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Bolton Wanderers vs. Sheffield Wednesday

Reebok Stadium

26 December 2012

15:00

Bolton Wanderers: Ton Up

Good morning and I hope that Christmas is treating you well. I do also hope that you have got over the sound of my voice belting out the twelve days of Bolton. After the festive period, if you need to get your kids to bed, may I recommend threatening that you will play it unless they get upstairs.

Today sees the one hundredth overall meeting between Bolton and a team in even more dire straits than us, Sheffield Wednesday. Both are former clubs of our own, personal, Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Gary Megson.

It is quite easy to dislike the men from Hillsborough. My personal dislike comes from living pretty much on the border with Hillsborough for four years. You may have your own.

I have nothing against the manager, Dave Jones, as he struggled so hard to get them into the Championship last season and is now doing his damndest to take them straight back down again.

Vital Quotes:

Due to the holiday, there was no prematch press conference, but Dougie did have this to say about the debacle at London Road.

'I thought our defensive performance wasn`t what we had shown over the last three or four games. But we showed great desire and belief with our attacking performance that we could still get back in the game. As a coach, it was difficult to pick different units out.' That's OK, Dougie. Blame all of them.

Bolton Wanderers Team News:

Stephen Warnock has returned to Villa, albeit maybe temporarily, so Marcos Alonso is due to fill in at left back. David N'Gog is facing a late fitness test after the injury that kept him out on Saturday, and with SKD banned for one game after hitting the yellow card limit, this could mean the unlikely forward line of Afobe and Sordell. Or Knight and Bogdan. Who knows?

Player to watch: Zat Knight

After some impressive performances, by his standards at least, Knight returned to his calamatous ways against Peterborough. In a defence becoming more makeshift by the week, the Knight of the early part of the season has to stand up today.

Sheffield Wednesday Team News:

From the BBC website, David Prutton is due to miss the game but Jay Bothroyd, the man who was preferred to SKD as Capello 'knew' what SKD could do, may return.

Player to watch: Jermaine Johnson

You'll remember Jermaine? Jermaine Johnson? Used to play for us? No, I don't remember much about it either. I think I saw him in the league cup once. Maybe against Tranmere. Anyway, Jermaine once said that playing for Wednesday was better than playing for Bolton. Probably because Wednesday are more his level.

Match Facts & Stats

Ninety nine times have Bolton and Wednesday played each other in the league, with the Yorkshire club holding a 43-35 advantage overall and T'Trotters leading 26-12 at home since the first game between the clubs at Olive Grove in 1892. Wednesday won that game 1-0.

Bolton's leading scorer in the fixture is Sir Nat with eight. In the second tier, Roger Hunt, John Byrom, John Ritson and Tony Henry all have two.

The last time the clubs met at T'Reebok was in the promotion season, Dean Holdsworth and Colin Hendry scoring the goals in a 2-0 win.

Match Prediction:

5-4 to Bolton. All the way. Or 2-1. Take your pick.

Next Fixtures:

Birmingham, at T'Reebok, on Saturday.




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The Journalist

Writer: Quentin X Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 26 2012

Time: 8:46AM

Your Comments

The poll (right) was just a bit wrong. I don't really know how more depressed it's possible to be about the state of our team. OC was a disaster but is DF any better? Think a big clear out may be needed. Seem to have a lot of players who really don't give a ***** or have enough desire or skill. DF has changed nothing. We are still heading for division 3.
FredMadagascar
Well said Fred, the team is utterly incapable and while the squad was assembled by that walking disaster Coyle, Freedman has been unable to turn them around or change results any differently to what we saw under Coyle. I truly fear for the club, it has not gone unoticed that McCarthy has done wonders at Ipswich, which puts the spotlight yet again on Gartside. Why was Freedman appointed above McCarthy ?, Freedman with very little experience had the benefit of good young players at Palace while McCarthy with all the requisite experience has basically done what we needed at the Reebok being to improve a team that could not perform and get results- a familiar issue ? I have no problem with the opposition scoring a goal, when we fail to score a single goal in a home game against a weak team we have serious problems that no amount of press talk can disguise. I honestly feel Gartside's position is becoming increasingly untennable, of course as with Coyle that will not happen until it is too late and irreversible damage has been allowed to occur. We appear to have no money for transfers so the team we have now is it, aside from the return of injured players. We know that 3 or 4 wins on the trot will turn fortunes around, however, there is absolutely no sign of any improvement in team performance that would give rise to such results, quite the contrary we may have to brace ourselves for several defeats and a total collapse, which would see the few good players we have running for the exit door come season end
aussie mike
I should have added - the endemic rot that seems embedded in our performances could spell major disaster, I am talking 10 years in the football wilderness, look at Leeds and other ex prem clubs. Our team lost the will to win and the ability to fight more than 2 years ago, Gartside ignored what the results were telling him, choosing instead to defend his own decisions at the expense of the club and we have reaped the harvest ever since.
aussie mike
This 'rot' you speak of is definitely there, but unfortunately, it's seeped into the blood of all our players. Because of this, the line between 'lack of ability' and 'lack of desire' amongst our players has become blurred. LCY is definitely a casualty of this rot. You can't lose your skill overnight but you can lose your passion to play for the club after a good night's sleep. We aren't being outclassed by other Championship teams, we are letting teams outplay us which is unforgivable for a so-called professional sportsman. I hear a lot of people on Twitter saying Dougie is no better than Coyle. But it is nothing to do with Freedman, the players have just fallen out of love with the club and the fans are reciprocating with boos. It's a vicious circle. I feel Dougie is treading water until the transfer window opens. Not because he wants to 'put his stamp on the team' but to get rid of the rotten fruit he feels is sourcing the problem. Once this is done, we may see a change of attitude from our players. McCarthy wouldn't have had any more joy than Freedman has. Ipswich just needed a Captain to steer the ship through rough waters, we need a blood transfusion. It's not going to happen overnight either. We are looking at several seasons in the Championship. It may be hard to swallow, but would you want to be in the PL with this team? I know I don't.
bwfc75
It was truly awful today, and I too questioned why Gartside decided to employ the inexperienced Freedman over McCarthy, whom I believe had exactly the qualities we needed in our situation. I can't help but agree with those who say that at the very least we are looking at an extended period in the Championship, if not worse. I just find it hard to believe that professionals, who have been picked out of millions because they are allegedly better than everybody else can play that poorly. Maybe we just can't play in the rain. Personally, I think the younger players should be tried such as Riley, Blakeman and Eaves.
thingymajig
when a team plays like a bunch of strangers it comes back to the manager and chairman, Freedman has shuffled the team around like a flower arranger suggesting he has no idea who the best 11 are and Gartside is the one who put Freedman in charge. I would be more interested in hearing what Lawrence has to say as he is the only truly experienced bloke in our management
aussie mike
Bet you dislike us even more now Quentin.
vic mobley
 

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