Tuesday, 19 July 2011

4. Bolton Wanderers FC.

Next Stop The Reebok Stadium. Bolton Wanderers FC.

The Northern Club saw a 14th place finish last season under Owen Coyle; but after making it to the semi-final stage of the FA Cup it poses the question did that impressive cup run hinder the final league position of the Wanderers. (Bolton had a massive 57% possession in that 5-0 drubbing by Stoke - maybe possession isnt always as important as made out).

During this transfer market Bolton have parted company with Danny Ward to Huddersfield and Ali Al Habsi to Wigan after a successful loan there last season. The only player that has been brought in is the promising 'star' Darren Pratley from Swansea. The Wanderers arent known for having huge funds so there may not be much more action in this window for the club; i dont know how that will go down with the Bolton fans.

I continued pestering fans to get their thoughts on the season ahead, Bolton fans have obliged and i again have some interesting views on their club and their chances for 2011/2012.

@bwfc_nozza - 'hopefully top ten'

@bwfc_nozza believes the transfer window is key to reaching her hopeful prediction of top ten and advised 'we desperately need a striker or two' - especially as Bolton have also parted company with Elmander who was an ever present in the starting 11 last season they are desperate to find someone else to bring them goals for 2011/2012.

@simonpolive - 'I think bottom 6'

I feel the Bolton fans are united in the fact they are in need of a goal scorer, @SimonPOlive was far more negative however, regarding his team's chances next season. 'I am not renewing season ticket. We'll struggle due to lack of quality and a goal scorer.' I feel things must have really gone bad down at the Reebok for a season ticket holder to feel like they do not want to renew - i cant imagine not wanting to renew my season ticket! He went on to say 'I think bottom 6. Forget all this Coyle has us playing good stuff. its not good most of the time.' so this is a fan who is not only worried about the squad but does not back the manager; a very negative fan indeed.

@davidfiggins - 'i think we'll finish around 12th'

The opposing thoughts of fans astounds me, as the views i got from @davidfiggins highlights the backing of Owen Coyle he has and said 'I hope the style of play is the same because its been a thrill watching Bolton since Coyle took over.' so, for a neutral i feel we must watch and make up our own minds whether Coyle's football is thrilling and attractive or not as i for one am none the wiser!

During summer, many fans follow the same motto of not making much judgement until further transfer activity has gone through, which i have found most fans stick to and Bolton fans are no different. @davidfiggins is reserving his thoughts ' until we sign anyone else (if we do). ' but is happy with the one player they have brought in. 'Pratley has been a decent addition - we needed a decent central midfielder as cover for Davies, Muamba & Holden ' however is not so confident in the squad as a whole stating - 'it's way too small to cope with bans and injuries, so needs heavy recruitment.'

@JohnEcc78 - 'hoping for at least a top ten finish'
The final thoughts I received were that of @JohnEcc78 who gave me a very detailed account of his aspirations and expectations ahead of next season. He agreed that the current squad is very small highlighting 'with the likes of Tamir Cohen, Joey O’Brien & Johan Elmander leaving the club at the end of last season, the task of rebuilding is even more important for Bolton.'
He is a fan that is happy with boss Owen Coyle advising he 'has done a great job over the last year or so' but did go on to say 'this season is going to be his biggest challenge.' - i feel Bolton fans are somewhat worried about the season ahead as many phrases such as 'biggest challenge', 'desperately need' are constantly circulating when the Wanderers are mentioned.
I was interested in the following statement about the affairs of the club from @JohnEcc78 it said to me Bolton fans arent overly confident in the board and their willingness to invest to improve the club and squad; 'There has been lots of speculation flying around about Gary Cahill leaving, which im sure has not helped Coyle in his quest to bring in a few fresh faces.  The chairman has stated publically that there is money available for Coyle to spend although the majority of Bolton fans have heard this all before.  We’re guessing that the money is there, but only if Cahill is sold.' From this it looks Bolton fans will be in sticky situation; you dont want to lose one of your top players but you want some cash for the club to bring in new players; I dont know if i could choose what i'd prefer?

@JohnEcc78 - 'A goal scorer is top priority perhaps even two.'

@JohnEcc78 finally advised on where he feels Bolton will finish next season highlighting if optimistic which he and many Bolton fans often are (apparently) he'd 'love to say we would be challenging for a European spot, but being realistic the league is getting stronger and stronger so this might prove difficult.' and said more realistically 'a top ten finish and a decent cup run will do me quite nicely!' (but we all know what happened when they got a good cup run last season!)
So, I have to conclude yet another contradictory account of their club's chances for next season by some fans. I for no real reason that i know of have a bit of a soft spot for Bolton Wanderers as a club,  so i feel like i should almost by pass the 'bottom 6' prediction as i really feel Bolton will have a successful season, however, from what has been advised, they need to get more strength in depth or injuries and/or suspensions could really scupper their chances next season. I am going to give Bolton a 10th place finish; i feel i may have to re think some of these predictions when i complete the Premiership blogs but for now, im sticking with it.

Again, a huge thanks to all the fans that have given me their views on Bolton and their chances next season, greatly appreciated as this blog wouldnt quite work without them!

@beckytLCFC 'fans view blog quest'

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