hopkinson, Roy Hartle, Roy Greaves to Johnny Byrom, Peter Reid, Paul Jones, Frankie Worthington, etc, etc. I am right beside you – a wanderers fan until I die ( okay – some might be thinking – sooner the better ! )

  • I like the article, but having a moan about bad players, poor selections and bad tactics is all part of the game. It creates pressure which in turn forces a reaction. As a paying fan I thing you have a right to speak up if your unhappy. You may as well say well ‘it only a game’. I am not a follower I am a supporter and if I have concerns I will continue to voice them like many fans with the best interests of our club at heart. E.g quickquid. Zat is not good in the air as the stats I posted from TLOVS proved. Mark tierney is half a foot smaller defended almost the same amount of headers and unlike knight won considerably more. Knight only successfully defended 29% of headers!

  • My first memories of players at burden are of Barry cowdrill and Stuart storer running up the wings. David reeves and tony philliskirk, mark Patterson etc. It was a struggle at times but I was lucky enough to watch us progress from there all the way to finishing near the top of the prem and it was a fantastic ride.

  • My first memories of players at burden are of Barry cowdrill and Stuart storer running up the wings. David reeves and tony philliskirk, mark Patterson etc. It was a struggle at times but I was lucky enough to watch us progress from there all the way to finishing near the top of the prem and it was a fantastic ride.

  • Mike – stop cutting and pasting the same anti Gartside/Debt stuff in response to every article written on this site – it’s get a tad boring and it’s like moaning against the wind. You are not going to change it.
    With reagrds to the article – absolutely bob on. Being a Bolton fan isn’t about winning all the time, it isn’t about being covered in glory. As Adlington2 says, it’s about struggle and it’s about hope. Being a Bolton fan is a lessen for life, whilst things might ot always go your way, you struggle through in the hope that things will change for the better. What we don’t do perhaps is have the perspective to enjoy the good times when they do come. Up until the last few years, we have enjoyed one of the most successful and exciting patches that any Bolton fan might have seen in our long history and did we really enjoy it? Probably not. Maybe the constant moaning attitude deserved to get relegated?

  • PS – if we really wanted our football to be all sunshine and rainbows we’d have decided to follow United. It’s only down the road. Perhaps the fact that we choose to be Bolton fans says more about us than we think

  • Adlington2 here, thanks for the kind words, delighted I cheered the editor up. The comments have made some heart warming points, I love the idea of being a Bolton fan is a lesson in life, ‘things might not always go your way, you struggle through in the hope that things will change for the better’. It’s about ‘struggle and hope’ The tide will turn and when it does, as yardinhio says, let’s appreciate and enjoy it.

  • 19 so I didn’t experience pre Allardyce :. First I was invovled was our second of the 11 seasons in the Prem. Not sure of the year off the top of my head.

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