Our fifth Championship so far feature takes a look at Bolton, a side who were relegated from the Premiership only last year. However, even though most people thought that the Trotters would be in very good shape to make an immediate return to the top flight, this has not been the case at all.
In fact, following a dire start by their own standards, the Reebok Stadium outfit have already handed Owen Coyle his marching orders and are currently without a manager.
They sit in 16th place in the table and while it’s still early days, the gap is slowly increasing between them and the top places.
As you may expect from Coyle’s dismissal, Bolton have experienced a very poor start to the campaign and have only amassed fourteen points. Prior to this weekend, that tally was even lower and the club really had to dig deep to muster a 3-2 victory over Bristol City after falling two goals behind in the first half.
However, that win was certainly very rare and prior to that, they had won just one other fixture in nine attempts. On a more positive note, they have only lost one match at the Reebok Stadium, but there have been far too many draws for a side that has only just been relegated from the Premiership.
The Summer Buys
Despite their relegation from the top flight, Bolton’s squad wasn’t depleted too much and this meant that Owen Coyle was quite reserved in the transfer market.
Undoubtedly, his most significant purchase was Matthew Mills from Leicester and while the big money signing has played in the majority of fixtures for the Trotters, the fact that the club have quite a poor record at the back suggests that he is struggling to make an impact.
Many were impressed at the club’s ability to lure Keith Andrews to the Reebok Stadium and having made a total of ten appearances, he certainly appears to have been a positive piece of business. Coyle instead seemed to place more attention on loan signings with Premier League trio Stephen Warnock, Jay Spearing and Benik Afobe all arriving from the top flight.
Just like most of the players in the squad, none of the three have made a huge impact although supporters are hopeful on Spearing following his first goal at the weekend in game against Bristol City.
It is clear to see that Bolton are massively underachieving and considering the squad they have on paper, it’s surely just a matter of time before they recover and launch a serious bid for the top places.
Of course, there is going to be a hell of a lot riding on the appointment on their next manager and as I write this, Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman seems to be the main man in the running.
After he has managed to drag his low-budget Palace team right up the division, this could be a man that could have a sterling effect at the Reebok Stadium if he takes the job.
As you will have read through the past few weeks, Liam loves to watch Championship football and supplements his hobby by publishing a bet bonus on his sports website every so often.
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