Writer: Richard McCormick
Date:Tuesday September 16 2008
There`s a mood amongst Bolton fans which has become all too prevalent over the past two seasons. It`s a mixture of anger, panic and despair. The club handed out free programmes at the start of the season. They`d be better off dishing out Prozac now. The cautious optimism that was present at the start of the season has evaporated, and witless performances against Northampton, West Brom and Fulham are the cause.
We`d like to offer some reassurance, really we would, but with the games coming up that`s no easy task.
Arsenal (H) - Buggering up the Londoners title challenge used to be a routine matter. It started in 2002-3 as the Whites came back from a two goal deficit, aided by an own goal from the spectacularly ugly Martin Keown. It continued in 2004-5 as Greek garden gnome Stelios outjumped the Arsenal defence to head the only goal of the game. The season after there was a 2-0 victory that flattered the visitors, followed by Nicolas Anelka`s memorable brace that secured a 3-1 win.
Then it went as pear shaped as the peariest pear in pearland. Last season, Bolton were seemingly crusing to a victory, 2-0 up against ten men, when Theo Walcott happened. As usual, the Whites couldn`t cope with an injection of pace and there was an air of inevitably about Arsenal`s comeback and subsequent victory. Walcott`s a better player this season and how the defence will cope without the aid of a gun doesn`t bear thinking about.
Manchester United (A) - Bolton recorded back to back victories at Old Trafford at the start of the century. It seems longer ago than that. They`ve lost on every visit since and conceded a shed load of goals in the process. Christiano Ronaldo is back for this and the odds of him getting on the scoresheet don`t make it an attractive bet.
West Ham United (A) - Kevin Nolan`s last gasp goal gave the Wanderers a point last season. Is there a chance of sharing the spoils this season? Maybe, but Gary Megson will have to abandon the 4-5-0-1 formation and teach his players to pass. Optimistic? No, we aren`t either.
Blackburn (H) - Another Nolan goal, and a spectacular one at that, gave Bolton the lead last time, but Blackburn recovered from their first half torpor and passed the home side off the park in the second half. Their victory was well deserved. Bolton haven`t recorded a win in this fixture since 2000. Never was there a better time to alter that statistic.
Where`s Bolton`s next point coming from? Vote in the latest Vital Bolton poll.
Date:Tuesday September 16 2008
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