Bolton Wanderers: Battle of the New Guys
28 November 2012
Eight days seperate the length of time they have been at their respective clubs. And, in the little under or over a month that they have been at Bolton and Blackburn, Dougie Freedman and Henning Berg haven't done much to increase their clubs chances of promotion. Freedman has won one and drawn four whilst Berg as won once, drawn twice, but also lost twice.
Come back Steve Kean, all is forgiven.
I'm only joking. But it is hardly going to get anyone back into the top flight, which is surprising, given the length of time both teams were there before relegation.
To be fair, both Freedman and Berg have been dealt hands that contain no face cards and both seem to be stumbling along until January rolls around and they can start fashioning a team that they want. A local derby is usually pretty spicy and, with no Wigan to consider, this is our localest of games.
Last season, Bolton won both games. The first, just before Christmas, consigned Blackburn to the bottom of the Premier League from where they did not recover. The second, in a run of three wins that gave us some hope before it all went wrong again, saw both goals scored by David Wheater. With new managers and less than imposing defences, tonight's game is a crap shoot.
In more ways than one.
'We've got to be in it together, it's not one person that will take us forward, it's the whole club. That's the message what I'm trying to spread.' Either the Scottish education system uses a different form of grammar or Dougie has picked up the local vernacular pretty quick. Let's hope he doesn't try a Bolton accent, a la Joey Barton.
'The suspension to Mark Davies isn`t too much of an issue because it was getting to the stage where we were thinking of giving him a rest anyway. I`ve said before and I don`t mind saying again, in the modern game there has to be a degree of squad rotation.' No surprise to learn that the first person to be suspended this season has the surname Davies.
'I think with the Bolton game coming up next the opposition fans will also bring a few of them, and with the rivalry it should be a great atmosphere to be involved in. Something that can also hopefully lift the players. Our focus is all about the Bolton game, that is what we are preparing for, that is what we are thinking about, and when we finish that game then of course we will look to the Burnley game.' They've got Burnley after us? Lock up your homes.
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
Fabio Nunes, David 'I'm coming to Bolton, no I'm not. My ex is in Emmerdale, she's not very good' Dunn and Leon Best are out.
Player to watch: Jordan Rhodes
Nine goals from fourteen games? Hardly Charlie Austin is it? Over a hundred goals from less than two hundred games? Hardly Nat Lofthouse is it?
I predict a busy night.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Other than the Mavies suspension, nothing has changed in the squad.
Player to watch: David N'Gog
Two goals from four games makes this the most prolific period of N'Gog's time at Bolton. Probably. I've not checked. But it's probably right. He suddenly seems to know where the goal is which is handy when you're a striker and the only other person scoring goals is thirty five. Although age is just a number, as Mrs X keeps on telling me when my knees creak.
Match Facts & Stats
In the 146 occassions that the two Lancashire rivals have played each other, Bolton run out 59-54 winners, with Blackburn winning 37-21 on their patch. And when they started playing each other, they did, actually, play on a cabbage patch, with cabbages for footballs. And that's a FACT.
Bolton's leading scorer in the fixture is David Jack with twelve, between 1921 and 1928. In the second tier it is John Byrom with five, between 1967 and 1972. And who did Byrom play for before and after he played for Bolton....?
Stuart Attwell used to be a Premier League referee but was demoted last year and this is his first Bolton game since then. We call remember Stuart. He's rubbish. His last Bolton game was the 3-0 loss at Spurs almost a year ago. He sent of Gaz Cahill. You know, when he brought down Scott Parker so far away from goal it might as well have been outside the ground. Cahill? Whatever DID happen to him?
2-1 all the way. It was 2-1 all the way last season as well, and I bet on 2-0. Serves me right.
Ipswich, and the manager we could have won, at home on Saturday.