2011/12 hasn’t been good to Bolton so far: a bad first half will be compounded when Gary Cahill leaves in the next couple of days for Chelsea to replace John Terry in the long-run, though the removal of that spectre constantly hanging over the club might mean that Owen Coyle can move forward heading into the final half of the season. He will have to hope that the club allows him all of the cash generated from the former Villa centre-back’s sale to put back into the team, because things need to change at Bolton, and the sooner the tide turns the better.
With the retro revolution returning Paul Scholes to Manchester United and Thierry Henry to Arsenal, Bolton could do with a touch of the same magic themselves, with old favourite Kevin Davies looking to have lost a little of the spark that has made him Bolton’s talisman for so long. They need his tiger spirit at the minute, and they need a leader on the pitch to turn the undoubted potential talent in the ranks into performances, because at the minute, Bolton are rolling over far too easily in games that they would have fought harder for last season.
Without the goals and attacking threat of loan revelation Daniel Sturridge, Bolton simply don’t have the cutting edge of last year and David N’Gog doesn’t offer the same sort of options as the Chelsea man. Ideally, Bolton need to bring someone in with the experience of Davies and the youth and enthusiasm of N’Gog/Sturridge without breaking the bank, unless January sees a miraculous change in form from the strikers currently on the books.
If that is to happen, unfortunately, it might have to be the dismissal of Owen Coyle that precipitates it.
What They Need
A replacement for Gary Cahill has to be top of the pops with the influential centre-half set to leave a massive hole in the middle of the defence and a weakened spine. David Wheather should then take top billing in the Bolton defence, but Zat Knight is no more than cover quality.
Strictly speaking, Bolton need a lot more than just a centre half, with long-term injuries to both Stuart Holden and Chung Yong-Lee, and could actually do with at least four new signings to inject some new spirit to the squad. It’s just a shame that kind of overhaul could potentially destabilise the squad as well – Coyle must strike exactly the right balance.
They could do with a goal-scorer, as well as a centre-midfielder with some creativity to ease the responsibility off Martin Petrov who has a worrying tendency to blow hot and cold. But defence has to be the priority – with 43 goals shipped so far (the same amount as bottom placed Blackburn Rovers), Coyle’s men don’t have the bedrock to build a survival campaign on.
Gary Cahill has been on the verge of leaving since January 1st, and his astronomical wage demands which he should be embarrassed of won’t price him out of a move when Chelsea with the current state of the deal having the centre-half joining Chelsea officially early next week.
Kevin Davies might find himself moved on, with an upwardly mobile or ambitious Championship club like Doncaster the ideal option considering the type of players they have been picking up recently.
So, tell us Bolton fans, who would you like to see brought in and who deserves to leave for the good of the team and the club?