The banter at the club's training headquarters the other day was that of a cheerful football environment with its mixture of adolescent humour and the music of the iPod culture. It is hard to imagine a more impressive facility where sport meets science. How's it going, Gary? Track-suited from a training session, he leaned back in his office chair and said: "The response to what we are trying to do has been fantastic. All the things you might associate with a team being in a relegation battle are not here. I didn't expect a great welcome.
Everybody seemed to want Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson, that standard of person and that seems to be the norm these days, but I would not criticise people for that. I have to get on with it and so do the players. An intelligent football crowd knows it has a part to play in the success of any club as well as the demise of one. There has always been a warmth about Bolton. In that famously evocative LS Lowry painting Going to the Match, the matchstick men were surely heading for Burnden Park, the old home of the Wanderers.
Megson knows the heritage. He recalls meeting Bruce Rioch, who managed Bolton between and they were inevitably talking about the game that has consumed their lives. The conversation was resurrected as Megson said: "I remember Bruce saying, 'If ever you get the opportunity to manage Bolton, you must take it because it is a fantastic club, great people, great area. Bolton folk generally have a friendly, modest and open disposition but loosely adopted sons such as Anelka aka Le Sulk and Diouf, who should wear a sticker saying 'I am Trouble', are less predictable.
He is great in the dressing room. He's not loud. He is not sulky. He is not lazy. He is nothing like he has been portrayed. He wants to win and gives it everything he's got. Megson's philosophy from a lifetime in football, he says, is never to allow the highs to get too high, or the lows too low. When you ask him for the greatest high of his career, he answers that taking West Bromwich into the top tier on a tight budget was very special, but adds: "Keeping this club up would be a huge accomplishment, not on my behalf but for Bolton.
When the transfer window opens in January he will be looking to strengthen the side. There is the inevitable catch for a team in trouble. The manager knows players he wants to help Bolton escape their plight but they are reluctant to move because of the predicament. Megson, commuting from his Sheffield home until he finds a Bolton bolt-hole, will be at his desk at 7. The road to Premier League safety will be hard and long. Live scores.
Premier League Table. All upcoming fixtures. All recent results. Premier League fixtures. I accept that Gary Megson's management is a taste some of them will never acquire, but I also hope Bolton supporters would accept that the atmosphere at times yesterday was not conducive to their team playing relaxed, constructive football. He kept them up in his first season and they have not exactly been rooted to the bottom since.
Let me know what you think. Well I have been following Bolton since and for all the criticism that was leveled at Big Sam he was at least getting a few big kills every season. I must admit that I have got pretty much used to our boring abrasive style of play but then there were a few more things we got used to since Getting to Europe is a luxury which we don't mind but then it is certainly not a prime objective for the team.
Playing in a boring fashion is also OK as I am sure most of the fans are quite used to it. The things which I don't like: Megson's style is suited for Championship and not a Premier League team. The team is hardly half as abrasive as it used to be. Even the playing with "their backs to the wall" effort seems to be gone. If you want to play boring better make it tough. The replacements we have got in the past seem to be worse than what went out. I have little faith in Elmander, Ricketts and a lot of other players which Megson has picked up.
We have barely got any big 4 scalps since Megson took over. Having moved up the the North West some years ago and wanting to watch some football I ended up a Bolton fan. Funny choice? Man City well! So it was Bolton and I purchased a season ticket for two seansons, it was great, Big Sams gang of players on loans, freebies and the odd big spend, but players full of class and character.
Football a bit raw but a couple of seasons in Europe and we could and did give anyone a game at the Reebok. Plus the atmosphere was fun, large numbers of families and long standing fans. Even the crowds songs were tongue in cheek and often self mocking. The Big Sam went, Lee went and along came Megson, he was the sort of Gordon Brown of football managers, dull, boring, set in his ways, unelected and slowly taking the fun out of everything.
Frankly Megson was a Championship manager, I say was because even that league has moved beyond him now. He directs the team towards playing defensive uninspiring football, which is a shame because he has players that if allowed to use their skills could be different. I have not purchased a season ticket this year and now pick and choose the games I go to, often on wanting to see the opposition more than shout for Bolton.
Just like much of the country feels that with Brown in charge we are treading water till he goes in the spring, I feel like my support for Bolton is on hold until Megson is sent packing and a new dawn sees the fun come back. As a visiting supporter yesterday I was delighted how quickly Bolton fans turned on Megson! It meant we were doing something right. I was absolutley gutted about the penalty as I honestly don't think Bolton would have scored without it.
Outside of the top 6 the premiership appears to be pretty level and if we can edge an advantage by making a partisan atmosphere at the Brit and make it a really tough place to visit then thats our duty as supporters. At Stoke we have a chairman, management team, players and supporters all pulling in the right direction, sometimes its not pretty but its a results based game.
West Brom fans may wax lyrical about their 'brand' of football and how they wouldnt want Megson or Pulis either I assume? On a completely seperate point I thought Mark Clattenberg was absolutely superb yesterday, he got all the big desicions spot on and generally was anonymous which in my opinion is always a sign of a good ref. While Sammy lee might have been awfully bad, that should be no excuse to consider Megson as a victim of our criticism.
There are a lot of managers who have managed to keep their teams in Premier League. It doesn't make them outstanding. Look at Big Sam's ex-sidekick at Hull City. He has done a lot more than Megson take Hell City to premiership from nowhere and managed to keep them up with a little bit of luck but he has had his due share of criticism. Megson took a squad that used to play for a place in top 7 and managed to keep it in the premiership. What's so great about it? If someone takes over at Everton and manages to keep them in the Premiership after a bad start then will it mean that the guy is exceptional?
Megson has had enough opportunities in the past 10 years and he has failed to show any ability beyond pedestrian football. Moyes in his second season barely kept them up but since then has showed that he is an exceptional manger. With Megson everything seems to be predictable when it comes to the good part but extremely unpredictable about the bad parts. So one can be assured that Bolton would not break past the 50 points barrier but how low will they fall is hard to guess. The media just dont get it do they? Yesterday and not for the first time this season he started with just ONE attacker at home to a average but decent Stoke team.
He had a 5 man defensive midfield lineup.. Thats what riles the fans.. I have been a fan since the early seventies and there is no doubt I have never been more depressed about the state of the club than now and I recall relegation to the old fourth division. Megson is a PR disaster. He has nil affinity with the fans and even yesterday said he wasnt bothered about what they think.. What are the people who pay his wages to make of this.. As for when we had Big Sam..
We qualified twice in 3 seasons and finished top eight 4 seasons in succession including a sixth finish when we only failed to qualify fo the Champions League on goal differance! These are not flashes in the pan! I accept Megson kept us up after Sammy Lee,s brief but attempt at management didnt work out..
However neither myself nor other fans believe we can progress one jot with Megson,s tactics and negativity The booing yesterday was directed more at Megson than the players.. You can argue it doesnt help them it shook Megson into a change and second half was an improvement.. You gentlemen of the media dont have to fork out your hard earned each week to be served with dull uninspiring football Give us a break..
As an outsider looking at Bolton it does feel a bit like you are clinging onto the past about how great it was under Big Sam, top 7 etc. Surely you can regonise that was over acheivement and it was an almost impossible act to follow? It seems to me Megson kept you up and will keep you up again.
With the greatest respect you are Bolton - is bottom half of the prem about the correct level? I do think football fans perhaps expect too much, I remember Charlton fans moaning about Curbishley for their mid table premiership finishes and how they needed to 'push on'. Be careful what you wish for! All we ask is that we have a team that has a go especially at home. Every man and his dog keep banging on about how dull the football is at the Reebok The team itself is decent enough..
Megson is the wrong man for the job. He has been at the club 2 years now and other than keep us up achieved nothing except to alienate the supporters. There is no doubt there is a chasm starting to open up between the club adn the supporters. Stoke brought to yesterdays game which means just bothered o turn up only to see another negative starting eleven picked by Megson.. I am sick of other people saying we should be grateful because he kept us up Is that all we can expect from now on..
I wouldnt mind too much if we played decent football with a good go in the cups but we all know this isnt going to happen with Megson. Would supporters of other clubs like to have Megson When supporting Bolton you have to be the eternal optomist, but, ever since Megson arrived on the scene my glass has been permanently 'half empty'. All those people that quote it's better to be watching this kind of dross in the premiership because it's like that every week in the championship cannot have the passion for the club as we, the fans do!
There was a semblance of pride under Big Sam A, even when we didn't win. Because teams that faced us knew that to win they had to work bloody hard to get anything - nowadays this is not so. The team has no heart or passion in the displays, the midfield is always given up to the opposition both home and away. It's well documented that he has a predilection for defensive strategies on the training grounds; which is only to be expected from his playing background.
However, most of our cock ups thus far have come from this area. Proving he is just not up to the task. The manager should never be allowed give any press briefings until he has been schooled in how to conduct himself in an interview for he has all too often alienated the fare paying fans with some ill timed comments; not all fans are morons calling for his head, but all fans can have an opinion that's the way of the world. He constantly promotes the opposition status and publicly puts down his own players and fans. I am a season ticket holder and have been a fan of over 50 years standing, I do not boo and I always encourage the team.
However, I personally believe we are going through one of the worst phases of our clubs' history and expect the downward spiral to continue as long as chairman and current manager hold office. Give us back our pride and 'our' teaam. Megson has gradually alienated the fans over his 2 years in charge. He has done this by producing the worst football i have ever seen, and i have watched bolton for 30 years so thats saying something. Allardyce produced teams that competed, attacked and played as though they thought they could win - no matter who they were playing. I don't even care if he buys an attacking player because we wont see them on the pitch anyhow.
Ask Smolarek. Phil - if the fans had anything to get excited about, they would back their team. We have in the past and will in the future, but there is nothing at all to get excited about. Fans get excited by players dribbling past other players, maybe a one-two, a nice passing move - not by second rate midfielders lumping it 50 yards. There is nothing to suggest this team has a pattern of play. There are one or two decent players in this squad who im sure would be able to pass the ball, if the manager adopted tactics that would allow them to do it. Megson has at various points stated that the fans are idiots and he doesnt care what they think.
So - you tell me Phil - do you still think hes done a great job? Bolton fans are as entitled to be entertained as much as any other fan and expect some ambition from thier club.. With Megson we dont get either. Going to games is an expensive business and these are hard times financially..
Megson is out of his depth as a premiership manager and other than a spell with WBA he has alienated and frustrated fans up and down the country.. Its true the days of Big Sam hae gone but that doesnt mean we must put up with another season of dross courtesy of Megson. Reading between the lines, I dont think anyone at Bolton disputes that Megson has done a "good job" in keeping Bolton alive in the PL. Especially given the limited budget. The problem is the manner in which he has done that. Playing defensive football at home, to clubs they hope to beat.
Look at Stoke. They have a small budget and are hardly Brazil in terms of playing style - but they manage to enthuse their crowd and vice versa. You get the impression that Pulis is all for Stoke. And so Stoke is all for Pulis. By contrast, you just dont get the impression that Megson is all for Bolton or that Bolton is all for him. When Megson came I did not understand why some people would not give him the benefit of the doubt? Sure I was opposed to his appointment Fabio Capello was a free agent at the time as was the special one but once on board, I felt it was my duty to get behind him.
I know some fans never even ceded him this much. I have been a loyal season ticket holder, and travelled to 3rd division away games as well as the European glamour ties, Bayern, Sporting etc. However this season I decided not to renew my season ticket as I was sick of the depressing lack of ambition in starting with a lone striker at home even against weaker opposition. Add to that the problem of player behaviour in the Premier League, spolit impetuos brats, and I am glad I am not paying through the nose anymore, for utter, utter, garbage.
Furthermore in all his time here every transfer window has been dominated by talk of us desperately needing a creative midfielder. And four transfer windows have past, including two long summer ones, and whilst we can sign Paul Robinson to replace J Lloyd - our most consistent player last season, we are not addressing the main weaknesses that are now long standing.
I don't expect European football and the media are unfair to think we're behaving spoilt, fact is in a recession when money is really tight I have finally snapped at being asled to financially support Megson's brand of football KD ploughing a lowly furrow up front words like, turgid, liefeless, dull, uninspiring, are all one's you can usually describe a Bolton home match with. At dinner held at the Reebok not too long ago for the Lifeline members, one player who will remain nameless summed it upto me when he said in all seriousness, "the manager simply doesn't want to play attacking football" As a journalist would you prefer to be sent to cover an exciting league one match, between two teams playing an open attacking style, or would you prefer an assignment at the Reebok to watch a turgid affair between Bolton and another one of the lesser lights?
Now ask yourself would you pay for that priviledge? No neither will many of us. I hope in the Carling Cup Tues with West Ham, we play at team featuring exciting players like Riga, Gardner, play Vaz Te up front with Elmander, and play some quick attacking football, who cares about the result, lets remind ourselves how to play. What is so wrong with Megson!? He saved us from relegation and he's brought good players in! I think the problem is the fans! If we don't get behind the team we are never going to get good results! OK I agree that Megson never plays a strong and seems to go for a nervous or an unusual but we need to support our team!
Give Megson a break! Bolton fans deserve relegation. Huge echoes of Charlton and their fans smugness belief that they somehow deserved more. Allardyce left an ageing bunch of mercenary players, creating a squad that needed huge and immediate revamping. Megson came in and did the dirty work that needed to be done to transform a terrible side hurtling towards relegation to a team now populated by a number of young decent English players with a real future.
Plus, Megson was forced to sell the best players - Nolan, Anelka and Diouf - to be able to afford to build a proper squad. I'm amazed by the view of some people on here! Firstly, why is it regarded that top eight finishes were down to exceptional circumstances! A team with a smaller transfer budget and stadium, however, due to very good management and free signings they achieved top eight! Every 'small' club can compete for that eighth spot with the right guidance! Guidance were lacking under Gary Megson! All Bolton fans were grateful he kept us up, no question about it, however, after his first full season improvement was slight finishing with 41 points, a points total that has relegated teams in the past!
His transfers were hit and miss too, with astute signings of Cahill, Taylor and Steinsson. Whilst money was floundered on Elmander, Shittu, Robinson, Ricketts, Knight and various loan signings he never gave more than 5 minutes! Gary Megson has spent more than any other Bolton manager yet he has alot less on paper than some previous managers! I remember some great nights at the Reebok, yet, none of them under Megson! People who say Sam Allardyce played similar football are way off the mark. We had entertainers on the pitch such as Mendy, Okocha and Vaz Te to name a few.
We had passion from Campo, Stelios, Bobic and so on plus we had real quality throughout the pitch! Currently we have a couple with passion and quality, yet their quality is untapped due to ultra defensive tactics! Bolton fans are not alone in his criticism, with the following players criticising him: Riga, Steinsson, Elmander, Smolarek and academy players leaving due to Megson, supporters of the club!
Gary Megson has no rapore with the fans due to his self indulgent answers, a man who takes credit for Boltons best UEFA Cup finish even though he never qualified for Europe and then tried his best to get us knocked out with his reserve team policy! Gary Megson is a man who continually calls the fans that pay his wages, with his latest comment yesterday stating he doesn't care what the fans think! So, I'm sorry Bolton fans have some ambition and want to be entertained!
I mean aren't they the two things all football fans have and want from their club? Honestly, I think the Bolton fans have got no choice but to back Megson. He's obviously got the players respect, which is impressive considering all the vitriol around the Reebok at the moment. His footballs not great, but he'll keep Bolton up and that should be enough for a club that is at its base, much smaller than teams like Leeds and Newcastle who are suffering from an over inflated sense of superiority.
Stoke, Bolton et al should be happy just to get a chance to upset the soulless elite who dominate this league, we're not going to get plaudits for good football and London journalists will continue to watch one game and sum us up in one sloppy slight. But, as a stoke fan, Im proud to be a supporter, of the team, of the manager, and of the players who want to be there.
Megson is committed and a genuine football man, his footballs crap but he's buying to stay up like the rest of us, if the footballs crap just shout louder, you'll feel much better. I think the problem is that too many people, such as Phil McNulty, and fans of other premiership clubs will maybe see Bolton twice a season, and then use that as a basis to state Bolton fans are ungrateful and expecting more than we deserve.
First of all, I think Gary Megson has been absolutely fantastic in the transfer market, arguably better than Allardyce. Allardyce brought in fantastic talent towards the end of their careers, getting a couple of seasons out of the likes of Djorkaeff, Campo, Heirro etc. But Allardyce never brought in the young quality that Megson has. The issue that Bolton fans have is that, despite these players, Bolton are playing dreadful football. Phil McNulty, you would have noticed the added vigour that the introduction of Ricardo Gardner brought to the Bolton team in the second half.
Now, I, as have many Bolton fans, have been watching Ricardo Gardner put in performances like that year after year at the Reebok, which begs the question, why was he left on the bench for the first half when Gretar Steinsson was playing out of position on the right wing? Which leads me to my next point. Gretar Steinsson was one of the clubs most consistent performers last season and quickly made himself a fans favourite.
Which begs the question, why has he been relegated to the bench to be replaced by Ricketts; a player with half the amount of talent and half the amount of drive, whose lack of motivation and dedication was evident when his woeful and effortless defending allowed Kitson through to slip a finish past Jussi.
A lot of people seem to think that unwaevering support is a pre-requisite of a new manager. While the Stoke faithful were incredibly vocal in their support yesterday, even the most romantic football fan would find it difficult to believe their support would stay that way is Pulis opted to play James Beattie at left back, Abdoulaye Faye as a centre forward and Rory Delap in goal.
I have appreciation for the players that Megson has bought into the club, but at the moment they are not producing anywhere near the quality that they should be.
That can either be blamed on Gary Megson or the fans, but it is a lot easier to replace one manager than 20, fans. Basically Phil, using a simple table, I'll show you why Bolton fans boo so readily and so quickly. And bare in mind, this isn't a rare occurance, this is every single week, regardless of opposition. Meanwhile, Stoke were playing Kitson and Fuller up front, Matty Ethrington as a very attacking winger, with Whelan always managing to get himself in a dangerous shooting position.
Now if you had to guess, which would be the team which have been an established Premiership side for years, playing at home, and which is the team which is only in its second season in the Premiership, playing away? Third Ronaldo is way off mark.. They were a delight to watch and admire We are not smug.. We have had him 2 years and 4 transfer windows and he has been found wanting. I could put up with his attitude if he could deliver on the pitch but he cant. After the City game ladst season and the Sunderland game this which we both lost without a wimper he actually stated in the media that it didnt matter that we had lost and in the case of the City match actually had the nerve to say we would have got a result ad played better had it mattered!!!
Well Gary it matters to us fans who fork out money to watch what you call football. Most people writing here are from outside the club,and can see that with success, comes expectation, the comparison with Charlton is very worring. Speaking as a long time supporter of Bolton,I hope the boo boys see the error of their ways before it is to late. What I am impressed with is the reasoned and detailed responses to what some Bolton fans clearly believes is the criticism I have made of them. It was easy to detect the source of the dissent yesterday. The fans were unhappy with the basic style of play - but what did surprise me was how early the criticism started.
I should say I have never, as one poster said, claimed Megson has done a "great" job. But has he done a bad one? You do get the impression that the relationship between Megson and a section of Bolton's support has broken down irretrievably. He appears to be able to work in this environment, but my other point is that it obviously makes the players nervous and edgy.
Can Megson ever win over his critics? If so, how?
It's not about expectations, it's about seeing improvements. Over the years, Big Sam cut the Bolton cloth to the money we had - negative football where necessary, with increasing quality being brought in as we kept improving season-on-season, until eventually we were genuine contenders for playing in Europe, and even in Sam's last season - until a massive loss of form - challengers for 4th spot.
We see nothing of that with Megson. We're not even running to stand still, we're actively going backwards. Even a slight improvement, one that said mid-season safety mediocrity for this season, would be a pointer that we're moving in the right direction. But no, not even that. It was always going to be difficult to replace Allardyce - Sammy Lee's attempt at attacking football displayed that you really can't do that on a budget and expect to get points - and Megson isn't up to it. I really can't see us surviving, currently only Portsmouth are a worse team than us. Points-wise, we'll be lucky to be in double figures for the New Year.
Norwich City - Sacked Megson! Blackpool - Left after failing to get into playoffs! Stockport - Sacked Megson! Stoke - Sacked Megson! WBA - Sacked Megson! Forest - Resigned due to fans hatred! Leicester - Left with Leicester fans chanting beforehand, 'Megson to Bolton'!
Bolton, your a Premiership team, enjoy the league your in under whatever circemstances you find yourselves in. That, or you deserve the same fate as Charlton, and West Ham a few years ago by having a few seasons in the lower leagues.. Grumbling about details when your a Premiership team is horrid state to find yourselves in, many fans of 'lesser' teams lower down the football ladder will gladly swop places with you, and happily adore the football you get to watch each week, simply based on the fact that their team would be in the promised land, as opposed to the cash-threatened lower leagues.
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If you cannot back your manager, back your team. Your 'negative' fans are a much bigger issue than your 'negative' manager. Well, football fans everywhere react to what they see on the pitch. What we saw yesterday in the 1st half was the worst Bolton display I've seen since the dark days of Phil Neal, hence the reaction. I'd spent a fair amount of time in Fanzone talking about Meggo and how the negativity was there even before he got the job, and how he was still is fighting a losing battle, since there was a percieved lack of ambition around the club.
Then the team was announced and the looks of dismay on all the faces were plain to see. No one can argue that when Gardner especially was introduced, the atmosphere changed and the fans were behind the team from the kick off in the 2nd half, even when we were behind.
I know he was just back from injury, but he's one of the few players we have with pace and skill in abundance. He should have played from the start, and when he got tired could then be substituted. Phil asks if Megson will ever win over his critics.
It's a tall order, but a start would be to play like he wants to win, instead of avoiding losing, acknowledging when the fans are right to complain, and giving us the attacking football we were promised in the summer. I got my 1st season ticket when we were in the 4th division, but this season could well be my last. Phil, with respect, you saw one game. Would you feel the same after almost 2 years of stumping up the cash to watch that game every week?
I'm disheartened to see the usual responses of 'we should be grateful to be in the Premier League'. I ask why? This is our 71st season of top flight football. That's something only 11 other clubs can better. And yet we 'belong' in the Championship? I can only assume these people are quite young, as admittedly the 's were spent in the lower echelons of football, but that doesn't change the fact that we have a proud record of top flight football.
That's something the Norwich's and Charlton's of the league certainly can't match, even though some may naively bunch Bolton in with those clubs. We do not ask for miracles. The football under Sam Allardyce was not always perfect, but at least it got results. Megson doesn't even have that as a defence. Last season we picked up just 1 point from the entire top 7.
Can you imagine such a record a couple of years ago? Yesterdays game was a prime example of what is wrong with Gary Megson. We were playing Stoke at home, and with the greatest respect to Stoke, that is one game we should have targetted as a potential victory, just as Stoke fans would in the return game at their ground. Megson's team was setup as if he'd given up before the game even started. Three defensive midfielders who offered no creativity, one striker up front on his own, 40 yards from a teammate, the record signing on the bench along with two tricky wingers and an International striker.
A braver manager would have had those players on the pitch from the start. But then that's Gary Megson, he is not a brave manager.
Why risk attacking, where you leave yourselves exposed to the counter attack, when you can just sit back and play for a point. That may be fine away from home, but when we turn up at the Reebok, we expect to see a little more than our own team play like the away side. Perhaps Phil, you should visit the Reebok again in the very near future. Just don't be surprised when you see exactly the same display from Megson's Bolton again. Maybe even that wouldn't be enough to leave you understanding where we're coming from, but we got sick of it a long, long time ago. It is only a matter of time before the board of directors wake up to this fact.
Nobody has mentioned yet the bizarre circumstances of Megson's hiring.
Gartside reached for a manager with a marginal Premier League track-record when there were other candidates available who wanted the job, including a fresh-faced Owen Coyle. A lot of the fans were disappointed from the start because of the lack of ambition shown by the chairman who was busy banking UEFA Cup cheques. This was a team that went from 7th and showing some pride on the pitch, to introverted, disorganised relegation-favourites. The club was in a great position to make a statement when Sammy Lee was moved out, and they did - just not the one the fans wanted.
I'm not ungrateful or spoilt or whatever, just very disappointed. There has truly never been a more depressing time to be a BWFC fan. As your blog is witness, the fans are deserting in their droves. Where was I yesterday afternoon? Shopping, that's where. I knew that I would have a better time doing that than at the Reebok, where I would have been grinding my teeth and howling in frustration.
There is this perception that Megson has never been given a chance by the fans and it's fair up to a point, but the football he instructs his team to play is the worst in living memory. He simply doesn't believe in attacking play. The current stasis at Bolton is SO frustrating. Megson will never do enough to get the sack as Bolton have but one goal, to stay in the Premier League. I believe that he can and will achieve this, and when you achieve your target as an employee, you do not get sacked. I cast a jealous eye in the direction of Burnley managed by BWFC legend, Owen Coyle who, despite not having the big name players, are playing football of the highest order and bloodying noses along the way.
Give me the Bruce Rioch team of the early nineties, playing in the 1st and 2nd Divisions, anyday. BWFC teams historically have always played with a little bit of guile, a touch of class. Megson and Gartside are killing my club. I admire the fans that are still handing over their hard-earned, but I won't be back until changes are made. Phil, you're completely missing the point. It's not only why are the fans are on Megson's back, but you have to question Megson's tactics so early in the season. Come on, playing 3 holding midfielders in a home game is like admitting defeat.
Yes, your home ground should be a fortress a la Britannia but doesn't that entail that you should also be aiming to winning your home games? And playing behind the ball on home soil is hardly going to inspire confidence from the home fans, is it? Hi Phil, I don't believe Gary Megson will ever win over the fans. His initial appointment surprised everyone in football, not just us supporters.
I personally, after looking at his record as a manager and the views from other football supporters including forest, norwich and some west brom fans , didn't inspire my confidence, but as a supporter you hope that you are wrong. It is coming up to two years now, and after being a season ticket holder since using my student grant to pay for it , I didn't renew this year. When something you enjoy, love, NEED becomes turgid, unispiring and in the end, you think of reasons not to turn up anymore, you know something is wrong.
Let me ask you a question Phil if I may When a manager criticises the supporters the club publically on three occaisions, season ticket holders drop dramatically after one full season in charge, and the number of fans calling for his increases daily, does he deserve any support? Credit to Stokies yesterday, and for the london press, they passed the ball pretty well. We Bolton fans are not unrealistic in our ambitions for the club.
We have a decent team but not a decent manager Something has to give soon Yes know booing probably dosent help the team but what other way have we got to voice our anger at Megson and Phil Gartside? Megson has had hs chance and is not up to the task. Bolton isnt by nature a sacking club but we must when its required and its required now.
I would never wish it upon any fan to watch Bolton under Megson and I'm sure those lower league fans would count themselves lucky they can actually watch some football! Phil, What I am impressed with is the reasoned and detailed responses to what some Bolton fans clearly believes is the criticism I have made of them.
Megson did a fantastic job in his first season to keep us up, the tactical approach was correct then given the perilous situation. To continue with this approach almost two years after he took over suggests he knows no other way. His signings this summer appear to be taking us backwards, he's done nothing to remedy the lack of movement and creativity in midfield.
Bolton supporters arent naive enough to think that this type of ball player can be picked up on the cheap, but to squander our meagre resources on two full backs we didn't need was criminal. Tuncay was on the bench for Stoke today, when you factor in the wages he could have been picked up for a similar amount of money that Paul Robinson and Sam Ricketts are costing us. We had a promising winger on the bench. It's the same every week, creative players left out to accomodate more one dimensional destroyers.
I for one would have been happy with a 13th placed finish if I was offered it at the beginning of last season, but we havent been able to win a raffle since April despite playing mainly against similarly placed clubs. I dont know who you follow Phil but I dont think you would tolereate this week after week.
The national media's attitude towards the Bolton supporter's dissatisfaction has the distinctive whiff of 'Let the eat cake. As an unbiased outsider, though I agree with the view that some Bolton fans don't seem able to accept that they over-achieved under Big Sam even if it was over a period of a few years and that battling to stay in the Premiership isn't perhaps beneath them, I do have a lot of sympathy with their displeasure at how things are going under Megson.
For the vast majority of football fans out there, going to see your team is all about hope. You know you're never likely to see your team winning any silverware, but there is always the tiniest spark of hope that the team will turn it on and rout the opposition, or you'll be entertained by some good football, or you go along knowing your team might not be very good but there's a chance they'll knock in a few goals and get the odd win here and there. When you turn up to your home ground expecting to see a miserable, turgid performance with workman-like players set up defensively, and this happens week after week, it doesn't matter whether they are playing at the highest level or a local pub league, it is hugely depressing.
And when it's not just a very small minority of fans who feel like that, it's time for the manager to go. As a West Brom fan, I will forever be grateful for what Megson did for this club. We were looking in a dreadful position, and between him and the two chairmen we've had, they turned the club from a joke club that had a blip in the s and 70s back to a top Championship and occasional Premiership team. However, I wouldn't want Megson's brand of football back here, and to me it seems that Stoke are going to be the "Bolton" of the Premier League for the future.
Megson will keep your club afloat, solvent and work within the budget the best he can, but maybe Bolton need to rebuild in the Championship akin to Newcastle and Middlesbrough. Can't possibly include ourselves in that though, we can't claim to have established ourselves! Is there one manager in the Premiership who is as unpopular with his fan base and plays a more negative style of football? Megson got booed in a pre-season friendly againast Hibernian - a testimonial match that finished nil-nil!
I had more fun watching Bolton play Scarborough - what is Megson's ambition for Bolton? Megson needs to go. To win the crowd over, play to win; not to contain. The best performance in recent times was against Liverpool - more inspiration, more ambition and less negativity.
We are a football team; not a commercial entity. Every manager has a shelf life and Megsons has certainly expired. He is without doubt the most uninspiring,negative,tactically inept manager around and personally I wouldnt have him in charge of the pub team from the Dog and Duck never mind a premiership club. The die is now caste and there is no way back for him after yesterday. To try and defend himself and have another pop at the fans is beyond the pale. Gartside must act now The next 6 league fixtures will spell the end of Megson's reign at Bolton, it's just a matter of how long Gartside holds his nerve.
With the fan's pressure building every week, I suspect he will be gone after this run of very difficult upcoming games. As a Newcastle fan, it's interesting to see the posts of Bolton fans on Megson. It all looks incredibly familiar, much like the things that were said by our fans when Sam Allardyce was in charge of Newcastle. Seriously, you could almost transplant it word for word. I think your chairman has dropped the biggest clanger possible. He was the guy who reccomended Owen Coyle to Burnley. What he should have done was back his instinct and brough Coyle to the Reebok and punted Megson off to the clarets.
Is Coyle still a Bolton lad at heart? Would he leave Burnley for Bolton? What surprised me most was just how quickly the supporters turned on the team. Sure Bolton were very poor in a goal-less first half, but the booing began in the first ten minutes. Supporters pay the money and they can have their say, but on yesterdays evidence the club is only heading in one direction.