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2010/11 Review of the Season: Bolton Wanderers

June 6, 2011

Having finished the season in 14th place, Bolton fans have every right to be a little annoyed with such a low finish. For much of Owen Coyle’s first full season in charge, Bolton had competed in the top half of the Premier League and well away from the huge relegation battle. At one point, it even seemed as though European qualification was possible.

Unfortunately, their season ended in March. After winning the FA Cup sixth round clash with Birmingham on March 12th, Bolton started on a fall down the league table and were humiliated 5-0 by Stoke City in the semi-final. They just seemed to stop competing.

Thankfully up until that point, enough had been done to confirm Bolton’s position in the top flight for another year. Coyle installed a belief and a confidence in his players that made them hard to beat and got them into a routine of winning games. At times they played decent football, but more importantly they resorted to whatever game plan they needed to so as to ensure a result. More often than not, that meant utilising the ‘typical Bolton style’ of long balls towards the strikers. Most importantly, it worked.

Regular Starting Eleven

Game of the season Bolton 4-2 Tottenham Days after Tottenham had conquered Inter Milan at White Hart Lane, Bolton Wanderers brought them crashing down to earth. Gareth Bale, whose stock had exploded over the two games, was kept anonymous by Gretar Steinsson and the Spurs defence couldn’t live with Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander at the other end.

Bolton were committed from start to finish and were deserving of a more convincing score-line even if Roman Pavlyuchenko’s volley was a thing of beauty.

Player of the season Gary Cahill Gary Cahill has fast become one of the finest and most complete centre backs in the Premier League. Alongside Zat Knight and David Wheater, he has formed a solid base at the heart of Bolton’s defence as well as contributing some key goals over the course of the season. He’s a regular in the England squad and it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a regular in the starting line-up as well.

Season in a tweet

Biggest disappointment Martin Petrov Having agreed a deal at the Reebok Stadium after leaving Manchester City, Petrov has failed to repay the faith placed in him by Owen Coyle. He was a constant feature in the starting team but failed to produce an end product on too many occasions. Eventually he was phased out of the side and used more and more as a replacement for Matthew Taylor and Lee Chung-Yong.

Changes needed for next season? With John Elmander’s contract expiring and Daniel Sturridge heading back to Chelsea following his loan spell, Owen Coyle needs to bring at least one new striker. Kevin Davies is the only one of his preferred frontmen remaining. He hasn’t given Ivan Klasnic the game time to suggest he backs him to get enough goals for the team.

The manager may also have a tough task keeping hold of Gary Cahill. He does have David Wheater and Zat Knight already on board as a solid pairing. If he does lose Cahill to one of the bigger clubs reportedly chasing him, he should be able to use the funds to strengthen the whole team overall.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mick permalink
    June 6, 2011 5:14 pm

    Not sure that Gary Cahill was our Player of the season even though he is probibly one of our best, By far the best player for Bolton this season was Stuart Holden and when he got injured our season and midfield went down hill.

  2. Simon Charlton permalink
    June 6, 2011 10:31 pm

    Player of the year – Stuart Holden.

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