Burnley - Is it All Going Tits Up for Coyle?
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Is it All Going Tits Up for Coyle?

Owen Coyle left Turf Moor as we all know (how can we forget?) for the dizzy heights of the Reebok in the January window earlier this year breaking the hearts of all Clarets fans and instantly becoming the 'Judas` of the football world. We were told Bolton were a bigger club than Burnley and that in no way was this a sideways move. To make matters worse, he also took with him all of our backroom staff leaving us in a pickle just two points off the drop-zone and in a vital transfer window with deals partially underway and no backroom staff to see them through.

It would also seemingly appear that Coyle was seduced by Gartside offering bigger budgets to bring in fresh players to try and convert a 'hoof-and-hope` outfit into one that suddenly plays attractive flowing football to at long last bring some entertaining football to the long-suffering Bolton fans.

So how well is he doing?

Very well so far from where Clarets fans are sitting!

First of all where is this magical spend that was going to bring in so many new players in the January window and provide Bolton`s salvation?

Well he did poach two players that the Clarets were looking at as he well knows since he started the process at Turf Moor. One though was Stuart Holden, a young lad from the US who passed a trial and must have cost Bolton a fortune since after that they could only afford to bring in two loans in the shape of Jack Wilshere from Arsenal (the second poached player) and Vladimir Weiss, the midfielder from Manchester City. Coyle has no excuse either saying that he did not have much time in the window to sort out more signings. Brian Laws appointed the new Clarets manager had far less time to sort out signings yet managed a tally of seven new players and actually spent more money!

Oh dear Susan!!

So now his task was to stop the rot and bring some entertaining football to the Reebok. Well OK he got the bragging rights against the Clarets at the Reebok after a less than convincing 1-0 win over a Burnley side losing two players to injury in the first 15 minutes and then playing probably their worst performance on the road up to then. We should also remember that this was still effectively Coyle`s team, the match being only Brian Laws third game in charge! Since Coyle had been unable to get Burnley a victory on the road all season, it is perhaps not surprising that trend continued at the Reebok. But what happened after that? Surely Bolton were now going to go on a run of victories and start to win away from home. Surely the Bolton faithful were going to be in raptures that they had got rid of the 'awful` Megson and replaced him with the new Bill Shankly? Well erm not quite!

Let`s just look at the League matches for the moment.

Played 5, no wins and just two draws but more importantly no goals scored! Whoa rewind, no goals scored? Surely not from a manager who professes to know all about attacking flair and getting teams to score goals. Just maybe he has taken on the impossible and it is true that you can`t make a silk purse out of a pig`s ear.

Of course Burnley have not done much better and we are still struggling down there basically still with Coyle`s squad. However it is clear that at the moment both clubs are equally as bad based on the positions in the table with Burnley second from bottom behind third from bottom Bolton on goal difference. Scoring goals though could be to our advantage since at least our team are capable of hitting the net whereas Bolton`s misfits seem to be playing out of their depth and secretly still wanting to play long-ball hoof and hope!

Let us assume for one moment that in effect we are just as bad as each other and both equally as likely to be relegated as stay up. Owen Coyle loses out there too because I am sure had he still been at Turf Moor and Burnley had been relegated , the Clarets fans would not have been on his back and he would still have been God!. He could have left in the summer to any club he wanted with our blessing

Bolton fans though are already sticking the knife in and beginning to question whether they have just made the biggest mistake of their lives!

Last night Bolton shamefully 'chucked-one-in` and gave up on any FA Cup ambitions by fielding a weakened side against Spurs at White Hart Lane. On that point alone you have to question whether Coyle is losing the plot. 61 games the Clarets played last season and never once did we give up trying to win the Carling Cup or FA Cup despite pushing for a play-offs spot.

Bolton were duly thumped 4-0 last night and were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup.

What do Bolton fans think about it all? They are ruthless towards their managers usually and are certainly no longer complimentary even it seems about their legendary former stalwart, Big Sam. Little Sam gets the butt of their jokes and Megson of course was simply hated before Bolton had even kicked a ball under his tenure. So what fate lies in store for Coyle? Well of course, he could suddenly dig deep, turn Bolton`s fortunes round, get them to play like Real Madrid and save them from relegation.

He will though have to start turning things round pretty quickly considering Bolton`s lack of goal-scoring form and the simple fact he seems incapable of ever getting a team to win away in the Premier League. But how patient are the Bolton fans going to be? Well I have taken a few clues from the Vital Bolton site and the answer to that question would appear to be no patience at all.

The editor of Vital Bolton seems to sum things up simply by the recent titles of his articles and they are certainly self-explanatory:

Zany Comedy Bolton Self Destruct

Apathy Rules as Bolton Head to Spurs

How Did Bolton Get to Be this Bad?

Is Owen Coyle a Horrible Mistake? - Part Two

Bolton Sink Deeper into the Mire

You can nip over to Vital Bolton to read the full articles and some of the responses but clearly all is not well at the Reebok.

I will just put one statement up from Vital Bolton`s editor following last night`s trouncing at White Hart Lane:

"Things were bad under Gary Megson. Under Coyle the show has descended into farce."

Of course I am now tempting fate and Bolton will go on a fantastic run, finish mid-table and we will be relegated but if that doesn`t happen, I just wonder what Coyle will be feeling staring at his white and black coffee mug with the Bolton fans outside baying for his blood. Will he secretly be wishing he hadn`t jumped ship and be thinking the coffee always tasted better anyway in a mug that was once Claret & Blue? Either way he could soon be smelling the coffee!

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 25 2010

Time: 10:45AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Nice tit,Susan!!
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25/02/2010 10:47:00

As my dad used to say.... son........you can polish a dog turd but its still a dog turd........
Report Abuse
25/02/2010 10:55:00

Owen Coyle has inherited a worse squad & a club in deep financial trouble, & i still think Bolton will go dow & we will stay up Bolton have some realy hard games
Albmaleaf claret
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25/02/2010 11:05:00

Lets hope come Monday 10th May Burnley are still hungover from the party after retaining our premiership status, and Notlob have been relegated with Susan picking up his P45 and disappearing into the sunset never to be heard of again. Now that would be retribution. Maybe Susan should of listened to the adage that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Report Abuse
25/02/2010 11:16:00

The big game for Bolton is Rangers v Celtic at the week end, if Rangers win then I would think Mowbray will be off in the summer and then guess who will be the next home coming for the Hoops...ok two guesses.....will it be Mr Loyalty bags or Moses?
Report Abuse
25/02/2010 11:16:00

Having watched them in the Cup against Spurs twice, they're in real trouble. They caused problems for 45 mins in the original match, largely with a long ball game. Elmander is woeful and Davies doesn't score enough goals so it's difficult to see how they get out of trouble.
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25/02/2010 11:19:00

The key match for Bolton is Wolves at home on Saturday. If they don't win this they are in serious trouble. Where then would four wins come from? Useless away, like us, and have Man Utd and Villa in the last five games at the Reebok. My article for WTBM proposed he was seduced by money and couldn't resist - I bet he is sat there now, as the above article suggests, wondering if he has made an error :-)
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25/02/2010 13:24:00

I have watched Bolton a lot since Coyle took over and they are truly awful. We at least have several good periods in a match but they are just rubbish and never score. What's with the 'brilliant" Wilshere too, he has only played a few minutes so far - too skilfull for them? Arsene will not be pleased. The key comment on Vital Bolton says: "His after match comments don't inspire confidence either. Megson, for all his faults could accurately pinpoint problems. Coyle just indulges in a desperate search for positives in the same way which brought Sammy Lee such mockery. Coulda, woulda, shudda doesn't bring victories." This is exactly what made me start to doubt Coyle when he was at Burnley. He loves the media and his false modesty and never ending 'niceness' got on my nerves and started to seem very insincere, which is what it was. We are well rid and so will Bolton be when he jumps ship again or gets sacked, probably the latter as he probably won't be able to keep pulling the same trick and who is going to want him? I fancy Wolves to get at least a draw (great for us) at the Reebock and then the fans will really lose patience and I will have a good laugh.
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25/02/2010 14:30:00

Can you just tell me Turfman where exactly Burnley are in the League? And while your at it how many games Brian Laws has won since he signed the "magnificent seven".
Roberto Bettega
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25/02/2010 15:33:00

Sorry to disappoint you but this is about Coyle not Laws and how well he is doing at the Reebok! Laws don't forget is having to take Coyle's side and work miracles. We could be in the bizarre situation here of two sides being relegated both down to one manager's ineptitude!
Report Abuse
25/02/2010 15:38:00

At last a balanced response from you Turfman, I have no problem with Burnley fans reactions to OC ,but I don`t think you really appreciate how relieved we were to get rid of Megson. I don`t want either team relegated but it`s looking more and more likely.
Roberto Bettega
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25/02/2010 16:20:00

Roberto, Bolton jumped on the Coyle band wagon like us Burnley supporters did till we realised he can talk the talk and walk the walk (to Bolton) The penny will soon drop for the Bolton supporters and they will also realise Coyle isn't the god we all thought he was. If you watch all his after match interviews he says all the same things and has all the same excuses for not playing well or not winning, As they say "the grass isn't always greener on the other side"
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25/02/2010 16:30:00

At least Megson managed to get you a win on the road this season, in fact 2 I think something that Coyle has singularly failed to do so far all season with two clubs
Report Abuse
25/02/2010 16:34:00

Has any manager in the history of English football, back to 1888 or whenever it was, managed two relegated teams in one season, in any of the four tiers? Could someone ask club historian Ray Simpson? Now that would make Coyle a legend in his own lifetime! How would Bolton's debt be managed in the Championship: not very comfortably, I expect. Might be worth a bet on Bolton administration and points deduciton next season, I would have thought. Trivia Quiz: which club has had employees on both Mastermind and Countdown?
Couch Potato
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25/02/2010 17:00:00

Still bitter & twisted.... Suppose its easy enough to type such a long winded b itter rant when you've got an extra finger on each inbread hand.
Big Stu
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25/02/2010 17:19:00

You always know you have won the argument when schoolboy posters can only resort to insulting others by childish name calling! That really has carried the debate forward lad! Grow up,son
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25/02/2010 17:25:00

Bolton may still stay up, they may not. We might, we might not. But all Coyle has shown so far is that The Trotters are no better than us and, if anything, could be even worse.
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25/02/2010 17:29:00

A big mistake for Bolton and Judas them poaching our overrated manager, give him enough rope and he will hang himself (in relegating Bolton) like the original Judas. What will happen to Judas ville then, Their gates will be less than 10,000.
Grimsby Claret
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25/02/2010 20:25:00

I`ve watched Bolton with crowds of under 5,000 in the 4th Division and it won`t be the end of the world if we go down.I also remember your last day survival when Glass? the goaly scored ( or was that Carlisle).Anyway we`ve both been there and I don`t understand why all the angst.Alltogether now "whatever will be,will be etc"
Roberto Bettega
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25/02/2010 21:14:00

I think I would sum the emotions up as this. There is just as much passion over the Coyle affair for Clarets as there was for Bolton fans in trying to get rid of Megson! In a bizarre turn of events though what was originally a feeling of loss and betrayel over Coyle is now a feeling of thank god!
Report Abuse
25/02/2010 21:47:00

Well I think we`ll call that a draw then!! By the way Turfman, it`s very magnanimous of you to thank us for taking OC !!
Roberto Bettega
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25/02/2010 22:09:00

Forgot to ask,is the Phil in Turfman etc short for Philistine?,what with all the religious connotations on the website.
Roberto Bettega
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25/02/2010 22:17:00

No it stands for Philip, from the Greek a lover of horses! Of course had I the misfortune to support Bolton I would have to change that to donkeys!! roflmao. Oh come that was a good one?? ;-)
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25/02/2010 22:25:00

Couch Potato, I was reading in the paper the other day that Coyle was in danger of following in the footsteps of some manager who moved mid season from one club to Aston Villa (I think!) years ago and both clubs went down. Can't remember the name - it wasn't someone I knew. Must have been in the old First Division.
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26/02/2010 00:38:00

C'mon tmp, Big Stu's posting was brilliant. This bloke's got an interesting sense of humour ! I would like to remind everybody of how much we owe OC for where we are now . While I'm at it. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish him all the very best in the Championship next season, along with Pompey and Hull.
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26/02/2010 00:53:00

Morning Phil the Horse, glad to see you`ve got your sense of humour back,but it was a feeble joke. Must do better!! I still think Richard`s Bolton site is better though and I think you two should kiss and make up as I enjoy them both.
Roberto Bettega
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26/02/2010 08:57:00

I like this article and its persistant undertone of sarcasm. I remember saying at the time that Coyle may well have condemned both teams to relegation and if we both fail to win this weekend then that will be the case.
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26/02/2010 08:57:00

Oh dear. A piece that was obviously written before Burnley 1 Pompey 2 and Bolton 1 Wolves 0. The bit with which I have found it difficult to understand from Burnley fans is the 'we are bigger than Bolton' and 'Bolton's gates are no good' horse ****. Since 1976, Burnley have never once been in a division above Bolton. Between 2002 and 2007 Bolton averaged between 25,000 and 26,800 attendances per season. When was the last time Burnley registered such averages? Bolton had several seasons in the second tier in the 90s - in none of them was the average gate below 10,000. I've always liked Burnley and seen them as a club very similar to the Wanderers. However some of the nonsensical drivel coming from Clarets since early January has changed that.
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28/02/2010 17:44:00

I thought the article was over the top but it`s the Burnley site and it did generate some good banter. Glad we won yesterday (Bolton) but sorry to see you lose.Clark Carlisle had a game to forget but you`ve got to keep supporting the players. By the way Turfman stop calling me Roberta,I know I used to play like a girl but I`m not !!
Roberto Bettega
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28/02/2010 18:57:00

Stop calling me a horse then when I am a lover of them -definition of Philip)! ;-) As for Paulste's comments, see you in the Championship and let's see who can best cope!
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28/02/2010 21:00:00

Turfmanphil - do you deny any of the statements included in my previous posting? They are all facts. If we were both in the Championship there's a more than even chance your gates would be better than ours - undoubtedly Bolton fans are more fickle than Burnley. But in terms of crowd pulling potential when the going is good, you only have to look at the evidence - Bolton can hack it and pull the big gates in.
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28/02/2010 21:11:00

Just to prove the point. Bolton's average gates in the pre-Megson/Lee first six Premiership years. 2001/2: 25,098 2002/3: 25,016 2003/4: 26,795 2004/5: 26,022 2005/6: 25,265 2006/7: 23,606 .. now admittedly thereafter we averaged 20,700, 22,400 and this year 21,900 so far - but we all know why the drop happened and those figures in the first half of the decade stand as in black and white as testament to the crowd pulling potential at the Reebok.
Report Abuse
28/02/2010 21:24:00

Our first season in the Premier League and we are averaging over 20,000. If we stay up, we are in a better position than Bolton with less debt,the situation changes if one or both of us goes down. If we both go down,your haemmoraging of support is likely to be worse than ours since your lot after so many years in the top flight will feel the pain more than we will and be more critical. The only thing that makes you a bigger club are the current facilities but then Burnley too have ambitions in that department with a new Turf Moor refurbishment! This is a sideways move for Coyle whichever way you look at it unless of course he is only interested in a more glossy office and posh surroundings in a newer stadium? It is also a sideways move in the fact that both clubs are in a relegation dogfight and I say again if we both go down, Coyle is in the unique position of being blamed for both! [Edited by turfmanphil]
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28/02/2010 21:42:00

Can`t agree with you on this Turfman, I would have expected your gates to have been well above 20,000 since it`s your first season back.If both clubs went down ,Bolton would have a far better chance of bouncing back because we`ve been there before in the late 90`s. Up,down,up again,down again and finally managing to stay in the Prem,although only just in the early years. You can`t beat experience,look at West Brom currently. My advice is enjoy the Prem this season and see what happens,but I thought you were very poor on Saturday.As for the Prem I think it`s vastly over-rated,but this may be because of complacency and our goal seems to be survival only.
Roberto Bettega
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01/03/2010 12:35:00

Considering the capacity of Turf Moor is only 22,546 and the away end get 2400 tickets, I don't think we could have got many more Clarets fans into the ground and there may well be quite a few who haven't been able to come to all the games that wanted to this season. I believe the Turf refurbishments being talked about could eventually increase that capacity to 30,000 but getting that number to come will be dependent on the club retaining it's Premier League status. I agree with your sentiments on the Prem League, I don't think its that enjoyable to be honest once the novelty has worn off. Ticketing farce trying to get tickets, games continually being changed at the whim of Sky/ESPN, all the clubs bar us lapping up the concept of debt and trying their upmost to stay up..etc etc etc.
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01/03/2010 13:01:00

Turfmanphil - the Premier League is a horrible cynical place. A vastly different top flight than when you were last there in the mid 70s and then our spell there in the last 70s. Our two seasons there in the 90s were each one offs and it is the memory of those and the first two years of this current nine year spell that makes Bolton fans understand precisely where Burnley fans are just now. If it wasn't for the fact we're in direct competition I'd love Burnley to stay up! Just don't slag us off for poor gates - over our time in the Prem its not true. Fickle fans? Go for it, slag us off all you want for that - I might even join in. But our gates in our first six years in the Prem were very good - often much better than Blackburn's for instance.
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01/03/2010 18:28:00

I don't think I am particularly slagging off the current gates at Bolton just suggesting that based on that alone, Coyle moving to Bolton would stil be viewed as a sideways move. I guess as a rough guide you also have to take % into account. I know a lot dont live in the footy towns&cities anymore but a % of the town's population is a rough guide and I would suggest we may have a higher perecentage currently than quite a few clubs. I know in the 60s/70s it was higher than even Man U etc
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01/03/2010 18:37:00

You know as well as I do that you draw loads of your support from places like Nelson, Colne, Rawtenstall, Bacup and out to towards Accrington. Those places come under the boroughs of Pendle, Rossendale and Hyndburn but are well in Burnley's catchment. Bolton Borough includes all of the towns around it - Kearsley, Farnworth, Westhoughton and the like. The comparison of % on the basis of random local government boundaries is a bit false therefore. Coyle moving to Bolton probably was a sideways move. If I was to try to make an argument for Bolton being a bigger club than Burnley it would only be by a small margin - but to be honest I don't see it as any disgrace being in the same bracket as Burnley (Preston are in the same bracket and despite their arrogance and recent inflated position due to Walker's money and legacy, so are Blackburn)
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01/03/2010 19:44:00


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