Date: 29th April 2013 at 10:40am
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If we must…

After their 1-1 draw with Cardiff, the Wanderers away supporters probably stayed for a couple of drinks before making excuses to travel back north and get settled. The hosts may have tried talking their party-guests into staying longer but wouldn’t have minded their early exits so the DJ could crank up the noise. This was Cardiff’s day to party- regardless of result- and I’m sure the Whites will be more than happy to leave South Wales with an invite-stub and goody-bag of a Championship point. Craig Noone’s late arrival to celebrations made sure the Whites only left with a slice of party cake rather than the whole thing. On the whole, the draw was as fair and predictable a result as someone at a house party drinking too much, starting a fight, then throwing-up in the front street. Happy days…so I’ve heard.
Dougie did a great job in respecting the home crowd of 25000. His team were calm, professional but looked threatening going forward. I’m sure if he could have chosen the minute Chris Eagles netted the team’s solitary goal, it would have been more like the 81st than the 18th. But it was a near-perfect game-plan and one orchestrated by a manager who is showing increasing maturity beyond his years. The home crowd rarely called for blood. Such was the respect and controlled football Wanderers players expressed, for much of the first half and a portion of the second. This culminated in the home fans quite happy to share their joy with the fans from the North West. Around the hour mark, however, Craig Noone was seen showing his studs to the officials on the sideline; the equaliser was inevitable. Surprising, maybe, it came from the midfielder’s own boot, but not surprising within 10 minutes of his introduction, the scoreboard read 1-1. A fair result and a point which may mean Wanderers having to deal with Mr Noone again next season.

I could talk more about the Cardiff game, but like you, I’m a Bolton fan. I’ve seen the goals, listened to the managers and read enough match reports to feel I was on the pitch for the full 90 minutes… and helped erect the stand at full-time. I want to talk about what you’re all thinking: Will we? And if so, whom? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get off our forum Wolves fans, we already know your fate.
In my mid-week article I talked about finishing 6th and playing Watford twice or finishing 5th and playing Brighton over two legs. Football being football, there’s a new scenario to muse. The six point gap Hull had over Watford for that 2nd automatic promotion place looked insurmountable only a week ago. Hull only had to travel to lowly Barnsley and come away with a win to guarantee promotion. They lost. As it stands, with Watford sauntering up to Leicester and taking 3 points on Friday, if Hull lose on the final day and Watford win or draw, Watford are up. With Crystal Palace having 2 games remaining, Bolton’s likeliest finish is the 6th spot. So, which outcome would you rather have? Watford twice or Hull? I’d rather play Hull. The Tigers’ last 8 games have seen them score just 5 times, failing to score a solitary goal in their last three outings. If this was free-scoring Watford we were talking about, it could be seen as a temporary blip. But Hull aren’t prolific at the best of times- their goal difference of only +9 will testify to this. They’ve relied heavily on 1-0 or 2-1 wins to get them into the promotion places and what’s bared fruit may end up being their short-fall. An away trip to the Reebok will be the last place they’ll want to visit with their heaviest defeat of the season still rattling around their heads. I bet a lot of the players after the drubbing thought- thank God we don’t have to go there again this season… Football, you’ve got to love it.
Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself, but not by much. What may be Hull’s short-fall this season of a solitary-goal-win, is all Bolton need to finish in the top six. Unless, Forest beat Leicester 5-0. Can we assume, for the sake of this article, that won’t happen? Thanks.

I know there are still things about Bolton Wanderers that need rectifying. There are also things about Bolton Wanderers that need improving. Players will leave in the summer, regardless of division we reside, and new faces will enter the Reebok doors. But if Bolton Wanderers were the finished article, what would be the point of all this? There wouldn’t be a need for fan-forums to voice our opinions because our opinion would no longer matter. The ever-quest for never-to-be-achieved perfection is why I wear my Bolton shirt with child-like naivety. We strive… That’s good enough for me. If we miss out on the play-offs, so what. It just means we look forward to another romantic summer of recruitment, coupled with the promise and ironic hope we promote ourselves out of this exciting league for the pomp of the Premiership. I could handle another season in the Championship, could you? Just the one more, mind…

Great commenting on the last thread. Premier League standard.


25 Replies to “BWFC: To Hull And Back”

  • I fear Hull. Their ability to shut down a game once they’ve gone ahead is frightening. They’ve scored first 23 times this season and have won 21, drawn 1 and lost 1. If we do end up playing them in the play-offs I’ll have everything that I can pretend is a limb crossed…

  • Just to set the record straight my comment about our draw at Cardiff being the ” worst result” should have read ” best result ” all previous comments posted by me last week were to that effect. As for who we face in the play offs ?, don’t want to count the chickens, pre Blackpool, before they hatch, that is tempting fate. Results can be unpredictable, it all comes down to the 90 minutes on the day, we hammered Hull 4-0 courtesy of a dream start that completely knocked them out of their stride which had all the hallmarks of the shock start Stoke enjoyed against us at Wembley, and then we lost 1-0 at lowly Ipswich, suggesting pre game conceptions can be dangerous and undermining in themselves. I am happy to take on whoever one game at a time with hope as my standard bearer, based on recent form I don’t think any of the play off teams will relish facing ourselves should we make it.

  • bowton- yes, I have read it and stored it. Al must still be ill because he is offline. I also have a poem from Barney, so if Al is still offline by Wednesday, I will post both.

  • Glad we have you bwfc 85 great article again. As I have said before I would not mind another season in the championship. I don’t really mind either way now I am just enjoying the ride. It would be nice now to have the extra games if nothing else as I for one am not looking forward to the closed season.

  • Don’t forget to vote for the Bolton news Player of the season. is the link to vote for one of their 5 nominations

  • This is how it stood when I voted for Jay Spearing earlier today, to be consistent with my vote for him in the Supporters Association poll – which he won by a mile. I do though think that we have only three players with a touch of class that are Prem quality. Holden, Medo and Alonso. We are having our own poll/comments on the POTS in the BN forum too at the moment which is proving quite interesting! Best 3, worst 3, most improved – we could do something similar on here perhaps bwfc_85?

    Marcos Alonso:

    Craig Dawson:

    Chris Eagles:

    Darren Pratley:

    Jay Spearing:

  • Like that idea pedro. Best worst and improved or maybe let’s keep it positive and just do best and most improved.

  • Getting interesting. I wonder if Alonso’s photo being there has anything to do with it?!

    Marcos Alonso:

    Craig Dawson:

    Chris Eagles:

    Darren Pratley:

    Jay Spearing:

  • Yeah I too could handle another season in the championship. It has been an odd season and should we go up I would not complain. However, my head says another year to consolidate would be a good thing. Cant see a lot of comings and goings over the summer particularly as we don’t really have any players for bigger clubs to cherry-pick. The crocked and the knackered can recover and we can hit the ground running next season armed with the knowledge and experience of this season. As for the play-offs I guess it doesn’t much matter who we play as there is little between all the sides at the top; we are capable of beating all of them or losing to all of them. And so are they. That’s footy. Not a bad time to be a Wanderer and who would have thought we could say that three months ago?!

  • I think we will lose Alonso this summer, that looks certain. However I too don’t believe there is any others that should be that hard to hold onto. It seems to be a case of the sum of the parts being greater than the individuals at Bolton. That would seem to be testimony to the abilities of our management as you would not have said that a few months ago.

  • Has anyone given thought to the awful fact this Saturday could be our last game this season, that Blackpool could burst the balloon that symbolically reflects our rise up the league table this year. I know we all expect a different outcome and justifiably so, however, the better team is never guaranteed the points and cruel bitter misfortune can show its face in the blink of an eye with one fortuitous shot, deflection, or disputable refereeing decision. I certainly don’t wish to see our season end prematurely amid controversy or the victim of a smash and grab robbery, rather the result genuinely reflects the best team on the day, that our team and supporters can leave the ground proud in their achievements as this season closes looking forward with excited anticipation at what lies ahead – a gladiatorial 4 team play off contest in which the winner takes all. Finally, if we do find ourselves remaining in the championship I would like to see an article reviewing our chances for next season compared against the teams we will be facing, before this blog goes into close season hibernation.

  • like death, we know its there but we choose not to think about it, save only to grieve when it hits. On a less dramatic note, a sensible person should acknowledge all outcomes and risks, A&E is full of those who don’t ! Football reflects life in several respects, you can be strong or weak, in poor health, stage a remarkable recovery from illness as we have done and occasionally fall over when you least expect it,gone without warning.

  • At the start of the season, the thought of not going straight back up was unbearable, but I too think that another (just the one , thanks) season wouldn’t be so bad. You just never know if next season we will be as close to the top as this one. Its all well saying we’ll be better next time round, but that thinking tripped us up eight months ago. The thing that bothers me most about not going up, is the thought of losing players like Chungy, Holden, Spearing, Alonso due to the fact that we didn’t make it back to the promised land.

  • At the start of the season, the thought of not going straight back up was unbearable, but I too think that another (just the one , thanks) season wouldn’t be so bad. You just never know if next season we will be as close to the top as this one. Its all well saying we’ll be better next time round, but that thinking tripped us up eight months ago. The thing that bothers me most about not going up, is the thought of losing players like Chungy, Holden, Spearing, Alonso due to the fact that we didn’t make it back to the promised land.

  • I think we will lose Alonso anyway. I also don’t see a massive demand for any of the others to be honest. I could be wrong but I rarely am:) I do agree however that we may not be near the top next year if we stay in the championship. However I bet we are nearer the top of the championship than the premier league wherever we end up than we are the

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