The Final Nail in the Coffin?
Bolton travel to London to play Spurs on Sunday, with one manager looking down the barrel of a gun. Before the season started, most would have expected that to be Gary Megson, but with his side slumped at the bottom of the Premier League, it is Juande Ramos who is knocking on the doors of the last chance saloon. Spurs, guns and saloons. Can this preview contain anymore cowboy connotations?
Not that Megson is doing much better. His side lie just above the relegation zone and haven`t scored in half of their eight league games. It is this, coupled with Bolton`s long-established habit of handing a win to sides that haven`t had one for a while that makes Wanderers fans less confident than one might expect.
There is also the feeling that Tottenham are a fair bit better than their league position suggests. 'Spurs played well against Hull last week, even though they lost,` writes Mark Lawrenson in his ever reliable weekly prediction column. As ever Lawro is hopelessly confused. Hull was the week before. Spurs made enough chances but didn`t put any of them away. Getting rid of three proven goal scorers over the summer might have something to do with that.
At Stoke, the Londoners were the better side in the first half, despite being a man down. The second period told a different story as the home team turned up the heat and were met with a limp response. It is this which should give Bolton hope.
There is also the matter of zany comedy goalkeeper cum juggler, Heurelho Gomes. Brazilian stoppers are always eccentric, but Gomes takes that to a new level by being a danger to his own defenders. Just ask Vedran Corluka. If he`s out of hospital yet.
Both managers will be nervous ahead of this one. Bolton fans haven`t taken to Gary Megson. To hear him talk he sounds plausible, but that feeling disappears once his team takes the field. One wonders if he is trying and failing to get his message through to the players, or if he is simply saying the things that he thinks fans want to hear. Come away from White Hart Lane pointless and the posse that`s been preparing to run him out of town will be a few bodies bigger. However, if the Ginger One can marshal his men to a win, then Juande Ramos, will be the next occupant of football`s Boot Hill.