Bolton’s greatest ever player passed away last weekend and this will be our first opportunity to say goodbye to him. Nat’s memory will live on, with the stand named after him as well as the suite named in honour of his exploits in Vienna and the call for a statue to him that is fast gaining momentum.
Prior to the game there will be a number of tributes to Nat, including a video montage of greatness, a minutes silence (or applause, depending on the mood) and a floral tribute.
After that, a football match will break out between two teams not exactly at their best at the moment, with both missing a player who can only be discribed as ‘missed’.
“It`s important we all recognise what Nat did for the club as man and boy and, yes, there will be that extra bit of incentive to get a win. Our minds have got to be focused purely on getting a result, and I`m sure that`s exactly what he would have wanted.”
St Owen tries to calm everybody down.
“This year we went there and for me their goal was offside and we could have had a penalty again. The margins have been very tight but we`re back at the Reebok now and we have to go and maximise that advantage.”
Then reminds everbody that Chelsea aren’t all that.
“I looked at the statistics but I`m not so interested in this because Monday will be a different story. They are a very good team and it will be a tough test.”
Carlo Ancelotti believes that history counts for nothing tonight. Come 10pm he may be more right than he thought.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Gretar Steinsson and Stuart Holden are likely to be back for the game, one on the bench, one in midfield. South Korea’s resolute refusal to get themselves knocked out of the Asian Cup means that Lee Chung-Yong is still on Qatar. Selfish gits.
Player to watch: Us
That’s you, me and everybody else. We are the ones who can make the difference tonight. Remember when we used to get on Crazy Boy Lehmann’s nerves. Tonight we can replicate that in rememberance of a man that most of us never saw play but who we all know. The Reebok Roar has been sadly diminshed in the past few seasons, replaced by those bloody drums, but tonight is the night that it can come back and chase Stamford the Lion and his mates back down the M6.
Chelsea Team News:
Fat Frank has been left behind in London, which won’t impress Christine who has to be up early tomorrow for her job of being watched by exactly nobody. The (former) Dad of the Year is fit to play, so someone had better usher the Reebok Rebels into a locked room before he has a chance.
Player to watch: Petr Čech
….as he picks the ball out of the net on numerous occasions.
Match Facts & Stats
As well all know, Bolton haven’t beaten Chelsea since Terry diverted Henrik Pedersen’s cross into his own net at Stamford Bridge in 2003. Since then, Chelsea have won twelve of the past fifteen games and the past seven games at T’Reebok.
In total, the league score is 44-34 in their favour with Bolton leading 22-16 at Burnden/Reebok. In the Premier League, read it and wince, as Chelsea lead 15-3 and 7-2 at The Reebok.
The leading scorer is, naturally, Nat Lofthouse with fifteen goals. In the Premier League, it really does show our lack of goals, as SuperKevinDavies, Kevin Nolan, Matty Taylor and (yes) Sa?a Ćurčić all have two goals in the fixture. Time to remedy that, methinks.
Chris Foy is the man who will signal the minutes silence/applause. He’s already taken charge of two Bolton games this season, the 4-2 win over Spurs and the 1-0 loss at Sunderland.
Neither of his assistants are female.
In a way, the result doesn’t matter as long as we win, but, if pressed, I’ll go 2-0. I’m sure that Nat will be looking down on me and willing it.
The Pies come to T’Reebok for the FA Cup game next Saturday before the inferior Wanderers visit us next Wednesday.