Bolton Wanderers have lost their way. 5 losses in a row have seen them slide all the way into 8th place which has me wondering, has the Premiership’s toughest team to play been figured out?
Chelsea came into the Reebok yesterday and took Bolton apart 2-0. While they made things hard in midfield and could have taken the early lead when Ricardo Vaz Te hit the post it always looked like Chelsea would win.
So what has happened to Bolton? Well, as much as I like Sam Allardyce I think he is partly to blame. With so much talent on his side, smart signings, and a relatively healthy group to choose from he seems too committed into molding a team in his own image.
Allardyce needed to play his summer signings more this season and really give them a chance. He’s allowed players like Jared Borghetti and Hidetoshi Nakata to wallow all season on the bench. He’s also hardly played Ivan Campo and turned his nose at Jay Jay Okocha when a dip in form took place, even Gary Speed has not featured as often.
It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of frustrated players are in the Bolton dressing room and that has a lot to do with the dip in form.
Sam Allardyce has a reputation for grudges against players and making decisions too much on the whim. He’s done very well to build Bolton to where they are now and all along the results always came as a surprise. There is a new pressure now for the squad, the expectations of a result and with that a new paradigm. Sam Allardyce has never has so much talent at his disposal and he’s not as skilled dealing with it as more experienced Premiership managers.
So, I doubt Bolton has been figured out. I think it has more to do with the mood in the camp. Bolton are more talented than 8th place, and Allardyce has done some smart things this season like giving Ricardo Vaz Te a real chance but at the same time he’s relied too much on players like Kevin Davies who holds the ball up but rarely score. Note that besides the Chelsea loss, the other 4 losses were by a single goal. Virtually all Bolton’s games this season only have a goal in them, a team like that, which grinds out results doesn’t need a lot to upset the balance and start a slide.
Labels: Bolton Wanderers