Date: 5th April 2010 at 11:30pm
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Alarm bells are ringing at the Reebok. Three wins out of four had propelled Owen Coyle`s side up the table and opened up an eight point gap over the relegation places. Now after three successive defeats and a game against Chelsea to come, the margin is down to five.

It could be argued that that trio of results was expected, but the manner of the latest reverse, a lazy, spineless, brainless capitulation against an Aston Villa side in poor form, disgusted many who attended the Reebok on Saturday. So it`s time to revisit Mr Coyle`s report card.

On the face of it the stats aren`t good. Won 4 drawn 2 lost 9 (in the league), but there were games against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, and this Bolton squad have neither the quality or the heart to trouble the better teams these days.

But even taking that into account, the points tally should be better. At their best, Aston Villa are an effective outfit, but have now entered a familiar end of season fade out. They were there for the taking. Fulham had half a side missing, but Coyle`s toothless team couldn`t hit the back of the net

It`s that characteristic which is most damning. Bolton have failed to score in ten of fifteen league games since the change of manager. So much for that attacking mentality.

It`s been claimed that the style of football has become more pleasing. That`s either ignorance or wishful thinking. Under Coyle, Bolton are far more one-dimensional than they ever were under Gary Megson.

Not that there`s anything wrong with the long ball game. Despite what the pundits and those too feeble witted to think for themselves might tell you, there is no ‘right` way to play football. But if route-one is the chosen method, it needs to be done well and at a high tempo. Pumping aimless balls lethargically onto the heads of opposing central defenders just won`t do.

Coyle has committed himself to using wingers, so why has he relegated Lee Chung-Yong to the status of defensive midfielder, a task he does badly? That isn`t to criticise the Korean who has acquitted himself well in his first season in English football. It`s a condemnation of a manager who has chosen to deny him the chance to do the thing he does best.

Likewise with Sam Ricketts or Gretar Steinsson. When did you last see them overlap from the right-back position?

Coyle arrived on a tidal wave of goodwill. That`s prevented any detailed scrutiny of his shortcomings. In time, he may become an effective leader, but it is becoming clear that the man from Paisley has a lot to learn at top flight level.


17 Replies to “Is Owen Coyle a Horrible Mistake? Part Three”

  • He never panicked in the transfer window and bought in overpriced ******, 5 points above the drop with goal difference on 10? The bit I am struggling with is why the team only performs for 45 minutes, this is a hangover from Megsons days too…..
    I had us down for at least a draw against Villa they were nothing special but we were worse. Get Klasnic on the pitch Ellmander gone FFS 3 goals in a season is a fullbacks haul. When Cahill is our top scorer theres something seriously wrong.

  • Fair enough, as relegation fighting ‘specialists’ we should not be panicking but we are entitled to be disappointed with goal less games (for us, other sides feel free to fill your boots) and not enough heart in the side. We might scrape by with a point against Stoke and a win against Pompey but will someone explain to our lot you have to score, it’s not an optional extra. Give Gardner a go! At least he runs a lot and has been known to score.

  • Let’s get Megson back, ok the football wasn’t great but he would have got us safe by now. Other than that I think we have to think laterally – what about Paul Merson or Dean Windass or Paul Ince?

  • I disagree with this article so much that I took the time to create a membership in order to be able to comment.

    What you seem to be forgetting is that this is Megson’s team, and Coyle can’t exactly help the players he has at his disposal. Let Coyle create his own team and then blame him for them being toothless. You must also remember that so far we’ve been linked, to my knowledge, to one summer signing, and thats a free striker from brazil. (which implies he has recognised the problem and is willing to address it, something the ginger one would never be capable of).

    I do wonder where you are getting your other pieces of info from. LCY IS being played as a right winger, he just drops back along his flank when we’re in need of defending. (SKD never did this, but LCY should as he’s one of the few able to bring the ball forwards at speed).

    Also, ricketts/steinsson may be having difficulties coming forward because there actually IS a right winger there this season, whereas last season it was left pretty much open. and for the record i actually think steinsson and LCY are combining quite well down the right…

    also, the comment on passing football i’m not going to rant about. I’ll just remind people of one example where we scored at home to spurs in the FA cup from a string of 18 passes.

    Rant over.

  • What a load of *********, and that applies to Wswilly3’s comment also, Paul Ince FFS. The articles on this site are getting worse every week. And for that reason, I am out.

  • Christ you bolton fans need to realise you support bolton wanderes not bloody manchester united, coyle has done alright since he came in and tbf he has megsons team aswell apart from wilshere and weiss. You cant judge him by less than half a season, wake up you fools.

  • Got to agree with the “visitors” to the site re Coyle.Give him a chance although against Villa we were crying out for some width,unless I was watching a different game.Said it before,I would rather watch in League 2 under Coyle than Premiership with Megson.Toyally disagree with Ince,Merson and Windass though, unless Willy, your having us on!!

  • This hero worship of Coyle is every bit as daft as the Megson hatred. Not scoring in two thirds of the games played isn’t acceptable. The excuse that he’s got Megson’s squad doesn’t wash either. Exceptional managers CAN work with other peoples’ players. The odds are that many of those players will be here next season – we don’t have the funds to be picking up signings right left and centre over the summer. Maybe Coyle will work out, maybe he won’t. The jury’s out for me.

  • It was dire against Villa but this is too negative, Richard. Obviously it was nice to get Coyle after Megson, if only because he is somebody who will engage with the supporters and is a more positive person. Equally, he was clearly not a guaranteed success as he lacks experience at this level (as did Sam Allardyce). Things weren’t easy for Allardyce in the early days – anyone remember the stick he got when we went down embarrassingly at Tranmere in the League Cup? Is Coyle the next Shankley? I think not. Should we give him time? Of course.

  • Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. This whole article is just plain wrong, I mean who are we… Newcastle? Lets try being just a little bit sensible and realise that Coyle has had next to no time at all and we are doing well, we’ve dragged ourselves out of immediate danger at least. These articles don’t help the fans really do they, just agrivate things that don’t need addressing. Coyle is fine, good in fact, were all happy at the moment, lets keep it that way.

  • Let’s just pack up the site then eh? Scoring in five games in fifteen is fine. Conceding goals by the bucket load is great. Megson had a point per game. Coyle is doing WORSE.

  • There’s lies, lies and statistics. Not good at the moment, but stats can be misleading. It is Megson’s team, there’s not enough heart or talent in it. Will things get better? I think so.

  • I too have become a member to register my disgust at this article! But thats what you want eh Richard? That is why such articles are written and yes I have fallen into the trap.
    Some Bolton fans really need to get a grip, who the **** do you think we are?
    I’ve followed the Whites since the old fourth division and I can tell you back then it was more fun. Over the last few years Wanderers fans have turned into the biggest bunch of moaners and whingers and think we are a far bigger club than what we are. The above article proves it.
    I cant believe we didnt try and lure Mourinho away from Inter myself or maybe Capello would have left England despite the World Cup in the summer!
    Get in the real world guys, we are Bolton.

  • As a visitor I was surprised to see how harsh the article appeared. Then I checked the no of visitors today and wondered whether the editor wasn’t just trying to get a response. My site is quiet and slow but I have only been open so to speak for a short while. Give the site a chance as you are your manager. Good win today as well I see.

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