They’re a cagey lot over and down a bit in Bolton. We’re hoping for a double on Saturday; they already have one. Just as before the game at the Reebok, we have a great set of replies – and a request for anonymity that survived even the euphoria of a mightily important win at Villa Park. Over, then, to Bob* from the Burnden Aces fans site aand writing just before last night’s game …
Stop Press: another Wanderers fan has just surfaced. His answers will appear tomorrow …
Salut! Sunderland: Explain why Bolton must somehow stay up – and whether they deserve to ….
Our finances are in a delicate state as they are, and I think relegation would do a great deal of damage to them. I think that if the worst happens and we are relegated, we could become another Portsmouth/Leeds. In terms of whether we deserve to stay up, I’d have to say no. We have been dreadful pretty much all season, and I’m surprised we’re still in with a chance of staying up.
If you manage it, what – or who – then needs to change or are you in for the same sort of battle season after season?
If we do somehow manage to survive, I think Coyle has to go. Some of his tactical decisions this season have been questionable at best. For example, he spent about £4 million on Marvin Sordell, but he hasn’t given him a start yet. And he’s only brought him on as a sub twice. And I think that over the summer we would also need to clear out plenty of deadwood if we were to stay away from the bottom three next season. If not, then yes, we’ll probably be in a similar situation this time next year.
And if you don’t, can Bolton do a Newcastle or is it likely to be no Premier football for some time to come?
As I said earlier, if we go down I don’t think we’ll be seeing Premiership football at the Reebok for a good few years. Unless of course we sign a few decent players over the summer, but with Gartside running the show, I can’t see that happening.
Do you wish you had Martin O’Neill rather than Owen Coyle?
I think I made my views clear on Coyle in the earlier question. O’Neill is by far the better manager. If he was in charge of us now, he’d get us playing with fight and passion, something our team has been lacking in recently.
Describe your feelings about football’s general response to Fabrice Muamba’s collapse and give me your message to him as begins his recovery
The response to Fab’s collapse was amazing. Not just in England, but fans across the world. It made me, and I’m sure many other people, feel proud to be a football fan. My message to Fabrice would be to carry on being so strong and then hopefully we can see him pull on a Wanderers shirt some time in the not so distant future!
Who are the greatest players you’ve seen in BWFC colours, or wish you’d seen?
I don’t think there is any doubt that Nat Lofthouse was the greatest player ever to don a Bolton shirt. I so wish I had been able to see him play.
And who are the worst?
For me, Paul Robinson, though your former player Gavin McCann runs him pretty close.
Name this season’s Premier top four in order.
Ooh, tough one. I think City will beat United on Monday and go on to win the title.
4. Newcastle (sorry!)
And hand on heart, the bottom three
Where will Bolton finish, if not relegated, and Sunderland?
I think 17th place is the highest we could possibly hope for. As for Sunderland, I think you’ll finish in the top half, either 9th or 10th.
What do you make of the Man City/PSG route to success? Good to see the elite shaken up a bit (even PSG had been in the doldrums) or part of the ruin of the game?
I think it’s good to see new teams challenging for the title, but not in the way City have gone about it. I’d rather see teams win the title because of hard work rather than because they’ve had money thrown at them left right and centre. And yes, I think it is ruining the game, as it’s making the playing field very uneven in terms of the quality of players “lesser teams” can sign compared to the rich ones.
Would you be proud or ashamed to have Ashley Young in Bolton’s side? Is he currently the worst of football’s divers and cheats generally or are there too many contenders for the title?
I’d say that yes, there are a lot of contenders for that title, so I’m not sure who I’d class as the biggest cheat. I certainly wouldn’t be proud of Young, but in our situation, we need all the goals we can get, so I probably wouldn’t be as bothered by it.
Will you be gripped more by the Olympics or Euro 2012, or will it depend on your post-season mood?
I think it will be interesting to see a British team rather than an English one, though I will obviously be more bothered about Three Lions doing well in the Euros. I’ll still watch all our games, but whether I watch other countries depends on Bolton’s final position.
Will you be at SAFC v Bolton and if not, how will you follow it?
I won’t be at the Stadium Of Light, so I’ll be watching the match on a stream.
* Bob on Bob:
I’ve been a Bolton fan all my life. I’ve had a season ticket for a good few years now. One of the lows of that time would be this season, we’ve been appalling at times. Also the era with well known gardener Gary Megson in charge was pretty dire. The best moments of the last couple of years are drawing 2-2 with United, beating Newcastle 5-1, getting revenge on Stoke by beating them 5-0 and winning 3-2 away at Birmingham in the FA Cup quarter final last season. My favourite player at the moment is Stuart Holden, of all time Nat Lofthouse.
Interview: Colin Randall