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Stoke City 2 - Bolton Wanderers 2

Britannia Stadium

13 May 2012 15:00

Attendance: 27,789

Bolton Wanderers: Trap.Door.

At the end of a season you end up where you deserve to end up. No matter how many times you believe that you have been done by the officials, the position that you sit in after the requisite number of games is the one that your play over the season has deemed that you end up in. Bolton finished eighteenth. Bolton deserve to be relegated.

At the end, it all seemed so anti climactic, like everyone was waiting for it to happen. In our hands at half time, a penalty at one ground and a seemingly impossible result at another meant that all the talk, all the rhetoric, all the chest thumping and the continual evoking of the name "Barclays Premier League" counted for nothing. Then, in the cruellest way possible, the seemingly impossible result was no more, meaning that an easy finger could be pointed at the referee.

True, Chris Foy and his assistant`s error in allowing Jon Walters first goal made the job harder, but the job was already hard thanks to what happened last weekend. We may have been on the end of crazy decisions, but remember that we have been saved by them as well. A word to those who say that he should never referee another Premier League game. Just remember one thing. If that is the case, we`ll get him again next year.

Fair play to Walters. Scoring a goal in an FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley is one thing, but both times that he scored yesterday he realised the magnitude of the goals against his former club and his only action was to cross himself. Stoke fans didn`t do themselves any credit, but who amongst us could say that we wouldn`t revel in the relegation of some teams if they came to The Reebok?

As with our second last week, our goals were freakish, Mark Davies not having much idea what was going on as Wilkinson kicked the ball against him before SKD scored the strangest goal of his career, floating the ball over Sorensen from an impossible angle. Even as a striker, the captain will be hard pushed to admit that he meant it.

And we had chances to finish it, SKD hitting the bar, Klasnic forcing Sorensen into a good save and Tim Ream heading the ball straight at the goalkeeper. But Bolton only came to life once Walters had bundled Adam Bogdan into the net. Before then, as with last week, it looked as if the other side were the ones fighting relegation.

As noted in the comments in the preview, strange decisions were again made in substitutions, bringing on a like for like player with twenty minutes left rather than an extra midfielder to try and hold the game, a partially fit winger being brought on with ten and then an untested player brought on for another striker when a goal was needed. At the point Sordell replaced SKD, QPR were winning, but that didn`t mean to say that Citeh wouldn`t score two. Which they did. A third striker was needed, not a replacement.

So. After eleven years in the Premier League, going from one of the most hated teams to one that most people wanted to stay up, that is it for at least a year. It sticks in my craw that a vicious little thug like Joey Barton gets another season in the Premier League after his antics during yesterday`s game and then his tweets last night. If Suarez can get an eight game ban for racist comments, Barton should get the same for what was basically GBH. But it isn`t his fault that we have been relegated. The blame, unfortunately, lies at the door of Owen Coyle. Tactics at time were so wrong the players seemed to have no idea what was going on, some of his purchases were peculiar as were some of his sales, notably a large Omani goalkeeper. As with yesterday, his substitutions were sometimes hard to believe. But the time to dissect all that will come when the dust settles.

As it is, we have probably seen the end of some players careers in a white, blue, red and orange shirt. Boyata and Miyaichi, along with the unused Tuncay, return to their parent clubs whilst noises already suggest that Zat Knight is leaving. Others will undoubtedly follow, although it is good news that Kevin Davies has apparently signed a new contract. After a fraught season for him on the playing side, his game may be better suited to a lower division, as it will the likes of Pratley, Eagles and Sordell as well as the emerging talents of Josh Vela, Joe Riley and Michael (not Mark) O`Halloran. Although it appears dark now, the future could be bright indeed.

So, that`s it for the season. Congratulations to Adam Bogdan for winning the player of the year last night, although that in itself should tell you something. We`ll be back with the Fantasy League finale tomorrow and then we`ll have a look back on the season, name our player of the year and give you news on the very future of Vital Bolton.

Until then, mind the hangover.



P.S. The photo that adorns this article is Oakwell. Yes, it is that bad.)




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The Journalist

Writer: Quentin X Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 14 2012

Time: 12:16PM

Your Comments

Cheers for the articles this year, a rare highlight in a season of one catastrophe after another. Hope you stay on for the Championship season ahead. Plenty of games to keep you busy!
Leemac12
Sources tell me that Steinsson hasn't been offered a new contract, which is no surprise as I'd bet that he's on high wages, given that we signed him from AZ Alkmaar, and he'd played in the Champions League. I think I saw Petrov leaving extremely early, once he'd found out he hadn't won anything; so he'll be going, I reckon.
thingymajig
It's Michael O'Halloran, not Mark. :) Also, Joe Riley, Steinsson and Jussi were really nice, Eagles was... He couldn't be bothered to wear a bow-tie to a black tie event or even an actual black tie; he just came with an open collar like Harry Hill with slicked back hair.
thingymajig
Thanks for being a beacon of light in a dark year. Accepting all of Coyle's failings over this season (most notably his inability to learn from mistakes) his track record in the Championship is strong. So it's how he and the players respond that is going to be interesting. Assuming all the players out of contract leave, with the exceptions of SKD (1 more season!) and Ricketts; it look's like we will have a young and talented squad. However, the defence looks as if a couple of loan players will be needed, but other than that, if we hang on to what we have, next season could be enjoyable and a far more positive experience than this one.
Fake
As a QPR fan I'm genuinely sorry to see you go. Your fans - the more intelligent ones! - were apologetic and a class act regarding Clint Hill's goal and I can honestly say it was disappointing that it came down to us two for the final day. I have no care for Blackburn, Wolves or Villa and in truth was hoping they would go at our expense. It wasn't to be and I hope it's a swift return for you guys. Up the Trotters.
Boxer
I can honestly say the best part of this terrible season was reading about this terrible season. Thanks Mr X for being the silver lining throughout this campaign! Don't know whether Quentin will be at Vital Bolton next season... After our relegation, just read on BBC transfer rumours, Vital Arsenal are planning to swoop for his services. They are reported to be offering him a brand new IPad and tripling his column space! Seriously, superb writing, thank you!
bwfc75
yes thank you Quentin X, really good reading this season. i mean what else am i going to do, work! HA! it was my first season ticket this season and i only missed 1 home game and went to a few away including stoke. but no regrets. representing the whites in wolves.
anteatworld
Of the players in yesterdays squad i would only keep Bogdan, Re-Coker, Mavies, SKD, CYL, Sordell & Vela. I feel the rest let us (and themselves) down. The so called defence were woeful, in fact the worst I have ever seen, and the fact that Alonso can't get a game shows how bad he is as well. Steinnson and Pratley should go also. I hope that Vela, Riley & O'Halloran are given a chance to shine and we can bounce back up. Really enjoyed the articles this season Mr Quentin, you have to sign another contract to keep us all sane.
anoraknophobia
Great Articles all season Quentin, a daily visit to the site has become a habit and hopefully we shall be able read from you again for next season albeit in the championship...we should keep the hungry players with a few anchors like Ricketts, Holden, CYL and SKD(for the spirit) and then let the Velas, Rileys and Sordells let loose on the opposition. As much as it is a shame to be out of the premiership, it may be the exact step back that is needed for this football club...and please let it be the last we see of Zat Knight.
Wanderer24
You will do much better without Coyle and Davis. Nothing against Bolton or their loyal fans, But Coyal and Davis dont know the meaning of the word. But at least you no they are not going to jump ship if a better offer comes along. Because noone wants proven failures with no morals.
Grimsby Claret
Hopefully you don't quit Mr Quentin, enjoy reading these articles.
Muur
Enjoyed your articles much more than watching Clitheroe's boys this season. Numpty doesn't even come close. Wigan GD 20, ours 31 - Ali Al Habsi being sold to Wigan or using the flapping Finn and the number three choice - ask any fan (or the majority) and they would have opted for the BEST. Shame on you Gartside, the Board and that stupid shorts wearing clown.
Pedro1874
Thanks for the articles this season Quentin, they have been brilliant. Although relegation is horrible, I don't think it has to be such a bad thing, this season has been miserable and has shown this squad is not good enough for the PL. Yes, we have struggled with injuries but a club in the top league should have adequate cover for that. I've lost a lot of faith in Coyle this season but he will be our manager next year so I think we should give him a chance to rebuild the squad and then see where we are come December. I had a season ticket last time we were in the 2nd tier and I enjoyed it far more than getting whooped every week in the prem. The Allardyce days were unbelievable of course but given the way we've performed for the last 3 seasons (bar a good 6 months when Coyle arrived) I'd be quite happy seeing us doing well in the Championship.
Mule Pedersen
The papers are reporting that Reo-Coker has decided to leave as he has a relegation release clause in his contract, but much much worse is that they are saying Zat Knight has been offered another deal. We can only hope this is media lies to fill space in the sports pages.
anoraknophobia
Someone needs to have a word in Zat's ear and tell him that he is too good for the Championship. He has two England caps you know. I wouldn't even want him as back up if we were in League 2
Back of the Net
In times like these I always like to hark back to the first year of the play offs in 1987 when we lost to Aldershot over two legs and were relegated to the 4th Division. Even then we kept faith in the manager, Phil Neal, and we were promoted back to the dizzy heights of the 3rd Division. Standing by Coyle will be the right thing to do - but we do need to see this as the opportunity to blood the academy players and continue along the path of developing our own. When are next seasons fixtures released?
Fake
Chris Foy is an idiot in the same league as Clattenberg but over 38 games we were not good enough and deserve to go down. Just heard that Dalglish has paid the price for signing duff players. Ngog anyone?
adlington2
 

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