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!