It’s cold outside but Coyle is feeling the heat.

by James Prentice

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Bolton Wanderers currently sit bottom of the Barclay’s Premier League table after accumulating just nine points out of a possible 48 in their opening 16 games.

All eyes are on tomorrow’s derby match away at fellow strugglers Blackburn after rumours circulated that implied the losing manager would face the sack!

Owen Coyle was appointed manager of Bolton Wanderers on the 8th January 2010. Since then, he’s enjoyed a checkered spell at the helm of the Trotters.

Coyle took over the managerial role from Gary Megson after a run of poor performances early in the 2009/2010 season.

At first, the notoriously likeable scot took to the job well, recording two consecutive 14th place finishes, a far cry from the dismal days under Megson. Last season in fact, the Wanderers spent the majority of the season in the top half of the table, until a run of poor results saw them slip gradually down the table.

This season however, has been a completely a different story. The Whites got off to an unbelievable start, beating newly promoted QPR away from home at Loftus Road by four goals to nil. Even Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea couldn’t match this feat! The following weekend, Coyles’ men fought valiantly but to no avail at home to new British powerhouse Manchester City in an enthralling game which finished 3-2.

The disappointment of the City result seemed to tarnish levels of belief at the club. Since then, they have slumped to the bottom of the pile, suffering 12 defeats and managing just two wins; away at Wigan and at home to Stoke.

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham at Craven Cottage seemed to cement the idea that the club has now entered crisis point. Coyle cut a dejected figure at the full-time whistle. Speaking after the game, the Bolton boss said: “Inside it is absolutely killing me. I have a positive mindset, but this is a horrible time.”


The away defeat has prompted the circulation of rumours that suggest if either side are to lose the bottom-of-the-table clash at Ewood Park tomorrow night, the respective manager will be out of work for the New Year period, making it one of the most important Premier League matches of the current season.

Coyle has already highlighted the significance of the tie himself. “The Blackburn game is our biggest of the season,” he said. “If we can get a result it could give us the platform to go on and do something over the next five or six games.” One would imagine he’s aware of the fact that victory remains his only hope of avoiding the fate of being bottom at Christmas.

Bolton have long been famed for their fighting instinct and never-say-die attitude. All of this will need to be on show ahead of what is a day of reckoning for Bolton Wanderers, if they are to enjoy a twelfth consecutive season in the top-flight of English Football next year.

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  • Simon Meechan

    Amazing how quickly a manager’s stock can fall! I think Bolton need to stick with him, as even if they went down I am positive he would get them straight back up again. They’ve hovered a few times, and I do not think a knee jerk sacking would be the right answer. Coyle has a lot to offer, unlike Kean who is still completely unproven.

    Is it worth investing moneys in transfers? Or do you think this might be too big a gamble for a team seemed destined to go down.

  • James Prentice

    Your right there, the players have it easy!
    However, I’m speculative over whether or not the rumours are true concerning Coyle. They may be bottom of the table but we’re not seeing any real show of contempt from the fans towards him (compared to the situation at Ewood Park). It seems to me that there’s a real club ethos at Bolton and i believe the fans and the board will ultimately get behind him if they’re still in with a shout of getting out of danger come the end of the transfer window. That’s my predicition anyway.

    I agree with you over Kean, unless he pulls things together quickly the club would be fools not to draft somebody else in.. under his reign, theyre top-class defence has all but imploded. Not too keen on the idea of Shearer coming in to replace him, he worked wonder’s for Rovers in his playing days but he’s far too innexperienced for a relegation battle.

    Come January, i think they NEED to buy. Klasnic has been there only real talisman this season, notching 7 of their 18 league goals! But you just can’t rely on one man.. bottom at christmas or not, West Brom managed to avoid the drop, so in that respect, you should never give up hope. Work with what you’ve got, buy klasnic support; either up front or in the midfield AND sort out the mess at the back some talented cover! After all, they’re only 4 points from safety.

  • Simon Meechan

    I think if you compare how they acted towards Megson compared to Coyle then Coyle’s position looks safe. Ironic that Megson’s stock could well be rising again, I was at Hillsborough on Saturday and Wednesday (despite result) looked very good.

    I think Bolton need to use the loan market again, it has worked really well for them in the past and a quality player from any of the big clubs could make a hell of a difference. Who though I have no idea!

    Shearer only has appalling experience of a relegation battle and he is certainly not Blackburn’s answer for now.

  • James Prentice

    glad to hear it! I have a childhood allegiance to Sheffield Wednesday!

    You make a good point, I’m sure Bolton fans would love to see a loan move similar to that of last January’s move for Sturridge. They shouldn’t need to search for a forward in truth, I’ve been surprised by the lack of goals from David N’Gog and Tuncay! Kakuta could also find his feet this season, all is yet to be seen I suppose.

  • Simon Meechan

    I admire your honesty in being surprised at Tuncay and N’Gog’s lack of goals..!
    I work at Hillsborough and Bramall lane for a bookmakers, always get to watch the match, atmosphere at S6 was outstanding on Saturday

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