Date: 29th April 2009 at 6:22pm
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Time flies, even when you`re not enjoying yourself. On this day, two years ago Sam Allardyce left Bolton, the club he considered his spiritual home, claiming that he needed a break from football.

‘I believe the foundation of the next phase for the next development stage of the club is well and truly in place,` he said on leaving.

‘It is with this knowledge that I feel confident that I am moving on with my life content with a legacy that I have tried to create for this special club and I wish the owner, chairman, staff, players and above all the fans every success in the future.`

Those fans wished him well, initially. He`d taken the club from mid-table in the Championship to the verge of four successive top eight finishes.

The attitude changed somewhat, when he was appointed Newcastle United boss on 15th May and deteriorated further when he pillaged the Reebok for its backroom staff after giving an undertaking not to.

The fortunes of both parties were soon on a downward spiral. Bolton struggled under the hastily appointed and quickly dismissed Sammy Lee, and Big Sam became sacked Sam, after only 24 games, giving him the break he`d said he wanted, but not quite in the manner anticipated.

Two years on and both Sam and Bolton are less of a force than they were. The Wanderers chug on, under Gary Megson, doing just enough to avoid the drop, and Allardyce is fighting and winning a relegation battle at Blackburn Rovers – not quite the big club he had in mind.

Would things have been different if Sam had stayed? If he`d been given the funds he demanded would Bolton have progressed further? Or did he realise that the club was in decline and quit while his reputation was still intact? Vote now in the latest Vital Bolton poll.


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