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Championship 2012/13 Preview: Bolton Wanderers

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Club: Bolton Wanderers

Last season’s position: 18th (relegated from Premiership)

Recent history:

Since 1969 when Monty Python first aired the Parrot Shop sketch, it’s been hard for old fools like yours truly not to think of The Trotters as coming from Notlob rather than Bolton. Under Sam Allardyce, Bolton Wanderers were always difficult to beat and regularly pushing for the European places. Since Allardyce’s departure in 2007, bottom half finishes meant that at some stage Bolton would probably slip through the trapdoor to the less wealthy world of Championship football.

The key is to bounce back quickly, otherwise it often leads to a rocky road. Bolton’s away form last season was as good as the Allardyce days but their home form – 11 defeats out of 19 – was more like the dead parrot nailed to the perch.

Manager profile:

Owen Coyle will undoubtedly be in the usual position of the retained manager of a relegated club – “win every game by ten goals or you are fired”.

Coyle was a tidy footballer who spent two years as a player at Bolton, his only English club, in a career which seemed to take in most Scottish clubs. As a manger, Coyle was successful in getting Burnley promoted to the Premiership before he jumped ship to a seemingly more secure post in Lancashire at Bolton.

His unlikely middle name is Columba and he will need to be as shrewd as Columbo if he wants to keep his job and guide Bolton Wanderers back to where many feel they should be.

Summer transfer activity:

In: Matt Mills (Leicester), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Joe McKee (Burnley), Andy Lonergan (Leeds),
Benik Afobe (Arsenal, loan)

Out: Mark Connolly (Crawley), Jussi Jaaskelainen (West Ham), Robbie Blake (Doncaster), Ricardo Gardner (Released), Sean Davis (Released), Paul Robinson (Released), Ivan Klasnic (Released), Nigel Reo-Coker (Released)

Expected line-up:

Bogdan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Alonso, Chung-Yong, Andrews, Holden, Petrov, Ngog, Sordell

Expected Tactics/Formation

Bolton Wanderers have been playing a standard 4-4-2 in pre-season friendlies. Although they look to be a strong team on paper, there seems to be some doubt about the right team selection. Old warrior, Kevin Davies, seems to be past his best, but Euro 2012 success, Kevin Andrews, looks to be adding stability to a lightweight midfield.

What are the fans saying?

The fans don’t seem to be in tune with the bookmakers, who have installed them as favourites. There is much doom and gloom, but they may just have forgotten that the Championship is a serious notch lower than the Premiership. They cite problems such as Kevin Davies being a shadow of his past days and the midfield being overrun too easily. Defensively, there are concerns about the solidity of some players.

The fans are not taking a return to the big time as a certainty by any means. Whether the players know that they will have to perform week in week out will be the key to their success.

Odds: 15/2 (favourites) champions, 4/5 top six.

Main Forum: http://www.bwfcforum.co.uk/forum.html

Verdict:

Sides that are relegated often find it hard to acclimatise. If Bolton start well, they may take some beating, but the fear of the fans may quickly spread on to the pitch if things don’t go well. It would be a heck of a lot easier to predict their final position after ten games, but at this stage 5th place looks to be their slot. And, no, Notlob isn’t a palindrome of Bolton – it doesn’t work as Mr Cleese told us in 1969.

Compiled by: thai malaysia addick

How do you see Bolton doing this season ? Will they be challenging, or will they drift lower like we did when we dropped out the Prem ?

Comments

  • They looked very poor against us at time we were at our lowest ebb last season. But, obviously the league is very different.

    I'd said a playoff spot at best.
  • I seem to remember reading a few years back that Bolton were somewhere in the region of £60-70 million in debt and that relegation from the Premiership would be catastrophic for them.

    Not sure if this has been addressed/re-financed but if not then I see this season as shit or bust for them. Failure to win promotion could see them do a Pompey! If this is case can the players handle that sort of pressure???
  • Play offs
  • They are in debt to their chairman. So, they'll be fine as long as he doesn't pull the plug.
  • There's going to be an awful lot of pressure at Bolton and that will make it hard for them. I cant see them doing very well.
  • I seem to remember reading a few years back that Bolton were somewhere in the region of £60-70 million in debt and that relegation from the Premiership would be catastrophic for them.

    Not sure if this has been addressed/re-financed but if not then I see this season as shit or bust for them. Failure to win promotion could see them do a Pompey! If this is case can the players handle that sort of pressure???

    Try 90 million.

    Funny old game!
  • Coyle did a great job at Burnley so has the experience of championship success. He's got rid of a lot of older, deadwood players, Mills and Andrews are good signings.
    Notlob, sorry Bolton, are good prospects for an immediate return to the Premier
  • Play offs for them I think but I'm hoping for a win at their place cos that's my 40th!
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